"Is a maiden to die, then, because she permitted her true love to discharge his passion in her loving arms? A curse on the man who imposed such a law, and a curse on the man who can suffer it! She who is without a heart deserves to die, not she who confers life upon her faithful lover. Whether it be true or false that Guinevere received her lover, this is no concern of mine. Had she done so, I should blame her not at all, if she had only preserved her secret. Her defence is now my entire care; quick, then, give me a guide to lead me to her accuser, for, with God’s help, I mean to deliver her. It is not for me to vouch she did not do it—I do not know, and could perhaps speak falsely. What I will say is that she should incur no punishment for such an act, and that whoever devised these pernicious laws was unjust and downright mad: they should be repealed as evil, and new laws should be framed with greater wisdom. If the same ardour, the same urge drives both sexes to love’s gentle fulfillment, which to the mindless commoner seems so grave an excess, why is the woman to be punished or blamed for doing with one or several men the very thing a man does with as many women as he will, and receives not punishment but praise for it? This unequal law does obvious injustice to women, and, by God, I hope to show how criminal it is that such a law should have survived so long!"
Rinaldo in Canto IV of Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso