“Gifts fall from heaven, only in fairy tales.” Walter Ulbricht
Every woman wants her Prince Charming, forgetting that princes were often cowards, philanderers or pansies (there was actually a Buggery Act in 1533). The real heroes of the medieval period were bloodthirsty knights, guilty of more rapes than you could shake a sword, lance or mace at.
Remember Bonnie Tyler’s song “I Need A Hero” where she sings “He’s gotta be fresh from a fight”? You sure thought that was cool, ’cause nobody you knew could punch their way out of a gym bag? Well, real knights in shining armour were always fresh from a fight. They wore red tights because they were “bloodsoaked,” a word Shakespeare created, by the way.
And don’t think the Prince Charmings of fiction did any better. Most were liars, womanizers, and occasionally didn’t know one sex from another.
Cinderella’s Prince Charming had an affair with the baker’s wife, admitting later to Cinderella that “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”
Their Prince Charmings, according to modern interpretations, like Sisters Grimm, ended up in divorce court because they couldn’t keep it in their pants.
Snow White and Sleeping Beauty didn’t fare much better. Their Prince Charmings, according to modern interpretations, like Sisters Grimm, ended up in divorce court because they couldn’t keep it in their pants.
And what about Snow White living with seven dwarfs? Not one of them makes a pass at her. Either fairy tales thought very little of Little People’s sexual needs, or those dwarfs were doing more than sharing a bed.
So where did this idea of Prince Charming being chivalrous come from? Well, not from history, I can tell you that. The old saying, “Knights were knights and sheep were nervous” is true. They had no shame whatsoever and were guilty of perversions you don’t even want to know about.
Some medieval princes were outright pansies. Richard the Lionheart slept with King Phillip II of France, and wasn’t the least bit sorry. He called it an “alliance,” a term still used today to describe the same thing.
Richard III died on the battlefield with a pike shoved up his keister, a serious desecration that only happened if you seriously deserved it.
Edward II was so openly flirtatious with his lover, Gaveston, his wife went off in a snit and Edward’s barons cut off Gaveston’s head.
Cheating seems to be a frequent theme with Prince Charmings, something that’s continued right up to present times.
In short, kings, knights, even standard-bearers, weren’t the least bit chivalrous, and were more likely to be screwing something behind your back, whether it was a lady-in-waiting or some joe polishing the floor.
Cheating seems to be a frequent theme with Prince Charmings, something that’s continued right up to present times. Think of the Kennedy Administration back in the 60s, what was fondly known as “Camelot.”
I’m sure Jackie Kennedy called John her “Prince Charming” at one time or another, but Kennedy had lots of women during his presidency, including Marilyn Monroe, Gene Tierney and Marlene Dietrich.
John Boy was a quick finisher, according to Dietrich. While he slept afterwards, she got up and did her one-woman show across town. She also slept with Joe Kennedy — not the same night — but obviously Washington was a good place to do a one-woman show.
So why do women still want fairy tale romances? Why do we keep seeing thousands of dating profiles saying “I want a real man,” or “I know my Prince Charming is out there,“ or “I’m waiting for my knight in shining armour to come rescue me.”
If you want a faithful, adoring, swooning, covetous man, what you’ll get is what’s known as “benevolent sexism.”
Is it because women still dream of being princesses? According to Psychology Today, chivalry is somehow equated with a woman’s worth. If she’s “prized and cherished” she must be special and certainly worth more than a woman who isn’t prized and cherished.
Well, here’s the problem with that — and it’s a big problem, according to psychologists. If you want a faithful, adoring, swooning, covetous man, what you’ll get is what’s known as “benevolent sexism.”
Benevolent sexism refers to men treating women like delicate timepieces. That’s all well and good if you want to sit around all day like Rapunzel. It’s not so good if you want to go, say, bowling.
The whole notion of putting women on pedestals was flawed from the start. I mean, if the most chivalrous knights couldn’t stay loyal or straight, what chance have we got?
We’ll be defying a thousand years of failed chivalry.
Admittedly, a few men manage to keep up the fantasy by giving flowers and swooning every chance they get. They’re called pansies.
The rest of us will stare failure in the face, figuring it’s only a matter of time before we blow the whole fantasy just by sneezing. Fantasies are just too hard to live up to, and don’t think knights had it any better. You couldn’t come home and say, “I had a bitch of a day” without your wife complaining, “You never take me out anymore, and what’s with those stupid red tights?”
If Kim can’t buy a fairy tale marriage with all her money, what chance have you got?
As one psychologist pointed out, trying to live in a fantasy can lead to colossal failures. A good example is Kim Kardashian’s 72-day first marriage to Kris Humphries. “I wanted a life that I’ve always pictured my fairy tale life to be,” she whined. If Kim can’t buy a fairy tale marriage with all her money, what chance have you got?
“If you want to live happily ever after,” the same psychologist said, “you’re better off forgetting castles and knights in shining armour. Women of that era — even royal women — really suffered. Where do you think the chastity belt came from?”
“For me,” Jennifer Lopez said on Good Morning America, “the biggest dream is the fairy tale and I will never give up on that.” After three failed marriages, you’d think she would. Cris Judd alone cost $14 million, which is about $55,000 for each day they were married.
Maybe Madonna, J.Lo and Kim can afford those kinds of matrimonial mistakes, but most women can’t.
If that doesn’t cure you of fairy tales, maybe this will: Madonna paid almost $92 million to settle her divorce to Guy Richie. That included Ashcombe Castle in Scotland, valued at around $30 million.
Maybe Madonna, J.Lo and Kim can afford those kinds of matrimonial mistakes, but most women can’t. Better to be more realistic, forget fairy tales and let frogs hop around on someone else’s lily pad.
Kim, especially, should learn from her mother, Chris Jenner.
Didn’t her Prince Charming end up in a dress? Just saying.
Robert Cormack is a novelist, humorist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Skyhorse Publishing or Simon & Schuster for more details.