Everything that has been already said aside, there is also the matter of gender differences.
Women tend to be physically weaker than men. There are exceptions, of course; but in a toe-to-toe fight between an average man and an average woman, the woman would be at a significant disadvantage.
This, by the way, is the main reason why, both in our conception of honor and in the "romanticized" version of the old one that we are talking about, a male striking a female for any reason other than urgent self-defense is highly dishonourable, far beyond a male striking another male without cause.
So, if we accepted the idea that personal offenses should be dealt with with ritualized physical fights, what should a woman who has been insulted do? Should she, as in the "good old times", have to ask a friend or a relative to beat the offender and protect the honor of her helpless little self?
edited 24th May '11 12:43:28 AM by Carciofus