Lady Pirates And Women's Liberation
Back in the days of piracy, there were hardly any lady pirates relative to the plethora of male pirates swarming the high seas buckling their swashes. Now don't get me wrong, there were some lady pirates, however the bulk of them were forced to don male clothing and pretend to be men so as to not tip a scurvy crew right over the edge. Some female pirates even became pirate captains, but they still wore male pirate dress, and when they had the odd baby, as you do, they would usually be dropped off somewhere on an island to be raised by people who were generally less swashbuckling. Day care on a pirate ship generally consisted of a tot of rum and a swim in a pickle jar.
For a detailed history of female piracy dating back past Viking times and all the way forward to the 1970's, read the Wikipedia article on the subject, which is incredibly excellent, though brief, two things we prize on the Internet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_piracy
If you can't be bothered clicking that link, and really, it is a lot of effort, here are a few awesome woman pirates mentioned in the article
Wigbiorg, Hetha and Wisna c. 8th century A.D. Norwegian All three are listed in the Gesta Danorum as sea captains. Wigbiorg died in battle, Hetha became queen of Zealand, and Wisna lost a hand in a duel.
Anne Dieu-le-Veut aka Marie-Anne and Marianne ca 1650 - 1660s-1704 French Caribbean pirate and later based in Mississippi after Tortuga was closed down. Dieu-Le-Veut was a nickname meaning "God wants" and given to her as it seemed anything she wanted God gave her. Married to a pirate, Anne challenged pirate Laurens de Graaf to a duel after he killed her husband in 1683. He refused and she became his common law wife, fighting by his side and sharing command.
Anne Bonny born Anne Cormac, aliases Ann Bonn and Ann Fulford, possibly also Sarah Bonny 1698-1782 1719-1720 Irish Caribbean pirate. Married to pirate James Bonny, had an affair with pirate John "Calico Jack" Rackham, and later joined his crew. Discovered another crew member Mark Read was secretly a woman (Mary Read) and the two became very close.
How's the story of Anne Dieu-le-Veut for a romance?
“I say, you appear to have killed my husband, fight me!”
“No, I will not fight you, let's sail around on my pirate ship!”
Someone needs to write that romance novel, if they haven't already. Maybe I will. Maybe I just did.
It's interesting that women have always played a significant role in men's domains since recorded history. Arabic warrior queens, such as Zenobia of Palmyra, once ruled over vast swathes of land where men now rule supreme and make women wear silly sheets over their heads the whole time.
I'll be honest and say that I'm not
entirely sure if I have a point with this article apart from to say,
'Wow, women have been kicking ass for millenia, maybe it's time we
all stopped whining based on gender lines and realized that no matter
who you are, male or female, it's up to you what you make of your
world. Women have always been able to take power if they truly wanted
it, in the same way men have, by kicking ass, taking names, and by
being ruthless and vengeful and violent. Oh, and cross dressing has always been around, and it also kicks ass.'
Now there's a moral of a story you won't be sharing with your children any time soon.