John Appleby's Relationship Between Women And Piracy

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Authors Main Arguments John Appleby argues that a few women during the 16th and 17th Centuries participated in committing piracy at sea. During that time, piracy was male dominated and any accounts of female participation was small. The author states that it is difficult to find recorded history surrounding females aboard ships because of how unconventional it was for women to take part. He argues that it is not female physical capability that restricts them, but it is instead the environment onboard a ship and folk superstitions that prevented them from wanting to become pirates. To study the relationship between women and piracy, the author examines two of the most well known female pirates in history: Anne Bonny and Mary Read. The best …show more content…
Marcus Rediker and John Appleby are insightful and offer similar yet different perspectives on the topic of women and piracy. Rediker argues that the stereotype during the 16th and 17th centuries was that women are not physically capable of being pirates and that only a certain type of women could ever take on the challenge. He uses primary and secondary sources that validates his claim that women are less physically capable to operate a ship than men. Rediker’s chapter also analyzes Anne Bonny and Mary Read’s lives and what made them want to challenge gender roles. He concludes that the women had more male characteristics than female ones which ultimately made them ‘radical women’. John Appleby’s argues that it is not the strength of a woman that limited her but the dangers of being a woman among a community of sexist men. Appleby suggests that women tended to be only bystanders to piracy and were only involved through their fisherman husbands, retail and trade. His analysis on Johnson’s History questions the validity of Anne Bonny and Mary Read’s lives and whether Johnson made parts up to create an interesting story. Prior to reading the chapters I did not know that women had such a small role in piracy. Today women are presented as active agents in piracy through films and novels, but that is not the case. The image of female pirate warriors came from Johnson’s History based of Read and Bonny and exploited by the media. Without Johnson’s History the figure of a pirate heroine perhaps would have never

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