Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Daring Girls Series: Women in Piracy with Victoria

Hey guys!
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.
Perhaps one of the most well-known female pirates is Anne Bonny. Originally from Ireland, Anne moved to North America with her father and mother. Her mother died shortly after, but her father, after a brief stint as an attorney, gained a considerable fortune as a merchant. Anne was disowned after marrying pirate James Bonny. Shortly after their nuptials, she became mistress to “Calico Jack” Rackham and, after divorcing James, married him. The two sailed together for a few years and in the meantime had two children. Although she never captained a ship, Anne was known for her bravery, competence, and fighting abilities. She was a highly respected member of Rackham’s crew. Anne was captured in 1720, but disappeared shortly before her execution. It’s rumored that her father either ransomed or smuggled her out of prison and took her back to South Carolina, where she lived as a respectable woman until her death at the age of 80.

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.


  1. I don't think there is anything more awesome than a female pirate! It's so interesting and neat that there were real ones, I never knew that.


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