Valkyrie, also spelled Walkyrie, were a group of maidens who served the god Odin and were sent by him to the battlefields to choose the slain who were worthy of a place in Valhalla, a realm of the Norse afterlife that Vikings aspired in life to enter upon their death.
And then you have the legendary matriarchate of the Amazonas.
The eighth-century B.C. poet Homer was the first to mention the existence of the Amazonas. In the Iliad—which is set 500 years earlier, during the Bronze or Heroic Age—Homer referred to them somewhat cursorily as Amazonas antianeirai, an ambiguous term that has resulted in many different translations, from “antagonistic to men” to “the equal of men.”
In 1861 a Swiss law professor and classical scholar, named Johann Jakob Bachofen, published his radical thesis that the Amazonas were not a myth but a fact. It comes as no surprise that the composer Richard Wagner was enthralled by Bachofen’s writings. Brünnhilde and her fellow Valkyries could be easily mistaken for flying Amazons.
Most anthropologists hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal and define modern time wannabe amazonas as an extreme, feminist wing of humanity.
In this time of a rising tide of gender equality issues, the prospect that there existed female warriors is butter upon the bread of feminist activists. Girls don´t want to be girls anymore so long as their feminine archetype lacks force, strength and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are.
Contemporary bestselling US literature favors the female lawyer or detective as main protagonist. Writers such as Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, and Marcia Muller create compelling feminist protagonists to fill the role of detective. The successes and failures of these feminist detectives have then been measured against the standards created in the classic genre by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain. It is clear that feminist hard-boiled detective fiction is a genre of political protest, even better received when served with some LBTQ sauce.
Women in the modern art period have thrived in all types of mediums — prints and drawings, painting and photography, sculpture, installation art, performance art, and many more. The field of contemporary art is abundant in female visionaries who continue to challenge the norms with their constant innovations and are never afraid to express their points of views and earn their deserved canonical spots in art history.
As Marina Abramović put it “The artist in a disturbed society is to give awareness of the universe, to ask the right questions, and to elevate the mind”.