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Female Pirates In The Caribbean: Role Status And Contribution

3039 words - 13 pages

Piracy, in international law, the crime or robbery, or other act of violence for private ends, on the high seas or in the air above the seas (Encarta 1). Piracy in the Caribbean was a tough life that was only for certain men. Yes, that's right, for men. Life as a pirate was very dangerous because of serious injury and even death. Pirates would frequently attack an enemy vessel by boarding the ship, robbing the goods, and quickly leaving. In most attacks, the pirates would be outnumbered causing a bloody attack (American 119). This is why the captain of their boats would not allow women to be pirates. If a woman wanted to be a pirate she would have to dress and act as though she was a man. ...view middle of the document...

Her fame caused two other women to become pirates of the Caribbean: Mary Read and Anne Bonny (American 120).As a result of Killigrew's bravery, many women were influenced to become pirates one of the notable women was Mary Read. Mary Read was born in London, England in the 17th century. Her mother who was "young and airy" married a seafaring man; who was planning a voyage after their marriage (Johnson 130). He left her with a child, who was claimed to be a boy. However, the child did not live longer than a couple of months (Johnson 132). Later on Mrs. Read "accidentally" became pregnant with a girl named Mary. After four years, Mrs. Read became impatient waiting for her husband to return realizing the possibility that he might never return. No one knew what happened to him for sure (American 121). She had remembered her husband talking about how he had a wealthy mom (Rankin, 142). Mrs. Read left the country to go back to England where her mother-in-law lived in hopes that she would support them.Mary's mother dressed her daughter as a boy because of a couple of theories. One theory is that the mother-in-law knew that previously she had a grandson coming but didn't receive the news of the baby's death. Therefore, she needed to make Mary pass for a boy, as her son's child (Elms 419). Also, another theory is that the mother-in-law did not like girls in general (American 121). Mrs. Read dressed Mary up in trousers and a cap imitating a boy's look. The grandmother offered to take the boy to live with her; but the mother did not want to be separated from her. The grandmother decided that shewould help with the payment; she paid a crown per week for Mary's support (Woodbury 212). Mary had to act like a boy for years around her grandmother. Mary was 13 years old when her grandmother passed away. Later on, Mary's mother decided to tell Mary the truth about her sex before she started to realize herself. Because of the grandmother'sdeath, they had no more money. Mary found a job as a footboy to a wealthy French woman living in London (American 121).As a result of Mary's up bringing she still carried on the roles of a boy. After a while, Mary was becoming bored with her job as a footboy; so she decided to move away and join the Army. She went aboard a Man-O-War but she was still not fulfilled with excitement on the boat. She decided to join the British military as a cadet; meaning she was a volunteer who served without pay, with a chance of getting commission if she proved her military abilities (American 124). Still impersonating a man, she fought in the Battle of Flanders. The officers were impressed by her bravery during the battle and they moved her to a higher position as a Horse Regiment (Jones, 1). While in the Horse Regiment, Mary met a handsome young Dutchman that she had fallen in love with. They spent many nights together talking and becoming very close friends. Later on, Mary could not help but tell him that she was a woman. Surprisingly, he was...

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