You Must Be Joking: Viking Warriors Were Girls?

9610971_sWRONG.

Apparently, the scientists who decided that Vikings that invaded England in the 9th century were almost all dudes totally just assumed that because they were buried with swords. Obviously, burial with a phallic symbol MUST mean that you have a penis, right?

WRONG.

Let me explain something to you, now-obsolete-science-guy. The whole point of science is NOT to jump to conclusions. ‘Cause if the obvious conclusion was always right, then the world would be flat, electricity would be magic and the moon would be made of cheese. Hmmm… cheese…

Anywho.

As any girl attendee of Comic Con can tell you, boys are NOT the only ones who like to play with swords. And a study published in the historical journal, Medieval History, which re-examines a Viking burial site in Northern England and found it half full of chicks, proves it. Turns out, when you bother to actually examine the bones of Viking warriors, there is a lot less testosterone going around than we thought there was. In fact, of the 14 bodies in the mound that were examined, six turned out to be women.

Yes. That’s right. Viking women with swords, buried right alongside Viking men with swords. Take THAT anti-feminist “traditionalists” who want to go back to the “good old days” when women were barefoot and pregnant. Turns out, in the good old days girls had big mother f’ing swords and knew how to use them.

The idea of a woman warrior tradition among the Viking raiders shouldn’t be that surprising. Think of the Viking myth of the Valkyries — badass vixens who came and collected the souls of those who died in battle and brought them to Valhalla where they’d get the supreme pleasure of drinking, eating and fighting and generally having an awesome time. Those mythical warrior goddesses had to be based on something, right?

Now, Valhalla sounds a few mani-pedis short of my definition of heaven, but hey, I’m not a Viking warrior. The important thing we’ve learned here is that I could have been, if I’d wanted to.

This is why I love history. Not only is it WAY weirder than you’d ever expect it to be, it likes to remind us on a regular basis that, all patriarchal assumption to the contrary, girls can do everything boys can do and we can do it backwards in heels. It’s true now and it was true in 9th century England when at least six Viking ladies were running around conquering stuff and probably being just as badass as their hubbies.

And now we start the countdown to the assortment of Viking Warrior Lady movies, television shows and comic books that are sure to erupt after this news hits Hollywood. In fact, I bet someone is fitting Katherine Heigl for a breast plate and long sword right now.


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1 comment

  1. Nikki!

    Hell yes! That’s why I named my bike Grane, after the Valkyrie Bruennhilde’s noble steed, and channeled female badassery to do my Ironman last Saturday, which is a deeply unladylike activity. Viking chicks freaking rule.

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