Arthurian Knights “Too Bi and Too Feminist For HIS Red Pill,” Local Man Finds

So, the main reason I’m writing this article is for that title, BUT BOY OH BOY DO I HAVE A GEM TO SHARE. A special, very whiny gem.

I would post links, but I’d rather not pingback to his blog. I don’t feel like dealing with tiny angry manosphere bots today! If you want to read further or if you doubt what I say, you can find further information by doing a few quick google searches. Sorry!

So, for those lucky, lucky people who don’t know what Red Pill is, it’s an extremely silly and extremely abusive philosophy all about how to pick up girls. At its best, it makes the men who subscribe to it look like asses. At its worst, it gets fairly rapey. The man I speak of today does not self-identify as Red Pill, but…he basically is. He’s a weird Christian offshoot of Red Pill, and instead of talking about how to abuse your many one-night stands, this man talks about the much more moral and Christian practice of abusing your wife! A truly noble man, everyone. Ladies and gentlefolk, I present to you: Dalrock!

Now, ordinarily, when I run across Red Pill…websites (so to speak) like these, I roll my eyes, get out the holy water and crucifix, and move on with my day. But I didn’t do that with this website! Because, much to my horror and fascination, I found that this man had written quite a bit on a subject I happen to love very much–Arthurian legend. I read the articles with great trepidation. How would this internet ‘warrior’ twist the tales to fit his ideology this time around?

Much to my relief, he did not twist them to fit his ideology. No. He hates these stories. Gawain and Lancelot have managed to piss off the manosphere, and I could not be more proud of my boys. I’m a little teary-eyed at the moment.*

*With laughter. The tears are from me laughing.

So, why does this man spend so much time getting angry at two (amazing and adorable, if I may say so myself) sixth century knights? I don’t know! Why do manospherians do anything! But no, seriously: He hates them because Lancelot and Gawain respect women too much. He also finds them degenerate because they are bi. This is the BEST news you possibly could have given me. They’re medieval knights! Medieval writers told these stories and these characters are still too respectful of women–and humans, really–for this man! What does Dalrock want?

Well, he wants control, and free rein to abuse other people, so perhaps we shouldn’t ask that question. But did it occur to none of the poor men who read his blog that following a man who literally has more extreme values than men in the medieval era was not a good idea?

But yes. Lancelot loves and respects women too much. He listens to Guinevere and sacrifices for her! How dare he. He should put her in her place because she’s a woman and women are gross. Dalrock also has the, ah…interesting view that Lancelot, in rescuing Guinevere from Meliagrance, was trying to defend Guinevere from Meliagrance’s ‘slut shaming,’ rather than saving her from literally being burned at the stake. Heh. But Lancelot is not only polite to his girlfriend! He also, horror of horrors, is nice to a girl he’s not into. A girl attempts to pressure Lancelot into sleeping with her, and Lancelot is polite when he turns her down! What next, will Lancelot advocate for women’s right to vote or something?? God, the degeneracy.

I wouldn’t blame Lancelot at all if he were rude to the woman. Pressuring someone into having sex with you is a horrible thing to do. But Lancelot is not rude, and I think that says nothing bad about him, and I think Dalrock taking such offense to this says everything bad about Dalrock.

Anyway, no one tell him about Gawain, the knight who respected his wife so much that there was a whole ballad about it, and who also had a very famous story where he kissed a fairy knight–oh wait. Someone already did tell him about these stories. This should be fun.

At least in the tale of St. George there is no three way make-out session between the knight, the nobleman, and the nobleman’s wife.

–Dalrock

Amazing. It’s lucky he hasn’t heard of that time Gawain told Lancelot that he wished he were a girl so he and Lancelot could fall in love. Dalrock’s head might explode.

He also manages to miss the moral of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, of course (but doesn’t he miss the moral on everything!). It’s…not about how you should be perfectly okay with making out with another man’s wife. Gawain actively tries to not make out with the man’s wife. Gawain is caught, not between some distinction between the rules of chivalry and the rules of courtly love, but simply between two conflicting rules of chivalry. If he sleeps with the man’s wife, he has betrayed Bertilak, his host, but he cannot be rude to Bertilak’s wife, either. So Gawain compromises by giving Bertilak’s wife a brief kiss. Gawain simply finds himself in a situation where there is no good answer according to the morality structure in the poem, and he does as best as he can. The moral of the poem is not ‘making excuses for adultery.’ No, the moral of the poem is forgiveness.

