Today the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the anti-abortion bill in Texas (Wendy Davis), the overthrow of the Same Sex Marriage Ban in California (Hillingsworth v. Perry), and the overthrow of the Defense of Marriage Act (United States v. Windsor). With three major rulings lead by women insisting on equality, what better day to read about women who refused to let men have all the fun pirating the high seas?
I recently was told that in Spanish a "pirate" is a cheater, which I guess is a bit accurate. These women cheated the system and pirated on the high seas during the Golden Age of Piracy between the 1650s and the 1730s. Pirates are very popular in contemporary media (think Pirates of the Caribbean) but few female pirates are showcased. With very limited freedom of movement some women turned to sailing to find their freedom. Check out these five seafarin' ladies you probably never heard of.
1. Mary Read
|Read defeating a man in a duel. Illustration from
The Pirates Own Book 1842 p. 389
2. Anne Bonny
|"The earliest illustration of Anne Bonny from Captain Johnson's History of the Most Notorious Pyrates"
courtesy of sea-thieves.com
3. Charlotte de Berry
3. Lady Mary Killigrew
|Portrait of Mary Hill, Lady Killigrew in 1638 by Sir Anthony van Dyck
5. Cheng I Sao
|Depiction of Cheng I Sao
Know of other women who kicked ass on the high seas that you think should have been included? Comment about them!