Reader ‘Reality’ Doug writes (emphasis mine):
Dalrock, very educational. Your thesis may be no less irrefutable than Alex Jones’ certain theory, but your ‘evidence’ from the lips of a woman who earns a living as a college professor…you should know better. You did not address the potential for female spin to sell ‘chivalry’ as (re)defined by Team Woman. It’s not like I will come up with my own expert opinion on C.S. Lewis or Thomas Malory, but I must be suspicious of the sex so fair and so artful at rewriting the history of men not just past but present and even future.
Reality Doug has hit on the core of the issue. Women did redefine chivalry for Team Woman. But this didn’t happen in modern times. It happened in the 1100s! The chivalry we love wasn’t corrupted, it is the corruption. The women who redefined chivalry to serve team woman were not professors at Oxford, but Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter Marie de Champagne.
If your chivalry comes from the Arthurian universe that includes Sir Lancelot, then your chivalry is fully corrupted with the ideology of courtly love, leading back to Chrétien de Troyes’ Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart circa 1177. As Infogalactic explains (emphasis mine):
The story is an Arthurian legend, and one of the first to feature Lancelot as a prominent character. The narrative tells about the abduction of Queen Guinevere, and is the first text to feature the love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere. While little is known about the life of Chrétien de Troyes, it can be said that his writings impacted the Arthurian canon, establishing Lancelot’s subsequent prominence in English literature. Chrétien was the first writer to deal with the Arthurian themes of the lineage of Lancelot, his relationship to Guinevere, and the idea of courtly love.
Courtly love was coined by the medievalist Gaston Paris in 1883 to help understand the relationship between Lancelot and Guinevere in Lancelot, The Knight of the Cart. Alexander J. Denomy describes courtly love as, “…a type of sensual love and what distinguishes it from other forms of sexual love, from mere passion… is its purpose or motive, its formal object, namely, the lover’s progress and growth in natural goodness, merit, and worth”(44). In the Knight of the Cart, Lancelot has become entranced by Guinevere and in more ways than  one, is ruled by her. As the queen, Guinevere maintains power over the kingdom as well as Lancelot. When Meleagant questions their love and her adultery to the king, Lancelot challenges Meleagant to a battle to protect Guinevere’s honor. Lancelot has no shame in showing his affair with the queen, “Lancelot’s love explodes into romance without any beginning revealed or end foretold, fully formed and symbolized by the extraordinary fullness of his heart” (Lacy). This introduction of the love affair between Guinevere and Lancelot appears in many other stories after this poem was written.
Chrétien de Troyes included the theme of (as we now call it) courtly love at the specific direction of Marie de Champagne:
It is believed that in the production of The Knight of the Cart, Chrétien was provided with source material (or matiere), as well as a san, or a derivation of the material. The matiere in this case would refer to the story of Lancelot, and the san would be his affair with Guinevere. Marie de Champagne was well known for her interest in affairs of courtly love, and is believed to have suggested the inclusion of this theme into the story. For this reason, it is said that Chrétien could not finish the story himself because he did not support the adulterous themes.
Chrétien makes this clear in the very beginning of the tale. The very act of writing the story was an act of chivalry as we know the term (of the courtly love variety):
Since my lady of Champagne wishes me to undertake to write a romance, I shall very gladly do so, being so devoted to her service as to do anything in the world for her, without any intention of flattery. But if one were to introduce any flattery upon such an occasion, he might say, and I would subscribe to it, that this lady surpasses all others who are alive, just as the south wind which blows in May or April is more lovely than any other wind. But upon my word, I am not one to wish to flatter my lady. I will simply say: “The Countess is worth as many queens as a gem is worth of pearls and sards.” Nay I shall make no comparison, and yet it is true in spite of me; I will say, however, that her command has more to do with this work than any thought or pains that I may expend upon it. Here Chretien begins his book about the Knight of the Cart. The material and the treatment of it are given and furnished to him by the Countess, and he is simply trying to carry out her concern and intention. Here he begins the story.
Again, chivalry was corrupted, but the corruption happened much sooner than the defenders of Arthurian chivalry are willing to admit. Arthurian legends predate Lancelot and the Cart, but the Arthurian universe as we know it was redefined way back in the 1100s by powerful noblewomen who wanted to transform chivalry into a glorification of romantic love and subservience to women.