Gawain messes up. He promises to give Bertilak the things he found, but when Bertilak’s wife gives Gawain a girdle that she says will save him, he keeps it for himself. He breaks his promise, and the Green Knight criticizes him for it. But the Green Knight is also not going to let Gawain wallow in guilt. He laughs at him a little and tells him, essentially, to move on with his life. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is about accepting that you’re human. It’s about not letting a mistake define you–even though it was a bad mistake! Your mistake doesn’t make you who you are, and it’s not even that important, in the grand scheme of things. Eventually you have to set down your guilt and focus on being a better person in the future.

But of course forgiveness is something that Dalrock wouldn’t understand anyway, so it’s pointless engaging with his writing in this way, and I don’t know why I bother. But it’s something that upsets me to a strange extent–although the article is certainly too foolish for me to rationally get upset over it! Perhaps it only makes me sad that someone would have so hard a time understanding compassion and empathy. And he claims to be a Christian! (I think he’s a heretic. If your only purpose in following Christianity is to take biblical passages out of context as an excuse to abuse women, then you are a heretic.)

The comment section for one of his articles on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (yes, he wrote more than one misbegotten article about this) is also rather amusing–oh look, some poor schmuck doesn’t know what a girdle is!–OH NO SOMEONE BROUGHT UP THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM I HAVE TO RUN. Get your filthy paws OFF my religious doctrine.

Oh, and he also wrote more than one article on Gawain and Dame Ragnelle, and they probably aren’t worth looking up because they aren’t especially amusing, but all I’m going to say is this. If you aren’t human enough to understand why Gawain let Ragnelle decide something for herself instead of selfishly choosing what would benefit him, then you aren’t human enough to have a wife. God, I hope women stay away from these men. I hope the ones who claim to be married have made up their wives. Just…I can’t. How is it so hard for some people to comprehend making an unselfish, kind decision?

Anyway, my sons Lancelot and Gawain have made the manosphere very angry and I could not be more proud of my boys. But Dalrock is right about one thing and one thing only: The alt-right should reject these stories. If Nazis, the manosphere, and the rest of the alt-right were to truly read the tales and look at them for what they are, they could never love them. Arthurian legends are not for the alt-right to take, and they never have been. I fully believe that even Mordred and Agravaine would hate Nazis, and you cannot change my mind! But to be more serious, these tales, while certainly not always perfectly moral, are antithetical to the alt-right’s beliefs. Gawain is willing to respect his wife Ragnelle and treat her like a human being. Lancelot is willing to respect Guinevere and, again, treat her like a human being–or perhaps something greater than a human being, because Lancelot and Guinevere are Like That. Gawain and Lancelot both certainly come off as bisexual in some tales! Bedivere is disabled in some stories and everyone still treats him with a lot of respect–and he’s also portrayed as a very good fighter and quite badass. 🙂 Palomides and his brother Safir are Middle Eastern and Feirefiz is biracial! These Arthurian knights aren’t the symbols you think they are, Nazis. They’re the people you hate.

The Arthurian legends are certainly NOT perfect, morally or socially speaking. They were written by people in the medieval era, and there is values dissonance contained in a lot of these stories. But they’re also not stories that the alt-right can logically claim.

Anyway, Nazis and the alt-right need to stop misappropriating European folklore and mythology. /rant

But I digress. ‘Arthurian legends are too feminist’ is not all Dalrock has to say! Dalrock also has some…interesting ideas about the modern conservative’s beliefs. He, ah…seems to think that conservatives subscribe to some form of courtly love?

