The Subject of Knights in the SCA
There is a really great discussion going over at Armor Archive about Knights. I had asked about putting Knights up on pedestals. And many of the Knights responded with how they felt about that.
As a fighter and having many admirable Knights to put on pedestals in An Tir, you don’t want the impression of being all stalkery. And reading the replies the Knights gave, I really think that we (unbelted) can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on a Knight. We each have an ideal of we think a Knight should be, yet we tend to forget, that Knight is still a man and subject to the whims of men. Anger, rage, wrath, etc.
And it’s up to us to continue to support them even in those moments when they ‘seem’ less than Knightly.
My thing is, look at the journey they went on to get the White Belt. It’s a huge deal. Practices, bruises, so tired they can’t stand, learning Knightly ideals. Of course, I’ve seen they have a lot of fun along that journey too! But for the most part, it looks like a lot of hard work.
I know some fighters and non fighters have seen the Chivalry as a ‘boy’s club’ where friends of the Chivalry get brought in. But when I was really active, what I saw were fighters that worked their asses off to attain the goal and when they got it, it was rightly done.
Of course as a fighter, you want to be a part of the cool group. And I don’t mean just the Chivalry and being a Knight, but being a part of the fighter groups. It’s like a brotherhood. They really look like they have a lot of fun.
I was told once by a fighters wife that I would not only never be a Squire but never be a Knight because I was female. Since I was far removed from my goal of Knight, I asked her more about the Squire bit. She said the wives don’t like it when their husbands have female Squires.
I don’t really understand why since a fighter is a fighter and that fighter’s goals are to get better and progress on the road to becoming the best fighter they can be. As a female fighter, my interest in a Knight or other fighter mentor isn’t lust, its knowledge.
I have a lot to prove before I even think about Squiring to someone. I’ve to commit to practicing, going to practices, working my ass off. And hopefully, one day, if the stars align, I can find a Knight either with a Lady who has no issues or without one.
My idea of a Knight/Squire relationship is one of being in service to the Knight. One that you carry his armor, fetch his food/drink, stand by at the ready in case he needs something, and in return you benefit from his knowledge and teachings.
Now, I have no idea if that is a far-fetched unrealistic relationship idea because I’ve never really talked to other Squires or other fighters who were yet to become a Squire about it.
One thing I learned is you don’t approach the Knight (although I’ve even heard some Knights say, they’d rather the person approach them). You prove yourself worthy to the Knight that feels you’d be the best fit to his program. Again, I don’t know how true that is. I should check the Archive and see if there have been discussions.
Either way, I’m a long way from any of this but it’s fun to think about.