Damsel's in distress are an incredibly old literary trope, dating back hundreds of years. The reasoning behind this is that when literature became popular and stories began being put to page, the only acceptable authors were men and as you probably know, it was well believed that men were the breadwinners, the strong protectors, while women were expected to stay at home, keep house and keep their men company in bed. That being said, women rarely had significant roles in early literature, other than being used a a device to show the protagonist's (usually a man) endearing qualities, which included protecting his family. This is why damsel's in distress were often written into the story. This sent the message that women were in truth, quite troublesome and couldn't provide for themselves without the aid of a man.
You can perhaps see why today, time having progressed, especially with emphasis on the feminist movement (which I believe is a stupid name that gives off the wrong idea. I vote to change this movement to the gender equality movement), why many are angry that this continues to be a huge ploy used in modern writing, especially with a large majority of authors today being woman. Growing as a society where woman are being given more opportunities, it is disheartening that many authors still use woman in books to simply make the men look better.
Truthfully, I enjoy classics, so inevitably I do read novels with the damsel in distress trope, however I love reading modern literature where women are the heroes of the story. It makes me feel empowered.