Look, I’m not conservative, but even I know that conservatives don’t have a fantasy of their wife falling in love with the company employee and having a beautiful, star-crossed romance with him until the husband’s evil nephew-who-is-also-his-son exposes the affair in a bid for power, upon which the husband and the nephew-who-is-also-the-son fight in the company parking lot and then the company falls. Or at least most conservatives don’t, anyway. And it’s possible that Dalrock is merely talking about the exaltation of the woman in the courtly love structure rather than the rest of the whole shebang, but…most conservatives don’t believe in the exaltation of women either?? There are conservatives out there who have respect for women, but show me one place that the exaltation of feminine power is embedded into conservative philosophy? (Actually, don’t, I don’t want to waste my time arguing with a bunch of angry little manospherians.) I’ve heard of conservatives praising soft feminine power, as in the power women wield within the home. But I’ve never heard of conservatives arguing that men should obey their girlfriends’ every absurd command without question. I seriously don’t understand where he’s getting this from! I will say that the mental image of every modern conservative dreaming about being able to live out the Arthurian saga has brought me much joy, so thank you, Dalrock. It’s the one good thing you’ve ever done.

Update: HE CALLS THEM CUCKSERVATIVES Y’ALL HE CALLS THEM CUCKSERVATIVES.

Hold on a second. I had an inspiration. Allow me to present a short story about conservatism as envisioned by Dalrock:

And the maiden sent her friend down the bleachers to speak with her lover. “Tell him to lose the football game for me,” she commanded her friend. The man agreed, for his heart belonged to his lady. If his heart did not belong to her, he could certainly score as many touchdowns as he wished! But he was in thrall to her, and how could he do otherwise than she wished? Her heart was his heart, and to defy the commands of his heart would be unnatural.

At half-time, the maiden sent the friend down the bleachers again. “Tell him to win the football game for me,” she told her friend. The man’s heart leaped within his chest as he looked at the fair maiden sitting in the bleachers. At the sight of her beauty, he was inspired to greater lengths than he had ever gone to before, and in a short while, the field was his.

But I must bring a sad end to this saga. Dalrock finally laid his blog to rest in the year of our Lord 2020, January 22nd. He assures us that he has not decided to become a better person embrace chivalry or feminism, because we really needed to know that. R.I.P., Dalrock’s blog. R.I.P.

So, uh…Yeah. Finding Dalrock’s blog was a very interesting and amusing experience. I enjoyed watching the manosphere get really angry over thousand-year-old stories, so I thought maybe you would enjoy it too. I also just wanted to share Lancelot and Gawain’s accomplishment in being too feminist and bisexual for the manosphere. I’m seriously so happy right now.

Anyway, don’t get into Red Pill, people! Get over your issues and learn that Abusing People is Not Okay! Go out, learn to see people as human beings, and love yourselves! Peace out.

The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle

I was browsing Pinterest a while back, and I came across someone lamenting the lack of reverse-gender Beauty and the Beast type fairy tales. There actually are a few, and it made me remember one of my very favorite stories, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle. Anyway, I kept planning on making a post about the story, but I never got around to it, as usual. But here I am! With a post. Let us begin.

Arthur and his knights have gone on a hunting trip in Inglewood Forest. They see a large hart, and Arthur separates from his knights to chase it, going off alone. Arthur finally manages to kill it, but right after, a knight he does not know comes up to him. The knight tells him that Arthur has wronged him for many years, for Arthur has given his land to Sir Gawain. He also threatens to kill Arthur, which is nice. What better way of resolving your legal disputes than to throw the kingdom into peril, am I right? Arthur asks for his name, and the knight replies that his name is Sir Gromer-Somer Joure.

I have to ask how that’s pronounced. Like. Does it rhyme. It sounds hard to say.

Anyway, Arthur suggests that they settle this like normal people, but since no one in Arthuriana is normal, Sir Gromer refuses, claiming that if he does, the king will only “defy me another time,” or some nonsense like that. Arthur points out that it would be dishonourable to kill him while he’s without armor, and the knight replies that he doesn’t want land or gold. (Why are you making an issue of this, then.) Instead, because everyone in these stories is an idiot besides Guinevere, the knight says that King Arthur has to meet him at this place in twelve-months time and tell him what it is that all women love best. If King Arthur can’t answer, he’ll kill him.

You know. Because every woman thinks the exact same way. It makes sense.

Also, I don’t believe this guy actually had his land stolen. Call me skeptical.

Later that evening, Gawain asks him what is wrong, because Arthur isn’t exactly hiding it well. Arthur says that he vowed to keep it a secret, but Gawain says he would never tell anyone, so Arthur confides the issue to him. Gawain suggests that they both ride out over the country, both going separate ways, and ask every man and woman for their answer to the riddle, and they would record the answers in a book. So basically, a survey! Not a bad idea.

