While Skyldlings believe there are distinct genders, this is largely irrelevant to most activities. Behaviours such as teaching children, farming, fighting, arguing, civic duties, expression of emotion, crafting, cleaning, creative pursuits, hetero- and homosexuality, and other day-to-day activities are all ways in which females can demonstrate their femininity, males can demonstrate their masculinity, and omnispirit Skyldings can express their gender. Gender does play a part in mental and spiritual distress, and in some ceremonies.
Spirit of Ve: Femininity is centred around the notion of being like the seasons: strong, dynamic, cyclical, nurturing, and destructive. Feminine Skyldings are considered to be life-creators and life-removers. Their mental and spiritual well-being may be in jeopardy if they are stagnant year to year. Feminine Skyldings who do not nurture new life, either through child-bearing, animal husbandry, or horticulture, may be out of spiritual and mental balance. Likewise, those that do not take life, either through warfare, butchery, fishing, or other means may be out of spiritual and mental balance. As females naturally bleed regularly, feminine Skyldingd are always considered clean.
Body of Vili: Masculinity is centred around the notion of growing like a tree: strong, flexible, nurturing, thriving, and collective. Masculine Skyldings are considered to have ‘sap’ that must be allowed to flow on a regular basis, in the form of blood, sweat, and tears. Their mental and spiritual well-being may be in jeopardy if they are brittle, inflexible, spread themselves too thin, grow too fast, fail to nurture those around them, or are isolated from the rest of the community. Likewise, if they fail to ‘sap’ themselves regularly they are considered to be unclean, and cleansing themselves usually involves bleeding through battle, crying in emotion, or sweat through hard work, or a Godi lead ceremony followed by ritual washing. Unclean masculine Skyldings are not allowed to prepare food, heal the sick, be near pregnant females or newborn children, care for the dead, or make love.
One’s gender is considered a choice though generally follows one's birth sex (male or female). It is formally chosen at the coming of age ceremony when they are sixteen. Before this point children are encouraged to explore and play with the different aspects of themselves, and consult with a Godi before their gender is affirmed. Children are not considered to be of any gender.
Life of Odin: Masculine females and feminine males are considered to be Omnispirit. Omnispirit is a third gender that is considered to be spiritually enlightened. They follow aspects of both genders, usually emphasising the one opposite their birth sex, but omnispirit people are not held to the same gender constraints as the rest of society. They can often take up both masculine or feminine roles in ritual ceremonies, and are always considered clean. Offspring influenced by omnispirit lovers are considered lucky. At their first coming of age ceremony they are offered a choice in what bonds they take in their future life. Either they can continue on as all other Skyldings to have union, blood, and alliance bonds, or they can choose instead to bond themselves to the Disir of Skyldingheim itself. If they choose this option they cannot enter any other bonds, but their connection to the Disir gives them a spiritual connection to Odin (see the facet Breath of Odin in rules document). Breaking this bond with the Disir is akin to renouncing your clan and choosing to leave behind your home. As such, very few Skyldings in history have ever attempted this, and all left the town soon afterwards. Omnispirit who do not choose a Disir bond at their first coming of age ceremony can do so later in life if they chose so, but must first break any union and blood bonds they have.
See how gender was created in the world, and a summary of the GM's reasoning for several of the decisions here.