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Trans and flawed badasses who never made it into the history books



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The Viking Birka warrior

Okay, if that last entry leaned into a nonconformity, this one sheds some light on how stupid modern binary obsession can get. For centuries, people assumed that this 10th century Viking warrior’s grave was a man because, well, all that stuff in the grave – high-quality weapons, horses, a playset (GamerBros apparently existed in the 10th century). The grave wasn’t just a few warrior paraphernalia, what was not it was significantalso: namely the lack of household tools, which are typically buried with Viking women.

Anyway, in 2017 a research team led by Charlotte Hendenstierna-Jonson basically said, “Whoops, our bad” and revealed that the person in the grave was a woman. While this shouldn’t be too strange – the purely female Valkyries were very much part of Viking mythology and Viking literature is littered with strong women who win battles – people anyway lost their shit when the gender of the Birka warrior was announced. The research team faced significant setbacks from other historians, with some even speculating that they were analyzing the wrong bones. It was Vertigo, sexist criticism based on little more than “boys fight, women cook, the stuff in the grave fought against stuff.” This criticism not only offends the researchers. It just goes to show how stupid it is to keep gender strictly binary.

Tancredi Valeri / Antique Publications
They also included this van mural-worthy illustration that makes us wonder if there are any other Doodles in our middle school folder were real.




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