They get many different answers; some say that what women want most is pretty clothes, some say that they want to be courted, some say that what women love most is to make out. By the time Gawain gets back to court, his book has been almost filled up. He and Arthur pool their answers, and Gawain is confident that the right answer is in there somewhere. Arthur is not so sure, however, and he decides to go back out into Inglewood Forest.

There, he meets a very ugly lady.

I can’t really beat the description from the translation of the ballad that I found, so: ” Her face was red and covered with snot, her mouth huge, and all her teeth yellow, hanging over her lips. Her bleary eyes were greater than a ball, and her cheeks were as broad as women’s hips.  She had a hump on her back, her neck was long and thick, and her hair clotted into a heap. She was made like a barrel, with shoulders a yard wide and hanging breasts that were large enough to be a horse’s load. No tongue can tell of the foulness and ugliness of that lady. “

I told you. I couldn’t beat that description.

She sits on a fine horse adorned with gold, and she rides up to Arthur, telling him that she knows his secret and how to save him–only if she saves him, she gets to marry Sir Gawain.

Arthur points out that he can’t force Gawain to marry her, which goes a long way towards getting Arthur on my good side. But he says that he will tell Sir Gawain. “He will be loath to refuse my request,” says the king, “but I would regret causing Gawain to wed the foulest lady I have ever seen. I don’t know what to do.” She replies that even an owl may choose its mate, and that her name is Dame Ragnelle, “who has never yet beguiled man.”

Gawain, when he hears of it, says that he would wed her if she looked like Beelzebub, as long as it saved his king. Aww.

When Arthur goes to give Sir Gromer-Somer Joure his answer, Dame Ragnelle meets him along the way. “Sir, you will now know, without digression, what women of all degrees want most,” Dame Ragnelle responds. “Some men say we desire to be beautiful and that we want to consort with diverse strange men; also we love lust in bed and often wish to wed. Thus men misunderstand women. Another idea they have is that we want to be seen as young and fresh, not old, and that women can be won through flattery and clever ploys. In truth, you act foolishly. The one thing that we desire of men above all else is to have complete sovereignty, so that all is ours. We use our skill to gain mastery over the most fierce, victorious and manly of knights.  So go on your way and tell this to the knight, who will be angry and curse the one who taught it to you, for his labour is lost. I assure you that your life is now safe, and remember your promise.”

So King Arthur goes to the knight and gives him the book to look through. I just caught that he is stalling for Gawain’s sake. Aww. Is this the most functional this family has ever been?

Anyway, the answers in the book do not satisfy Sir Gromer, and he makes ready to kill him. Arthur finally tells him that the answer is sovereignty. Sir Gromer literally says that he wants Ragnelle to die in a fire. And he also says that Ragnelle is his sister. I see that they’re functional. He laments that he’ll never have Arthur at such a point again, and Arthur assures him that he’ll make sure of that. Arthur turns his horse and leaves, and on his way back, he meets Dame Ragnelle at the same place she was before.

Ragnelle tells Arthur that she fulfilled her end of the bargain, and now it’s Arthur’s turn. He says he will and asks her to follow his advice, but she knows what he’s about to say and cuts him off.

“No, Sir King, I will not do so,” she says. “I will be married openly before I part from you, or you will be shamed! You ride ahead of me and I will follow you to your court. Remember how I have saved your life; therefore you should cause me no strife, which would be blameworthy.”

They go to Arthur’s court at Carlisle (a city, not to be confused with Carlisle, the vampire). Ragnelle insists on a large wedding. Guinevere asks her to have a private ceremony, for the sake of Sir Gawain, but Ragnelle tells her that she will be married publicly. And she is, in a red gown even more beautiful than the queen’s. At the feast after the wedding, she eats enough for six men, tearing apart the food with her three-inch long nails. I like the visual very much.

After the feast, Gawain and Ragnelle go to their bedchamber. She asks him to kiss her. “I will do more than kiss you, and before God!” Gawain says. When he turns to her, instead of a hag, he sees a beautiful woman.

