The medieval system, principles, and customs of knighthood. The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women. A manifestation of any of these qualities. A group of knights or gallant gentlemen.
We have all heard it asked before: is chivalry dead? What does that inquiry mean? Does it mean that we are we still that culture that believes in the honor of women and that it should be safeguarded?
I was raised believing that a man tips his hat to a woman. A man opens the door for a woman. A gentleman pulls out the chair for a woman and properly seats her. A man opens the door to the vehicle first for the woman. And, when it is prom time, the young suitor comes to the door, he does not sit in a car, honking the horn. I think you get the idea. Women are to be respected, and women seek to earn that deserved respect. However, I find it quite disturbing some of that garbage that we call music, and its references to women, especially in the Black community. I must admit, when traveling in the airport, the attire of some women does cause you to scratch your head. My mom, Elizabeth “Snooks” West would never go outside in her bedroom attire. Heck, the Mothers of the Church, when I was growing up, told us young fellas to beware the “Jezebel” who wore red shoes to church . . . that chances were she just came from the club. Now, y’all are laughing, some of y’all may recall such sage wisdom.
Regardless, men should show honor to women, unless not deserved. And, so I am finding it very interesting that there are those who offer criticism for taking a firm stance in the defense of the honor of my wife, Angela. Understand, if my wife had done something dishonorable, I would be the first to own that, and Angela would be accountable. But, when there is a travesty of justice, such as arresting and charging my wife with a felony crime for which there is no evidence . . . well, the chivalrous man must guard her honor.
But, are we now in a different culture, society, where it is easier to find fault with honor than to challenge injustice? If that be the case, then maybe it is the reason why we see other great travesties of justice.
Texas is the number one state in the country for human and sex trafficking, with Dallas and Houston leading the way in America. Last Friday, I attended a breakfast fundraiser for the Men’s Advocacy Group whose tagline is #standwithher. If we are to remedy the situation of trafficking in Texas, we must have chivalrous men of honor who will call out and defend our girls and women.
One must ask: how is it that we have such callous, unchivalrous, elected officials in Texas who would allow the Lone State state to hold such this disturbing trafficking title? We cannot allow a continued open border and enable these transnational narco-criminal terrorists called the cartels to continue to make millions of dollars on the trafficking of women and girls through the state of Texas. Chivalry is rooted in a moral code, much the same as the Code of Bushido for the Samurai warrior.
Over the past week, we have seen a disturbing lack of chivalry in Joe Biden. A man of honor would take the podium, step up to the microphone, and simply look Americans — and the world — in the eye and clearly state, “I will not abandon women and girls in Afghanistan.” What man of honor would snatch away freedom and liberty for these individuals and subject them to the most savage, barbaric, and brutal of depraved misogynistic behavior? If it means the US will commit 2500-3000 of our men and women of honor — our knights — to show gallantry to the women and girls of Afghanistan, so it should be. I will not have on my conscience the abandonment of these women, because that is not what my very own mother taught me about being a gallant, respectful, and honorable man.
Maybe the real issue in America is that we have a dearth of chivalrous men in elected positions. Heck, based upon what some have said about me over this past week, maybe there are those who are themselves shamed when they witness honorable behavior from men. After all, James Carville, in response to the illicit behavior of one Bill Clinton shifted the narrative to “it’s the economy stupid.”
So, fellas, have we traded honor for dollars? I remember the 1952 movie “Ivanhoe,” — one of Aubrey’s favorite movies — with Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, and George Sanders. It was all about the code of honor, chivalry, knighthood. Perhaps we all should take the time to watch that movie to remind us of the days of chivalrous men, men of courage, moral men of gallantry who defended women. As well, women should seek out those types of men and settle for nothing less. God knows we have enough examples of the contrary . . . I call them cowards. Women tend to love movies such as “Braveheart” and “Gladiator” because the main characters are romantic warriors seeking revenge for the loss of their loved ones.
I ain’t a perfect guy — none of us are — but we can strive to be chivalrous people of honor who defend our loved ones, our homes, our state, and our nation.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Col. Allen B. West (Ret.)