Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9434585:

Keep your hands to yourself 16 12, 9:23am

Sometimes I wonder where Humon gets her sources from. The Vikings didn't write down the laws until the introduction to Christianity and all the stories we know about the Viking society was primarily written down by outsiders, found in archaeological excavation or the Sagas which was written down hundreds of years after the introduction to Christianity. I guess this must be the Viking kingdoms in England or something, as I've never heard of such laws existing in Scandinavia. I do know that Olaf Haraldsson II of Norway did introduce something called the Christian Right, no Americans it's not some Republican right-wing movement, it was a series of laws which said a lot of different things and one thing they did was make punishment of rape and female kidnappings harsher.

In any case, what Humon tells might be true for all I know, just like the part about Vikings being particular concerned about their appearance, but just like that comic she doesn't tell how we know this. There are no records that the Vikings were particular brutal in cases of rape from either Christian or pagan sources. That's not to say they didn't rape, only that this was not something the Vikings were known for. Since women did enjoy more rights in Norse society than in the European society this does fit with women being having a high view on. But I'm also always careful when I read or hear patronising things about the Vikings as many people are biased and want to use the past to make a modern point. I see this all the time, whether it's about women's rights, democracy, abortion, gay rights, religious tolerance and etc. In any case, the patronising of the Vikings must also be understood as a counter reaction to the very negative view people in scholarship and many laypeople have had in the past.