Ragnelle explains that he has a choice; he can either choose that she look beautiful in the day and ugly at night, or beautiful at night and ugly during the day.* Gawain says he doesn’t know which would be better, and tells her that the choice is up to her, because Gawain is a wonderful person who understands that it really is Ragnelle’s choice, anyway.

*I had to proofread this sentence so many times. You didn’t ask to know this, but now you know.

It turns out that this is the right thing to do to break the curse, and now Ragnelle will be beautiful both day and night. She explains that her stepmother laid a curse on her, and Gawain broke it by giving her her sovereignty.

And they were very happy till morning. 😉

Arthur and Guinevere were grateful to Ragnelle after they found out about the curse. King Arthur forgave Ragnelle’s brother, even though Arthur and her brother still didn’t get along very well after that, and Ragnelle lived happily with Gawain for the rest of her life–although, unfortunately, her life wasn’t very long. She lived with him five years before dying of an illness, because this story is determined to rip out my heart.

Anyway, this is a wonderful story with an amazing message. Happy (late) Valentine’s day, and may you find a partner like Gawain or Ragnelle. Or, if you plan on being single (*high-fives you*), may you live it up like Dinadan did. Courtly love kills people and is overrated anyway.

Also, I have over fifty followers now! Thank you so much! I can’t believe over fifty people wanted to listen to me ramble about different things here. 🙂

Also, I found the story here, if you want to give it a read.

Fairy Tale Blog Tag

Fairy Tale Central has created a tag! It’s all about fairy tales, so of course I couldn’t be more excited to do it. The tag might as well have been tailor-made for me or something. I love it.

1. What’s an obscure fairy tale you love?

Noooo. There are too many obscure fairy tales I love for me to list them all here. But I love Kate Crackernuts, Tam Lin, Samba the Coward, Ivan and the Princess Blue-Eyes, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle, Tatterhood, and…

I like a lot of fairy tales.

2. If you got to choose Disney’s next animated princess movie, what fairy tale would you choose to be adapted?

I remember talking to Weez a long time ago about how I wanted a Disney movie retelling Gawain and the Green Knight, featuring a very confused Gringolet. (Gringolet, in case you don’t know, is the horse.) And I still stand by that. It would be 2D animation, of course. And I’d want it to be faithful to the original story. Which essentially means that this is a pipe dream.

I also would like Disney movies for some more Greek myths, like Eros and Psyche or Perseus and Andromeda. (I’m pretty sure Andromeda was also black*, so…you know. Maybe Disney could finally have more than one black princess? Just saying?)

(Tiana is the only black princess, right? I don’t want to falsely criticize even Disney.)

*Okay, so I looked it up and it sounds like Greek writers would sometimes give Andromeda different ethnicities, but she’s usually described as being from Aethiopia and is sometimes described as black. Go for it, Disney.

Also, it would be nice to have some more movies retelling Arabian Nights tales. I just…I want. I want so bad.

Or they could make a movie about Gareth and Lynet!! Featuring sisters, enchantresses, and dumb knights galore! I want the Disney movie!

I would also love Disney to retell any Indian fairy tale, I’m not picky. It’s about time you finally set a movie in India, Disney.

Then again, maybe I should ask for a company that has more artistic integrity than Disney to do these. Disney is very good for what they are, but they don’t seem to like breaking very much new ground or doing anything a little different. That might scare off consumers! We can’t have that.

3. What is the first fairy tale you remember hearing when you were a child?

I have a memory of my mom telling me the story of Beauty and the Beast. It’s one of my favorite fairy tales, and I wonder if that’s why–it really may have been the first one I heard.

4. If you were to embark on a fairy tale quest, what necessities would you pack in your bag?

Food, of course. Also a magic comb, a handkerchief, and whatever else I need to get the witch off my tail. And, since I’m presuming I can take whatever I want, I would like a helpful talking raven who can give me advice on how to handle each magical situation. I would make a very good traveling companion! I, unlike stupid heroes, would try my hardest to not ignore every piece of advice I am given.

I would also bring a tent. I wouldn’t want to sleep in the rain.

