Gender Objectification And Traditional Gender Role Stereotypes
Another representation that Symkyn shows his dominance over the women in the story is during the period of time when he realizes that he needs supplies to feed his guests and instead of doing it himself, he sends Malyne out to purchase food and alcohol for him; “this millere into toun his doghter sende for ale and breed” (I 4136-4137). The reason this shows ownership of Malyne is that he never asked her if she wanted to, he never gave her an option, and Symkyn could have done it himself. What this does is degrade Malyne down to the ranking equivalent of a domestic house servant, to the point where she is just an object that will do Symkyn’s chores and errands without a second though.
Furthermore, the Reeve has Aleyn and John treat women’s bodies as fungible. For instance, when Aleyn and John, being law students, recall a law that allows them to legally rape Symkyn’s daughter or wife in exchange for their lost grain; “gif a man in a point …show more content…
Ownership of the women, as well as revoking their right to speech create characters that allow for no sympathy from the reader or from other character’s within the tale. Traditional gender roles create a patriarchal effect that constitutes women to be of lesser value when compared to me, as well as allows for a double standard of acceptation for men and no acceptance for women in many social ways. In addition, the Reeve tells a story where both Malyne and Symkyn’s wife have a romanticized and comical encounter with Alayn and John, rather than rape. In Chaucer’s “The Reeve’s Tale” the usage of these demeaning, sexist views create the essence that women are subordinate to men in this tale and that it is