The Warrior Women of Ancient Norse Society

The Warrior Women of Ancient Norse Society

Much of the historical texts of the lives of women paint a picture of women who had little to no rights as compared to their male counterparts. Typically women, especially those of ancient European society, were expected to be under the authority of her husband; with the male in charge of all finances, land, and political posts; traditions that followed the Europeans even into the New World (Calloway, 2013). However, in ancient Norse society a woman experienced a latitude of freedoms that European women could only long for and would not see for many centuries to come. Viking women were in charge of financial matters of their families (Short, 2017), managed farms and property in the absence of their husbands (Short, 2017), led battles as warriors (Whipple, 2017), became powerful rulers and political leaders (Foss, 2013), and could acquire vast amounts of land ownership (Short, 2017).

Native American Slave Trade

Europeans brought with them more than just disease and warfare during their invasion of North America, they also brought with them African slaves. Although Native Americans had a slave type of system pre-Europeans there was a difference from the Europeans the Native American slave systems. For example, Native American slaves were, in essence, captives from wars and were not treated as a type of inhuman or subhuman property, like the Europeans did with the African slaves.[1]

The Three Waves of Feminism in America

“Feminism is defined as the belief in social, political and economic equality between the sexes” (Issitt, 2013).  There have been waves of the feminist movement in America” the Suffragette Movement, the movements of the 1960’s – 1980’s, and the modern-day expanses which have moved into a more all-inclusive movement. Each era of the feminist movement has attempted to empower women and help bring an end to gender prejudice within society, with the modern movements focusing upon not only women’s empowerment but society as a whole.

A Shift in Government. The Cherokee Constitution.

The Cherokee Constitution was a reflection of the European influence upon Native American society.  When the Native Americans were first encountered by the Europeans, their cultures were misidentified based upon European conceptions. For example, “Indian societies, which were bound by kinship, clan, and village rather than by a larger tribal alliance”[1] was mislabeled as a tribal government system.

Land Ownership? A Different View.

Treaty of Fort Stanwix

One of the reoccurring themes in relation to conflicts between European settlers and Native Americans was the idea of land ownership. The European idea of land ownership was that of a titled deed or another official paper document. Furthermore, the European concept of individuals owning land was a foreign concept to that of the Native American communal living practices. Europeans also claimed land “they found in North America is theirs by “right of discovery”.[1]