5. What’s your favorite fairy tale trope?

I have a lot I like ( 😮 no one saw this answer coming!). I like witches who singlehandedly cause apocalypses. I like sisters who stand up for each other, especially when the fairy tale trope would ordinarily have them hating each other (Tatterhood! Kate Crackernuts! Fairy tale girls don’t always hate their sisters just because their sister conforms to the beauty standard and they don’t!). But most of all, I love clever, resourceful heroines. I love powerful women, and I love women who are content to stay in the background. I love villainous women who reach out and take the things they want, and I love women who keep their morality even when everyone around them treats them horribly.

Just. I love the women in these stories. You can find so many awesome heroines if you look for them.

6. If you could be any fairy tale character archetype (the princess, the soldier, fairy godmother, talking animal, mischievous imp, wise old woman, evil stepmother/sister, etc.), who would you want to be and why?

I guess I’d like to be a witch like Baba Yaga. Extremely morally ambiguous granny who knows how to have fun and who has a really cool house. I’d like that. She’s awesome. And yes, I’m aware that she’s a character rather than an archetype, but whatever. I want to be her.

7. What animal/mythical creature would be your sidekick for fairy tale adventures? 

Well, I mentioned a helpful talking raven up there, so we’ll go with that. If not, though, I’d like to take one of my kitties.

8. What is your favorite historical era, and what fairy tale would you love to see in that setting?

Ahh! There are so many. Let’s make a list.

  1. Song Dynasty China. I tried setting a Beauty and the Beast story here, but unfortunately, I didn’t finish it. I wish I had.
  2. Joseon dynasty Korea! Goryeo Korea! Any Korea! I would honestly be fine with any fairy tale set here. Snow White? Beauty and the Beast? Rapunzel? I’ll take it. (Unfortunately, I haven’t read as much Korean folklore. I want to get into it more. Anyone have any fairy tale recs?)
  3. Safavid Persia. Or any Persia, actually. I would love to see some Arabian Nights retellings here, along with anything else. I really want some Arabian Nights retellings, though.
  4. I’m ashamed to admit I don’t know much about Morocco’s history, but Morocco has a BLUE. CITY. It also just seems like a really nice place for a setting. It sounds like such a beautiful place! I would like a Puss in Boots retelling set here.
  5. Medieval Europe (especially Ireland and Scotland, but also England or France or anywhere like that). Yes, I know what you’re thinking. This is already the most overused place for fantasy. But tell me this. How many people have presented medieval Europe in a compelling and/or accurate way? In my experience, not…not enough people. I kind of love dealing with older periods, both because of how different the cultures can be from the present day and also because it’s so interesting to me to have people accept magic as a rule of life. (Someone give me a Tam Lin retelling!)
  6. 18th and 19th century Britain (or France, or any other place in Europe, it doesn’t really matter). The clothes are so pretty! The social changes are so interesting to explore! You can discuss the early forms of feminism! (RESEARCH MANDATORY.) You can throw in your Jane Austen and your Pamela references! There’s just so much!
  7. Merie just discussed a version of Snow White set in Russia, and now I would LOVE to see a retelling.

9. If you could change a fairy tale’s villain into a hero, who would you choose and why?

Ooh. I like this question. I’m not sure Baba Yaga technically counts, since she’s more of an antihero anyway, but I love her and would enjoy seeing her as a protagonist very much. I’m currently writing a story with Mordred as the protagonist, and I’m enjoying that very much. (I have not written in this story in a while. I am an impostor. A fake writer.)

Also Clytemnestra! I find her really sympathetic, and I totally get wanting to kill Agamemnon. Anyone would want to kill Agamemnon. No one else had the guts to do it.

I just know there’s going to be a villain from a myth or fairy tale that I remember as soon as I’m done with this.

10. Do you prefer fairy tales with happy endings or sad/tragic endings? why or why not?

I like both. The ending should be right for the story. A tragic ending that fits the story is the most satisfying thing in the world. A tragic ending tacked on ‘just because’ feels pointless (@ HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON). There are some stories that shouldn’t end happily. There are some stories that shouldn’t end tragically. So I guess you could say that I prefer satisfying endings.

I had so much fun with this tag! Absolutely feel free to join in if you want! There’s a linkup on Fairy Tale Central for this tag that runs until the end of February, if you want to add a post to it. I love talking about fairy tales so much. I’m sure you couldn’t tell.