Innocent Sigyn they call her, sweet Sigyn they call her. They see her gentle features and they think her childlike and weak. Not one of them has ever got close enough to touch the core of stone at the center of her being. Not a single one of them has ever seen her sweetness for what it is: A part of her, oh yes, but also a protective camouflage that keeps her invisible. That makes her seem harmless and unthreatening.
How she hates them all: The big, burly men with their weapons and boasts, who call each other “woman” to wound and insult. The cunning wives who hide their own strength so as not to threaten their husbands'. She hates them, she despises them, she laughs at them in secret.
Not even the most cunning among them seems to have realised what she has known to be true since she was old enough to think: That there is a strength and a courage that has nothing to do with the kinds of fights warriors long for. What bard sings of the iron will of the mother who has buried eight children and still has love left for the remaining three? What stories are told of the patience of women, waiting for their lovers to return, year after year, the entire burden of the household resting on them? What warrior is strong enough, brave enough, to spend weeks in a sick room smelling of vomit and decay, sleeping in stolen snatches, yet never wavering in kindness and care? What chieftain has ever endured the agony and terror of a birth stretched over too many hours and yet gone on to bear another child?
She despises them, all of them, who cannot see the strength of womenfolk and yet long for it. She hates them for the self-hatred and disgust they feel for those parts of themselves that long for a woman's care, that need their wives and crave their protection. When her brothers were boys they would come to her and hide in her skirts when frightened. They would let her sooth their pains and feel safe in her arms. Now that they are grown men they would be shamed to remember this. Yet, is she any less brave and strong than she was when they were children? She has not lost her power to banish the monsters, yet they would scorn her if she offered.
She hates, and she scorns, and she raves silently, vowing never to take a husband at all if it means forfeiting the power that is hers, the freedom that is hers, the courage that is her very own.