Only in 2017, was it revealed via DNA analyses that the ancient remains of a Viking warrior was not male but female. According to a national geographic article, “More than a millennium ago in what’s now southeastern Sweden, a wealthy Viking warrior was laid to rest in a resplendent grave filled with swords, arrowheads, and two sacrificed horses.” Modern scientists assumed the warrior was male. Viking lore and sagas suggested there were women warriors, but archaeologists evidently imposed current gender roles to dismiss the idea as embroidery to myths.
Since the discovery of the Birka warrior in the 1880s, the assumption of male remains continued until 2014, when Anna Kjellström presented at a conference her findings that close examination of the pelvic and mandible bones were consistent with a female’s. When archaeologists defended the long-held view it was male, they tried to explain away her claim, but another archaeologist, Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson did careful DNA research establishing the gender. In fact, game pieces found in the lap indicated she was involved in planning tactics.
Expected gender roles have varied with time. Pioneer women worked in the fields although suntans were consequently non-fashionable. Being pale meant being wealthy enough for wives and daughters to remain quietly indoors. Laura Ingalls Wilder wore long dresses and sunbonnets with large bills when outdoors.
It is unbelievable that the right to vote took a one-hundred-year battle.
The Rosie the Riveter period was followed by a considered effort to get women back home to make way to provide jobs for the men coming home from war. Never have there been more ads to prevent “waxy yellow buildup.” Not only must floors be waxed to a shine, one must occasionally remove layer upon layer. Not everyone fell for it.
Women are currently showing their political muscle against sexual abuse and requiring sexual favors for job security and promotion.
This blog was written in honor of the upcoming nationwide Women’s Marches on January 20th. I’m tempted to carry a spear with last year’s sign with the coiled snake and Revolutionary War slogan “Don’t tread on me.” Hmm, maybe I can put spear points on the ends of the poles of the sign. Yes, I like that idea. Now if I can only find a Viking helmet..