I know this is swimming against the current, and I’m aware that I open myself to ridicule.  But, chivalry demands that I comment on a situation that has made national news over the past week.

Chivalry – there’s a word you don’t see to often these days.

The story I’m referring to is the one about the hockey player for the NHL’s Dallas Stars – Sean Avery – a key player for the hockey team.  He was speaking to reporters in Calgary, Alberta when he made a comment in which referred to his ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert as sloppy seconds.  The NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has suspended Avery for the remark calling it “inappropriate”.

Over the past few days Mr. Bettman has been criticized for censoring free speech, accused of moralizing, and a host of other things not fit for print.  Mr. Bettman who has been charged with the responsibility of changing the image of the NHL – so as to make it more palatable to the American public – has succeeded in part.  While revenues have increased five fold, the NHL still retains its bad boy image.  Avery has done his part to further that image. While suspending Avery was probably done primarily as a business decision I think it says more; more about Gary Bettman and more about America as a whole.

Apart for Elisha Cuthbert’s role as Kim Bauer in the TV show 24, I know nothing of the people involved in this story.  I understand the risk of defending the honor of someone I know nothing about that is why I choose to defend the principle not the person.  If the person is, or is not worthy of honor it is of no account, the principle still stands.

Chivalry is not dead.

While the idea of chivalry may seem archaic to some, and unknown to others, I believe it still remains a core value in the American male. For sure you can’t find a whole lot of evidence of it in Pop Culture, as this incident with Sean Avery demonstrates.

Despite this enlightened culture, where the roles of men and women have been blurred and confused.  Where women with the character of Madonna and Paris Hilton are held in high esteem and the behavior of men like Sean Avery are defended, chivalry is still alive and well.

The defense of a woman’s honor deserved or not, has not been totally lost to the ages.  Mr. Bettman knows this, the remarks made by Sean Avery were inappropriate.  Whether or not Mr. Bettman can convince the NHL’s fan base of this however, remains to be seen.  Reportedly Sean Avery has expressed some regret over the remark.

It’s important for our society to maintain a reverence and a sense of honor for women.  I know it can be difficult at times, especially if the woman is close to you:  Your wife, your girlfriend, your mother, your daughter.  Yes it can be difficult, but not impossible.

In the musical Camelot, King Arthur imparts this wisdom:

How to handle a woman?
“There’s a way,” said the wise old man,
“A way known by every woman since the whole rigmarole began.”
“Do I flatter her?” I begged him answer.
“Do I threaten or cajole or plead? Do I brood or play the gay romancer?”
Said he, smiling: “No indeed”
How to handle a woman?
Mark me well, I will tell you, sir.
The way to handle a woman
Is to love her…simply love her…
Merely love her…love her…love her.”

May I add?  Women your role is to be lovable.


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