This is nothing to do with chivalry, which had mutual obligations. This is #HeForShe; he exists only to serve Her needs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChivalryWhen examining medieval literature, chivalry can be classified into three basic but overlapping areas:
- Duties to countrymen and fellow Christians: this contains virtues such as mercy, courage, valour, fairness, protection of the weak and the poor, and in the servant-hood of the knight to his lord. This also brings with it the idea of being willing to give one’s life for another’s; whether he would be giving his life for a poor man or his lord.
- Duties to God: this would contain being faithful to God, protecting the innocent, being faithful to the church, being the champion of good against evil, being generous and obeying God above the feudal lord.
- Duties to women: this is probably the most familiar aspect of chivalry. This would contain what is often called courtly love, the idea that the knight is to serve a lady, and after her all other ladies. Most especially in this category is a general gentleness and graciousness to all women.
"The idea that men were to act and live deferentially on behalf of women and children, though an ancient principle, was already under attack by 1911 from militant suffragettes intent on leveling the political playing field by removing from the public mindset the notion that women were a 'weaker sex' in need of saving."
So we now accept that women are a weaker sex? No, of course not, in most situations; yes, of course, in a few.
Then why do they need saving? Why must they be carried about like the old or the crippled? (As a cripple, I demand women carry me about, dammit!)
If feminism was about equality, it would abhor chivalry. Instead it wants to use the old romanticism to make men serve women - yet what do we get in exchange?
What did women do in medieval society to serve their community?
They might mend clothing, give away food to the poor, or serve their husbands in marriage - which was related to the courting business, of course - the men gave before marriage to show they were good providers but women were expected to be their equal but different partners - not leeches, not charity cases, not their betters to be served for the joy of service.
Female characters, conversely, represented the intellectual side of chivalry — they are characters of reflection. Whenever a knight accomplished a great deed, he (or perhaps his vanquished foe) returned to Camelot to recount his actions to the Queen and ladies of the court.
In such instances, it was the job of the Queen and her ladies to either praise the knight for adhering to the true spirit of chivalry, or rebuke him for succumbing to the temptations of vanity, pride or greed.