Back to this:
your disdain for the idea of extending common courtesy to her parents had more to do with the fact that you knew that you would not receive that which you would be seeking. Thus the expedient thing to do was not extend that courtesy.
Under different circumstances, I would have naturally asked for the parents' blessing. But is it, in fact, a "common courtesy" for me to have asked for the parents' "permission", as though she were a property? Or would it have been better to break her away from her parents' authority?
I would first have to say that it isn't up to you (or anyone) to "break her away from her parents' authority." To do, or not to do, that is up to her.
chivalrous thing to do would be to free her from her parents ...
While that is a nice theory, again, it wasn't up to you to free her from anything. That break (and from what you've said it would be a significant literally break and not a figurative break) from her parents really has to be initiated by her. It isn't about chivalry, really. Nor is it, in the end, about you "freeing" her. It is about making adult decisions. Something which it doesn't sound like she was ready to do. Perhaps her parents knew this about their daughter (parents often know their children far better than it seems we do at times) and erected certain obstacles for a reason.
From what you have said of your relationship with this young lady the biggest attraction to being involved with you was very likely her parents' disapproval. You were in a no-win situation from the outset.
The sad truth, though, is this. Even if they hated you and you hated them - a certain amount of courtesy is due to them on a couple of levels. #1 - They are human beings and are due some basic courtesy by that fact alone. #2 - They are here parents and they did raise her.
Even if you know that their answer is going to be "No." or even "Hell No! Get out of my house." The best thing to do is ask for their blessing, be denied and then allow her to make her own decision. But years down the road it would be one less thing they can use against you in an argument.
Not because you "need" their blessing or permission - but only because it shows them some level of courtesy and by extension shows respect for your girlfriend. "I care about you enough to play by rules I don't necessarily agree with." type of thing.
Your comments sound like the type of thing a young man of your age and generation might believe he should say. It sounded a bit to PC to be fully believable. As I am sure you are well aware there is far more to a proposal of marriage and marriage itself than there mere possession of sexuality. It sounds like something from Gloria Steinam.
LOL, sorry if it came out that way. That definitely wasn't what I had in mind.
I apologize for the misunderstanding. It was clearly my mistake.