Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bygone Badass Broads Launch Party Recap

Happy International Women's Day! In celebration of this wonderful day, I am going to chat about my experience at the Bygone Badass Broads Launch Party from Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World was created because of Mackenzi Lee's well known twitter tag #BygoneBadassBroads, which delved into information about badass women whose contributions aren't well known or publicized. This twitter tag became so popular that Abrams books contacted Mackenzi to write a book about some badass women!

After work, I met up with Ellie to head to Trident Booksellers and Cafe for Mackenzi Lee's event for Bygone Badass Broads. We got there a bit early in order to get seats and to eat dinner. We met up with Kim and Molly right before the event started. Mackenzi had a fabulous dress, her display of books was perfect and the cupcakes were delicious!

One of the biggest questions is why did Mackenzi write this book? Mackenzi mentioned how history usually doesn't include female narratives. However, women have a place in history. The are kickass! 

Mackenzi once thought women were represented in history because she self selected what she read when she was younger. It wasn't until she was around 14 to 16-years-old when she working at a civil war park as a blacksmith that is discovered women were't represented for their accomplishments. Management told Mackenzi that she was being moved to the pioneer laundry. They also told her that it's not accurate for her to be a blacksmith mainly because she is a woman. Although, Mackenzi brought in historical evidence showing how some women held jobs like blacksmiths, she was denied. Even when Mackenzi was pursing her undergraduate degree, she realized that male centric history courses were requirements. Women were not included in the educational curriculum.

For those who don't know, Mackenzi is a big fan of Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein. Mackenzi talks about how there as a contest to write a ghost story and how Mary won the contest when Mary was only 19-years-old back in the early 1800's. Mackenzi also raves about how Mary kicked off the science fiction genre.

Mackenzi mentions that the way she writes is the way she talks; it's conversational. She never thought she would pursue writing a non-fiction book. However, with her every so popular #BygoneBadassBroads twitter hashtag, she took twitter by storm. Mackenzi used her lunch breaks at her old job to tweet out threads. Abrams was interested in her writing a book and the rest is history! A new book is born! As Mackenzi mentions, "These are not stories I made up. These are stories I retell." And she sure retells them in a way that grabs your attention!

Mackenzi took recommendations on twitter for #BygoneBadassBroads. She actually has lists of hundred of women. Someone in the audience asked if there is going to be a Bygone Badass Broads 2. Mackenzi hopes she has a chance to write another Bygone Badass Broads book. She did, however, mention about how cool it would to write Bygone Badass Barks, a book with a bunch of badass dogs. One person asked if she has a favorite Bygone Badass Broad woman. Mackenzi said it was impossible to pick her favorite but Irena Sendler has always been on her mind often. Mackenzi talks about how Bygone Badass Broads is like a historical girl squad.

Another person asked what is the difference writing fiction vs. non-fiction. Mackenzi claims, "I need to get it [non-fiction] right. I can't fudge anything and say well it's fiction." It's more fun to write but more stressful. While researching for the book, she didn't have a lot of information about some women and the women that had the least information didn't make the cut for the book. Another question that was asked was what was the most interesting thing you found during researching? Mackenzi found a lot of men only spaces. Also, she found it interesting that people were more concerned and upset about Anne Lister being a business owner than a lesbian. This was back in the early 1800's.

What I loved during the event was when Mackenzi was chatting about how there are a lot of awesome outfits that the Bygone Badass Broads wore. Someone asked Mackenzi to choose her favorite outfit. Mackenzi said she loved many of the outfits but ultimately selected King Christina's of Sweden. If someone can make a Modcloth manufacturing like line of all the Bygone Badass Broads outfits, I am pretty sure Mackenzi would love it!

Bygone Badass Broads is a non-fiction book is chockfull of strong women with exceptional accomplishments. Fifty two women to be exact. Pretty much one woman per week of the year. Ranging from fifth century BC to almost present day, Mackenzi includes women of different cultures, faiths, nationalities, sexuality, etc. These empowering women prove to society that they can do what men can do and even more.


  1. Ohhh my friend Cassi went to one of Mackenzi's launch parties last week too!! It looked like a lot of fun and the book sounds amazing!

    1. Cassi and I were talking about the events the other day :). The book is very good! 52 amazing women who have their stories told in a few pages each.