It's time for another edition of my Daring Girls Series. Victoria of Victoria Anne Photography is joining us once again for a post on Women in Piracy. Be sure to like her Facebook page and check out her beautiful work. Also show her some love and leave a comment below!
“I’m Captain Jack Sparrow. Savvy?”
Unless you’ve been an absolute hermit the past ten years, you’ve probably heard of Pirates of the Caribbean, a movie starring the amazingly attractive Johnny Depp that is based on Disney’s same titled ride in their park in Florida. Since the first movie was released in 2003, pirates have been on the rise in popularity. Who doesn’t want to sail the seas, answering to no one but yourself, on the ever constant search for adventure?
The first female pirate portrayed in the movies was the beautiful Anamaria, played by Zoe Saldana. She was a fierce fighter with an indomitable spirit, and a huge grudge against Jack. The next was in the third Pirates movie, At World’s End. Mistress Ching, the Pirate Lord (Lady?) from China held one of the nine pieces of eight and fought against Lord Cutler Beckett and Davy Jones in the final battle scene. Finally, we have Angelica Teach (Penelope Cruz), daughter of the infamous Blackbeard, and what could possibly be the only woman Jack Sparrow has ever actually loved. She’s crafty, intelligent, and isn’t afraid to go after what she desires.
Piracy itself has been around for centuries, as early as 600BC, with the earliest female pirates hailing from Asia and the Mediterranean. Surprisingly enough, pirates typically weren’t all about raping, pillaging, and plundering. Most had an ulterior motive, an agenda that needed fulfilling. For example, the eldest daughter of the English king, Alfred the Great, gained command of her husband’s ships after his death in 911. She targeted Viking raiders who would have otherwise plundered the English coasts unhindered.
Although pirate women are often overlooked in favor of their male counterparts (example, Blackbeard), they were often no less fierce or brutal. Many died in prison (Mary Read, who sailed with Anne Bonny) and others were executed for their crimes. However, there were quite a few who were granted amnesty by the government and were able to retire in peace (such as Ching Shih, aka Mistress Ching). Many of these women will continue to live on in their own legends, as proof of the power and inner desire for adventure of women.