The Asatru Folk Assembly provoked a good deal of controversy in heathen circles with this statement: “Today we are bombarded with confusion and messages contrary to the values of our ancestors and our folk. The AFA would like to make it clear that we believe gender is not a social construct, it is a beautiful gift from the holy powers and from our ancestors. The AFA celebrates our feminine ladies, our masculine gentlemen and, above all, our beautiful white children. The children of the folk are our shining future and the legacy of all those men and women of our people back to the beginning. Hail the AFA families, now and always!”
This interesting page has some information about the archeological record. It seems that the Viking gentlemen were not as butch and the Viking ladies not as feminine as many believe. This presumably applied to the Nordic peoples generally….
“The skeletons reveal another difference between us and the Vikings: men’s and women’s faces were more similar in appearance in the Viking Age than they are today.
“It’s actually more difficult to determine the gender of a skeleton from the Viking era,” says Harvig. “The men’s skulls were a little more feminine and the women’s skulls a little more masculine than what we’re seeing today. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all skeletons from the Viking period, but generally it’s quite difficult to determine the gender of a Viking Age skeleton.”
She explains that Viking women often had pronounced jawbones and eyebrows, whereas in the men, these features were more feminine than what archaeologists are accustomed to when trying to determine the gender of ancient skeletons.”
This is in line with what the Roman historian Tacitus said of German women:
“The dowry is brought by husband to wife, not by wife to husband. Parents and kinsmen attend and approve the gifts — not gifts chosen to please a woman’s fancy or gaily deck a young bride, but oxen, a horse with its bridle, or a shield, spear and sword. In consideration of such gifts a man gets his wife, and she in her turn brings a present of arms to her husband. This interchange of gifts typifies for them the most sacred bond of union, sanctified by mystic rites under the favor of the presiding deities of wedlock. The woman must not think that she is excluded from aspirations to manly virtues or exempt from the hazards of warfare. That is why she is reminded, in the very ceremonies which bless her marriage at the outset, that she enters her husband’s home to be the partner of his toils and perils, that both in peace and war she is to share his sufferings and adventures.”
Liberated ladies in other words…