Vikings: Pro Woman?

I will fully admit that I spend way too much time binge watching my favorite tv shows. Recently, I have been watching the History Channel’s series Vikings.

Vikings is a fictional tale immersed in the “what if” surrounding the main character Ragnar Lothbrok, his family, clan and others competing for power in the age of the Vikings. The story is filled with drama and suspense. Many battles are waged and plots are formed. There are stories of love and of betrayal. Much gratuitous sex is had.

What I find fascinating about this show, is that women are given the chance to be not only lovers and mothers, but rulers and warriors in their own right. So, this got me thinking. Is this show pro woman?

It occurs to me that on this tv show, women are just as devious as the men and driven by many of the same motivations. They want to rule, they want to love, they want to watch their children grow.

What about their devotion to their children? The women are undoubtedly devoted, but the men are just as devoted. Of course, only the women can bear the children, but the male characters on this show seem just as invested in the creating and hope for the future of the children.Women are portrayed as the primary tenders to the physical needs of the children. Men and women both abandon the children to the clan to be raised while they are off raiding.

There are many lovers and couples. Marriage for the vikings is an equal partnership for the men and the women. They are both free to stay together or to leave each other.(Not so for the Christian French and English, though). Men and women are free to take lovers in the viking world and often have multiple partners over the course of a character. Men and women are both exploited as sexual objects, although in my opinion most of the female cast was selected based on appearance over the males.

In the world of warfare men and women are treated as equals. Both put their life on the line for the clan and train in the art of combat. Both bear the scars of war. All can go to Valhalla. Occasionally we have the “male rescuing female” scenario. Less often it is treated the  other way around.5a559dc0d80eb62635aafb0ef67baeba

As rulers, both male and females can be the kings and queens or “earls”. Most often with the French and English it is a male king with females being subjected to their whims. With the vikings both can rule, although even Ragatha was usurped by a male.

Even with its flaws, it seems that this show embraces an equality seldom seen on our screens.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this series. Feel free to comment below.






Writer’s Block….

How to Get Un-Stuck

It happens to all writers sooner or later. Yep, you know it. Writer’s Block.

It’s as frustrating as all get out. You stare at your computer screen and nothing, absolutely nothing wants to form into a coherent scene or sentence.

Somedays, writing is like magic. You’re in the zone. Your every thought materializes on the screen. Your characters are speaking to you, leading the way to your bestselling novel. And then the next day. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

So what can you do to get “unstuck”?

Freeform aka Brainstorm: Write anything. Type anything. Random thoughts. Nothing is good or bad. Don’t judge, just write. The nature of brainstorming is to put down whatever comes out without judging. Do this for about five minutes. Then, go back and take a look. You may have an idea there that you can build on.

Intentional Creativity: Start with a lead sentence or a word. Call a friend and ask for one word. Then, build upon it. Open a book to a random page. Read one sentence and then carry the story on from there. The idea is to get your mind off of puzzling over one idea and distract it by working on something else. Thus, unblocking you to return to the original subject fresh as a daisy later on.

Try something new: Don’t sit there and stare at the screen. Challenge yourself to get out of your pajamas, get dressed and go do something. Challenge your brain and body by trying something new. It could be an exercise class that engages your mind and your muscles. It could be learning new a skill like knitting that engages you brain and your hands. The idea is to get your creative juices flowing by challenging your brain to take on new tasks. Thus stimulating overall brain activity.

Try a different kind of writing: If you are a technical writer try creative writing. If you write poetry and prose try writing a research piece. The idea is to grow your talent while letting your mind take a break from the problem or idea that you are blocked on.

These tips have worked for me in the past and I hope they work for you.

Good news! I am now unstuck. Back to my regularly scheduled writing….