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.
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.