This research paper looks into the nature of gender and sexuality within Norse mythology. The Vikings never discussed sex directly, even when describing private scenes. They limited foreplay to a man “turning toward” a woman (leggja hond) and “laying his hand/arm/thigh” on his wife. Sexuality in Norse mythology only allowed sexual relations between men and women. Homosexuality was taboo. Taking the passive role (ergi; being the penetrated one) in a sexual relationship went against everything that “being a man” stood for in those times. Masculinity in German theories is regarded highly. However, some gods found themselves in awkward situations. For example, one could argue that Thor took on this role(ergi) when he had to dress as Freya to regain his Hammer in the Thrymsvida.
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THE HIGH POSITION OF GERMANIC WOMEN
The Asynjur are the female Goddesses in Norse mythology. They live together with the Aesir (the male Gods) in Asgard. Frigg is probably one of the most known Goddesses in Asgard. She is the Queen of the Aesir, and she is married to Odin, the chief of the Aesir. Masculinity in German theories was the order of the day. However, the Viking society respected the women so much that the Viking women had some fundamental rights. Compared with other European women’s lives at the same time, Viking women’s lives were much more civilized. Sexuality in Norse mythology represented how much control men had over women in matters of control. However, there were some mighty women in Norse mythology, such as Freya – the goddess of war.
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NATURE OF GENDER AND SEXUALITY, MASCULINITY AND MANNERBUND IN GERMAN THEORIES
The term Mannerbund refers to all-male warrior associations in ‘primitive societies.’ According to Heinrich Schurtz, masculinity in German theories made men stronger socially compared to women. Boys needed initiation rites to ensure their separation from the mother and maternally dominated realm of the family. According to Norse mythology, rites of passage allowed men to fulfill their role as creators of larger social formations. Men were also at the center of academic attention. While sexuality in Norse mythology occurred naturally, masculinity was somehow unnatural. Schurtz views masculinity in German theories as a cure for current social uncertainties on gender identities and relations. His approach naturalized men’s role as leaders of the state and society.
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