Correlation between Gender and Seafaring in the Book, Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring

640 WordsFeb 3, 20183 Pages
In Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring in the Atlantic World, 1700-1920, Margaret Creighton and Lisa Norling, in addition to their co- authors, studies the correlation between gender and seafaring. This collection of ten essays explores the basic theme of gender in seafaring in the Anglo- American age of sail, challenging the notion that the maritime realm was innately a masculine place. It also addresses the idea that women and institutions located shoreside were not at all related to the seafaring society. These essays offer an introduction to maritime history and the different social roles at sea and in sea side communities. The title itself implies the typical notion that the work at sea were for the masculine, while the women were as “stiff and objectified as the wooden figureheads that faced the sea" (p.vii). Some of the authors assert that gender is an essential part of seafaring but reveals the active roles the women played in the maritime industry. Others emphasize the relationship of masculinity and seafarers, and how it has strengthened within the past two hundred years as argued by Lisa Norling. She claims that men who worked at sea continued to be functionally codependent with the women whose job supported their family while they were gone. Haskell Springer exposes the irony that captain’s wives who decided to follow a non-traditional role of living at sea, lived more within the “separate spheres “ideology than the wives who stayed in land. Marcus

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