My parents strongly discouraged me from exploring my early interests in mathematics, because "women were not suited to do mathematics."
I kept trying to do mathematics secretly at night, but my parents hid my math books, removed the candles from my room, turned off the heat in my room, and took away my clothes.
Though women were not allowed to attend mathematics lectures at École Polytechnique, I did find a way to study lecture notes from its courses and also corresponded with mathematicians (e.g. Gauss) under the pen name "Antoine-August Le Blanc."
My contributions to mathematics include work on Fermat's last theorem (i.e. proving it for any primes less than 100 under certain assumptions) and papers in acoustics, elasticity, and number theory.
Gauss subsequently arranged for me to receive an honorary degree from Göttingen, but I tragically died of breast cancer at age 55 before I could receive it.
Sophie Germain (1776-1831)