What is the first idea that comes your mind when you think about Vikings? They are violent, strong people who plundered Northern Europe, killed thousands of people. Today, we can get more information about them from TV series Vikings. The story of Ragnar Lothbrok not only illustrates how did Vikings live but also shows that Vikings may be the role model of many men in today’s world. In his article “Masculinity as Homophobia”, Michael S. Kimmel focuses on stereotypes about men. Men always want to be muscular and aggressive, so that they can intimidate other men. They don’t want to be called a “sissy” as Kimmel explains. In Vikings, when they reach Britain, locals were terrified of them because of their huge axes and strong bodies. It can be said “They were afraid because Vikings were going to kill them, but that’s not the case in today’s society”. Even though it is true that no one will kill anyone without a reason now, ability to emasculate other men is essential.
In the show, Vikings were shown as the true ancestors of “real men”. They are strong and violent. They love to drink, children start to drink at age 12-13. They show their sexual desires openly. For example, when Rollo, the brother of the main character Ragnar, wanted to have sex, he finds a slave and does what he wants without asking anything. Still, they aren’t exactly the same with powerful man stereotype. For most of them, religion and their gods have utmost importance. For today’s “real” men, religion isn’t something important, even it is something for “sissies” to pray instead of to fight. Or for some of them, family is significant too. Men can have sex with others, but in the end, they return to their families. For Turkish perception of “real man”, it is valid. However, for many American men, getting laid with different women is more important.
Although there are some differences, mainly Vikings have “real man”‘s features. They are violent, strong, powerful and dominant. Thus, they are able to demonstrate their superiority. Men want to be like Vikings to show their superiority to others and arrest their feelings of insecurity. They want to escape from the effects of homophobia, which is defined as fear of other men by Kimmel in his article. To achieve all of these, Vikings are the main role model for most men and therefore, they reinforce traditional notions.