blog It Was a Woman’s World, Too: Ching Shih

Discussion in 'Research' started by Black Dragon, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Staff Article Team

    1,597
    809
    113
    A. E. Lowan submitted a new blog post:

    It Was a Woman’s World, Too: Ching Shih
    by A. E. Lowan

    [​IMG]

    We welcome you again to the world of speculative fiction, where there are no limits for what an individual can accomplish—except in the mind of the writer. Often, while we can create entire worlds out of our imaginations, stories of adventure and daring do have been limited to male characters, based on the belief that women in Earths’ history did not live adventurous or public lives.

    In this series, we would like to counter that notion with examples of women who did just that, lived lives of excitement and public importance. We hope that the lives of these women inspire you to reach beyond the common narrative and to give voices to extraordinary women in your own stories.

    Meet Ching Shih (1775 – 1846)

    Ching Shih was arguably the greatest pirate to have ever lived. She sailed the South China Seas during the middle Qing period and at the height of her power commanded over 1,800 junks and up to 80,000 pirates, depending on sources.

    She was born in 1775 as Shi Yang and while little is known of her early life we do know she worked in a Cantonese brothel when she was young. In 1801 she married a famous pirate from a large pirate family, Cheng I, who rumor has it, sought her out for her keen business acumen. She helped Cheng I to create a pirate armada out of rival Cantonese fleets, many of which led...
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
     
    Lunaairis and skip.knox like this.
  2. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

    3,256
    1,327
    163
    Was she the same one who would sometimes nail defeated opponents' feet to the deck of her ships and beat them to death? It was one of the female pirates...

    At any rate, so badass I could cry
     
  3. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Staff Article Team

    1,597
    809
    113
    We didn't run into any references of her doing this (though it does seem to be her style, doesn't it?), but she wasn't the only female pirate operating in the South China Seas. Much later, towards the beginning of the twentieth century, a Mrs. Hon-cho-lo plied the waters near Hong Kong.
     
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  4. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

    3,256
    1,327
    163
    There were actually a lot of female pirates
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    4,637
    2,837
    263
    Did she ever captain her own ship?

    That line about a pirate family is intriguing. Piracy isn't usually something that gets passed down through generations, or at least I never imagined it being so.
     
  6. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Staff Article Team

    1,597
    809
    113
    It's not known (to me, at least) if she was a captain in her own right, nor is it known if she took part in much of the actual fighting. She was most likely the brains and force of personality behind the operation, handling the fleet's money as well as strategizing during conflict. Ching Shih is the one who orchestrated the downfall of the Chinese armada, commandeering all of the fire ships they sent in after her (and they sent a whole lot), repairing them, and using them to inflate her own fleet.
     
    skip.knox likes this.
  7. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Staff Article Team

    1,597
    809
    113
    Absolutely. Let's take the recent Wonder Woman movie as an example. Woman-led movie with a complex heroine who was allowed to be both tough and tender, courageous and pig-headed, flipping the narrative in interesting ways. Grossed more than the first Deadpool, which was no mean feat. I would say the public embraced her story, and then some.

    In our opinion, the world is ready for female characters to be complicated. To be able to mothers and monsters, to inhabit all the facets of humanity that male characters do. What we as writers need to do is have the bravery to write them. To not worry if they will be embraced and just write them as being people.

    Best wishes with your character. She sounds like a great deal of fun to write.
     
  8. argentquill

    argentquill Journeyman

    34
    8
    8
    Thank you. I'm posting my story in installments on my website. I love your phrase, "Able to be mothers and monsters." That's what I want to portray for the women of my barbarian kingdom and story - - to show different facets. One is not confined to a role just because one excels in it. One is not forbidden a role just because someone else excels in it.
    And, one theme I'm trying to pursue in this story is, we all have different gifts. Just because you don't have the same gift as another person, does not make you less important as a person. Even if their gift gets all the attention.
    This is why I set it up so her love interest is a blacksmith and magical item crafter. Just because he's not a warrior, doesn't mean he's unworthy of her.
    So I gave her a powerful body and personal insecurities (not that she admits it), and sent her out into the world to be the best woman she can be.
    Now, if I could just attract more readers to my site. I'm trying to get more familiar with google SEO.
     
Loading...

Share This Page