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Re: Escorting ladies and the like..and explaination

Poster: homan@nando.net (Fred Homan)

Jason Smith wrote the following:
>         Too ALL ladies out their that I may have offended, I'm sorry. And to
> all lord's, the same. Here goes...
[deleted long statement]

I think my biggest concerns on the subject are: 1) That we do what is Period.
We seem to assume that this meant that ladies were escorted into court during
Period.  Let us see proof of what happened in Period and do that.  This 
approach will take care of a thorny problem.  2) That Ladies within the SCA
are treated equal to Lords within the SCA.  Is this Period?  Well...  But,
it is a matter of the *Current* Middle Ages.  For the same reason we don't
have all the peasants and assume everyone is gentility, we should not make
the assumption that Ladies are frail creatures who always need escorts,
can not carry burdens, and the like.  It is insulting to Ladies are none of
these things.  For that reason, I would say if one sex is escorted, so should
the other be.  Or none should be escorted, save for those who wish an escort.
> (obviously) I come from an old and dying school of thought. My thinking is
> that all ladies should be treated as ladies until such time as they prove
> otherwise. I thought for the longest time this was a common way of doing
> things (mundanely) and I was quite shocked to learn, at a young age, that
> not too many people think this way anymore. I still hold doors for ladies,
> espically mine, I still pay for meals when I go out to dinner with my lady,
> and I try my level best to treat ALL ladies with the respect I want others
> to show my lady. And for the most part, gents in the SCA still hold on to
> this ideal I thought was long dead. This is encouraging...

Moving on to specifics:  From the way I read your post it seems you have
accepted the more OOP/Victorian (to my understanding) definition of "lady".
That is, a woman who defers to the privileges of having men open doors, pay 
for her meals, etc.  Perhaps the problem is that the SCA uses the term "Lady"
as it was originally wrought: A gentlewoman from the nobility.  The term over 
time has been coloured by others after our Period to mean other things, such
as the type of woman you speak of.  I would be interested in evidence that the
defining actions given above (or their Period equivalents) were actually
expected of Ladies.  I am curious since I have not read anything in Period
literature (from what I have read) that shows these kind of traits to be
expected of a Lady.

Additionally, I would say that I can hold doors for both sexes, have women
hold doors for me, have a woman pay for my meal when she invited me, and
other such actions and still believe that the rules of courtesy are being
observed.  This form of modern courtesy assumes that women and men are
equally capable and that one should defer based on something more than
sex, such as age, position, etc.  I think it makes more sense in the age
where women are more integrated in public life than the time from which
the courtesy defined above comes from.  YMMV.

Aedric the Green					IKA Fred Op
House Howling Mouse					homan@nando.net
Canton of Elvegast, Windmaster's Hill, Atlantia		Raleigh, NC
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