Home > Film > A Knight’s Tale – Prove yourself!

A Knight’s Tale – Prove yourself!

I want to start by saying that I actually enjoyed A Knight’s Tale (and it has a nice father-son relationship). While not a masterpiece, it was a fun movie. I am not going to criticize it, but there is a theme in it which I find interesting and which appears in many parts of the media.

What I speak of is the concept of a man ‘proving his love’, as we see in A Knight’s Tale. In this film, this young would-be-knight is asked to prove his love to the fair lady. He does so, winning her heart and all such stuff.

This plot element is common, not only in knightly tales but in many forms of drama. It often takes the form of men changing themselves or their life styles drastically. It is also not just fictional, as such activities have been going on through much of history.

Now, I have no problem with someone going out of their way to prove their love (although it seems a bit rude to tell someone to prove their love to you). What I find interesting is that it only ever seems to be men who do this proving, both historically and in media.

I can only think of a very few cases where a woman has had to prove her love to a man. And when a man does want a woman to prove her love, he is usually portrayed as a jerk who the women soon dumps. I wonder why that is.

It obviously isn’t completely a modern media construct, since there are examples of it going back many thousands of years. However, one might have expected to see women doing such deeds of daring do after feminism graced our shores, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Men are still apparently expected, in many cases, to demonstrate their loyalty.

I actually find the contradiction in this rather amusing. Throughout history, men have often been held to the highest standards of honesty and honor. A man’s word is his oath, as it were. On the other hand, you have women, who have often had the reputation of being manipulative and not so prone to keeping their word.

Yet here we see how a man’s loyalty must be proven, while a woman’s is taken for granted.

The reason for all this, as given in A Knight’s Tale, is that a woman doesn’t want to

Uncross her legs for nothing.

That is understandable, in a world where any intimate relationship could lead to pregnancy, and with no courts to enforce paternal responsibility.

However, that is no longer the case. Contraception gives women fairly complete control over pregnancy, and if there is one thing our courts actually do it is enforce paternal responsibility (if not paternal rights, but that’s a different issue).

That would make you think that men shouldn’t need to prove any special loyalty, since a woman will only take on extra responsibility from a relationship (ie, motherhood) if she wishes it.

It seems then that it would make sense that both men and women are equally responsible for their own loyalty and that neither should have anything extra to prove.

If anything, in this world of paternity fraud, mother-centric family courts, abusive restraining orders and unfair domestic violence policies, it is women who should have to prove that they will not take advantage of their partners.

Yet it seems men still must prove themselves.

For equality’s sake, I guess we should start having women wrestle wild animals to prove their love.

I know some hungry mountain lions out in the hills. We could have cougar-versus-cougar matches. Any takers?

Categories: Film Tags: , , , ,
  1. AQ
    February 12, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    These antiquated ideas seem to have no place in modern society, for either sex. In my experience, the women I know don’t actually expect men to prove their love through some act of foolishness/violence/etc. I suspect this is one of those things you see in movies, but not so much in real life.

    So overall, I agree with you that “both men and women are equally responsible for their own loyalty”.

    But, your comment that “I know some hungry mountain lions out in the hills. We could have cougar-versus-cougar matches. Any takers?”, while clearly in jest, is really rather offensive in the context of this serious blog post. If you want women to treat men with respect, speaking insulting and disrespectfully about women is not the right way to achieve that.

    • February 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      I was not intending to be insulting.
      I was just making a joke on the tradition of men wrestling bears and the like.
      (The cougar pun was just too good to resist)

      And I do respect women, provided they act respectable.
      For example, I greatly respect women who work hard to better themselves without feeling the need to degrade the men around them to do so.

      There are just a lot of cases where that isn’t the case.
      Like spoiled princesses.

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