Here’s why, as a religion scholar, I don’t mind the new female Thor

Thor-coverThere’s a lot of hoopla about Marvel’s new Thor, specifically the fact that he’s now a she. Perhaps part of the reaction is due to some recent overkill in feminizing the comic franchise, even to the point of renaming Asgard Asgardia.

All of that questionable political background aside, when it comes to Thor taking on a female form there’s really nothing to lose your cool about. That’s part of who Thor is and always has been.

First of all, the comic book Thor is notorious for getting dumped Avatar-like into the body of a mortal. That’s kinda the schtick Marvel uses here, first with Donald Blake, then with a various others like Jake Olson and Eric Masterson. Since it’s not the god’s body, what difference does its demographic matter?

To be honest, I’m really more surprised that feminists aren’t outraged at the idea of a woman only becoming more powerful by having an ostensibly male force enter her body. But, I’ll wait until they have time to think that one through.

And, to reach into my scholarly bag of comparative religion, anyone who knows much more about the Norse god Thor beyond the fact that he lent his name to a particularly alcoholic weekday, knows that Thor is a notorious cross-dresser.

Once upon a time, a giant stole Thor’s hammer and refused to return it unless he was given the goddess Freyja as his bride. When the gods presented her with the offer, Freyja went full Solange on the Asgardians to the point her magical necklace broke and fell off. So that plan was a no-go. Instead, Thor and Loki dressed up as women, Thor as Freyja and Loki as his/her maid. When they arrived at the giant’s home and the groom-to-be started trying to get frisky, “Freyja” demanded to see the hammer.

Well, you can guess what happened next. Lots of hammer-to-head action.

So, all of the freak-out fandorks who are rebelling against Thor taking on a female form, get over it. Not only is myth against you, but the premise of the comic franchise you claim to care so much about is against you.

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