Forging an Iron Woman: On the effects of piracy on gender in the 18th century Caribbean

Christine Mae Hernandez


Piracy in Caribbean during the 18th century affected numerous social issues including race, class, and nationality. However, it also effectively introduced ideas of sexual equality three hundred years ahead of its time by embracing a group historically rejected by both the general public and academic scholars alike: women. Female pirates like Anne Bonny and Mary Read thrived alongside their male counterparts, learning to benefit from both sexes by fighting like men in war and escaping execution through pregnancy. Despite the sharp social stratification found on land, life at sea afforded strong men and women the opportunity to escape the lives prescribed to them.


Female pirates

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