Why is Gawain’s rant against women, at the end of SGGK, reffered to as an ‘anti-feminist diatribe’? I doubt Gawain, or his poet, has any idea what feminism is. You can’t be anti-something that doesn’t exist yet. (Un, yes. I’d pay it as an ‘unfeminist’ diatribe, but no one ever calls men ‘unfeminist’, and it would be a moot point in the fourteenth century anyway.)
Why does ‘feminist’ in this context function as the adjective for ‘relating to women’? What is meant, I assume, is ‘misogynistic’, which is a perfectly good word on its own. Use it, people.
Oh, and Shiela Fisher: the primary right of a feudal lord is not the right to traffic in women. A feudal lord is a feudal lord based on the pact of service and protection between himself and his dependants. Feudal lords traffic in women, yes, but every man and his dog traffics in women- they did so before feudalism developed and continue to do so today. What makes a feudal lord distinct from anyone else around him is his relationship with other men. NER.
This rant is brought to you by Shiela Fisher, ‘Taken Men and Token Women’, in Seeking the Woman in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Writings ed Fisher and Halley.