If you're a Kentuckian on Facebook, you're likely to know about the group called "Kentucky for Kentucky" and its regular and entertaining mentions of people it deems "Kick-Ass Kentuckians."
In the spirit of Jennifer Lawrence and Ashley Judd kicking butt on the big and small screens, we asked Lexingtonians Griffin VanMeter, Whit Hiler and the folks behind Kentucky for Kentucky to come up with their list of the most kick-ass Bluegrass State women. Learn more about Kentucky for Kentucky at Kentuckyforkentucky.com.
Here's their "Comprehensive and Notable List of Kick-Ass Kentucky Women" and their comments about each:
Zenyatta, left, the big bad mama, was born on Kentucky soil in 2004 and went on to be the greatest racehorse of all time. From ages 3 to 6, she won more than $7.3 million. How many 3- to 6-year-olds have brought in that type of dough? Not many. The New York Times called Zenyatta "hard to beat, and harder to ignore." Her first-born foal will be worth millions. Fortunate are those who bred with her! She kicks ass, a lot of ass.
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In 1893, sisters Patty and Mildred Hill of Louisville composed a little song called Happy Birthday to You. This song's popularity makes Lady Gaga's and Kanye West's music look like lonely street performers from Carlisle. It is the world's most popular and sung song. The feel-good tune of every generation was birthed right here in Kentucky by these kick-ass Kentuckians. Happy birthday to you, Happy Birthday to You song!
Nikky Finney, left, lives in Lexington, teaches creative writing and is an award-winning poet. She won the National Book Award for poetry earlier this year. No one on this earth writes better poems and gives better acceptance speeches than kick-ass Nikky Finney. When she kicks ass she makes it sound really moving.
Behind every great man is a great woman. No man is greater than a professional wrestler. No man. During the late '80s and early '90s, a kick-ass Kentuckian by the name of Elizabeth Ann Hulette, aka Miss Elizabeth, gained international fame as a professional wrestling manager. Specifically, she was Kick-Ass Kentuckian "Macho Man" Randy Savage's manager. That kicks ass.
Before she became Mrs. Brady, Florence Henderson, left, as Miss Moonlight BBQ in Owensboro. That's right, America's greatest kick-ass TV mom is a Kick-Ass Kentuckian first-class. Any stepchild would be lucky to have a stepmom that good looking.
Everyone has seen the famous 1942 "We Can Do It" propaganda poster of a hard-working "Rosie the Riveter." The woman behind that kick-ass poster is a Pulaski County woman by the name of Rose Will Monroe, above. That kicks all kinds of ass. She won us the war. Without Rosie, there would not be rivets, without rivets there would not be Airstreams, without Airstreams there would not be food trucks, and without food trucks, hipsters would starve. Rosie the Riveter saved the world — and hipsters.
Rosemary Clooney, left, invented singing right here in Kentucky. That's awesome. She's a Kick-Ass Kentuckian.
Carrie Marcus Neiman, born in Louisville, kicks ass for being the co- founder and chairwoman of a little department store called Neiman Marcus. Never heard of it? We haven't either, but it's supposedly a big deal with the Real Housewives set.
You have to love a powerful woman named Martha. Don't call her Marfa though. Martha Layne Collins was the 56th governor of Kentucky, the state's first female governor, and to date the only one. She was known for starting the Governor's Scholars Program.
Nancy Green, aka Aunt Jemima, was a Kick-Ass Kentuckian from Montgomery County. She was an activist, a storyteller, a cook and one of the first black models ever hired to promote a brand. That kicks ass.
Don't mess with a passionate Kentuckian. Kick-Ass Kentuckian Carrie Nation, left, was so passionately opposed to alcohol that she would enter an alcohol-serving establishment and attack the bar with a hatchet. We might not be opposed to alcohol, but we think Carrie is kick-ass for how she handled her business. Imagine if we sent her on a distillery tour. Oh, no!