chapter  11
23 Pages

Maritime women

If the maritime world can be thought of as having a gender, the world of the northern seas, as well as that of other seas, has very definitely been traditionally regarded as a male one. Indeed, in the various stereotypes of the seafaring professions seen in the preceding chapters – the promiscuous, free-roving Jack Tar or the Scandinavian sailor who was, in contrast to mere landlubbers, ‘a real man’ – it is precisely the traditionally masculine characteristics of manliness, bravery, physical strength and fearlessness that have been highlighted. No wonder that a male author, writing as late as the 1960s about maritime women, could still refer to his subject as one which ‘combines two great unknowns – women and the sea’.1