Did you know Viking Women Can Divorce Husbands For Sexual Incompatibility?

3 min readMay 8, 2021
Artwork by Incrediville

“Make you own damn sandwich.” — Viking girls⁠
🎨 by @incrediville

During the middle ages, when women’s rights were even nowhere to be found, the female Vikings in Norway were living their best lives.⁠

Not only could they own land and property, but they could also pick careers that were previously exclusive to men. Merchants, priests, or even generals waving axes were all open for women.⁠

That’s not it. Women in the Viking Age were sassy af and had complete control over their marriages. They could ask for a divorce and grab their property under three conditions:⁠
🛠 Domestic violence⁠
🤦‍♀️ Disappointing sex lives⁠
😳 The husband shows too much skin (or is just a drag queen?)⁠

In fact, they don’t even need to wait until any of this happens. Female Vikings can basically always propose a divorce, even without the consent of their husbands: no legal issues, no courts, no drama. The lady is the queen.⁠

Let’s not mess with them. CC:https://www.history.co.uk/article/did-viking-shield-maidens-really-exist

⁠Scandinavia is well known for its ideal towards gender equality. From parental leave benefits and women representing in the government, the nordic countries have been a modern model.

Well, not exactly. It’s actually been around more than one thousand years ago. The vikings didn’t put any pressure on women to be a good house wife at all. Instead, they had control over their own property and had full freedom over their lives. Single female vikings were even living off a better life if they wanted to.

What are female vikings actually called? A shield-maiden. (Old Norse: skjaldmær) At least according to Scandinavian folklore and myths. Because everyone knows defense is key if you want to win battles. Women in the vikings age were proudly represented as tough, strong, dependable humans. And yes, I wouldn’t mind if you just reminded yourself of the Valkyries.

Taming cats looks like fun. CC: Wikimedia Commons

Another thing about Vikings that you probably don’t know is that they, like us, are huge cat fans. Like, we’re cat slaves compared to them.

On the big piece of land called Europe in the Middle Ages, cats were seen as evil and blamed and hated by the church. Across the sea in Scandinavia, cats can be gods. The love goddess in Norse mythology, Freyja, rides a chariot pulled by two big and beautiful cats.

On the other hand, cats are also a symbol of good luck in daily human lives. For example, if the weather is nice at a wedding, people would say the bride must be feeding the cats well. Because Freyja is there to bless the humans treating cats well. Some even say that Viking brides might have a chance to receive a free cat as a gift from the gods.

For pet lovers, have you noticed that domesticated animals tend to grow smaller in size? Like, there must be a reason why Freyja had giant cats, right? Studies have shown that the local breed — Norwegian Forest Cats — is actually 16% bigger than the average size of a modern pet cat. I kinda wish I was a Viking now because I’ve always wanted to ride on my cat.





Illustrating science since 2017 from Taipei. We serve fast food for the thought in this town. (っ◔◡◔)っ This is where we keep our fact sources and art.