I have a problem with the word “damsel.” It really isn’t fair of me to take it out on the word itself, but the connotation it has derived is horrendous. I can’t hear the word without finishing the phrase with those two additional words: “in distress.”
The word “damsel” implies helplessness. It implies a passive object, not an active person. I much prefer “maiden” or “princess” or even “my lady.” A lady or a princess or a maiden can at least fight back. But to be a tie-me-to-the-railroad-tracks-or-feed-me-to-the-dragons damsel? That would be a most boring and terrible fate.
No thank you!