Saturday, February 25, 2012
From the first moment she took over, Ching Shih soundly defeated all comers, including British and Portuguese warships called in by the Chinese for help. A fearless leader, she maintained strict discipline among her followers using violence with wild abandon and even castrated rapists whenever they were caught. In fact, her reputation was such that, at one point, the Admiral of the Chinese navy killed himself rather than be taken alive by her forces.
Finally, China admitted to itself that the commander of the Red Flag Fleet was unbeatable. So, in 1810, they offered amnesty to all pirates, at which point Ching Shih gathered up her loot, married her lieutenant, and settled down to run a gambling house and brothel for the rest of her life, making her one of the few pirates ever to retire undefeated -- not to mention alive. In-your-face-women know when to fight and when to walk away and they do what suits them.