30 Outdated “White Knight” Behaviours Of Men

Published 4 weeks ago

Most women love the attention of a chivalrous man. However, there are certain instances when these behaviours can exhibit a certain “white knight” nature. These behaviours, while well-intentioned, often come across as patronizing and reinforce outdated gender stereotypes. 

Women are tired of men assuming they need to be rescued or protected in everyday situations, as it can undermine their independence and competence. Acts like insisting on carrying heavy items or constantly offering unsolicited help can feel belittling rather than supportive. Recently, women on Reddit have been discussing “white knight” behaviours from men that they’re tired of, and we’ve gathered some of their insights below. While it’s great to lend a helping hand and show kindness, it’s important not to become patronizing in the name of being polite.

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Image source: anon, Pavel Danilyuk / pexels

I’m a widow. Men have thrown themselves at me like they were going to be the one to f**k the loneliness away. Married. Dating. Single. Old. Young. Every walk of life. My boss too. When they asked, “Do you miss sex?” I always wanted to answer, “Nope. I saved my husband’s penis. It sits on my nightstand in a glass box with a label on it that reads, ‘Break glass in case of emergency.’”

#2 Having the mentality of “Men, its our job to protect women.”

Image source: anon, Odonata Wellnesscenter / pexels

Why? Who are you “protecting” us from… oh.. other men? Maybe place your focus on calling out those men when you see toxic/dangerous behaviors and normalize holding your own kind accountable. Stop making it about “protecting women.”

#3 People, especially strangers telling me how young I look or how skinny I am as if it’s a compliment.

Image source: GubbleBumYum, Keira Burton / pexels

#4 When someone interrupts/stops telling a story to apologise for the profanities being used in front of me.

Image source: smellycatsmelllycat, August de Richelieu / pexels

#5 A friend of mine really likes to help/defend female friends that are more feminine/delicate looking when they’re drunk or being picked at by others, but then picks at/bullies the ones who are more independent/direct. It’s the selectiveness that makes me uncomfortable.

Image source: pretentiousant, MART PRODUCTION / pexels

#6 Dude tried to take ny bag and my arm while walking across an icy parking lot. He kept messing up my balance and finally I was like ‘I. GOT. IT.’ But he also called me ‘Sunshine’ at work even though I’m a middle aged, college educated woman. He wasn’t flirting, just being a gross misogynist.

Image source: Sassy-Pants_888, Jose Espinal / pexels

#7 When people try to put words in my mouth like “what I think she meant was”. No, no, no, I f*****g said what I said, all questions can be directed to me.

Image source: CatrionaShadowleaf, Tima Miroshnichenko / pexels

#8 Men who do the bare minimum and act like they should be praised for it like it’s so annoying. like congrats for respecting my boundaries i guess??

Image source: anon, Elizabeth Zernetska / pexels

#9 Speaking on my behalf because I didn’t answer right away. Like I don’t care if you’ve known me my whole life you don’t under any circumstances speak for me. I have a voice.

Image source: SlimJimLahey, RDNE Stock project / pexels

#10 When I’m outside a hotel loading my stuff up and they walk up and start grabbing my stuff to “help,” me. Nah, that’s how s**t gets stolen and guys then they you owe them something. Or what happened when I was 12 I was out for a walk and guy in a utility van offered me a ride because it was too cold I declined multiple times and he kept saying he was trying to be nice ?like why would I wanna get in your dirty as van with you being a stranger

Image source: susanna270, Tranmautritam / pexels

#11 Guiding me with a hand between my shoulder blades.

Image source: karenaviva, cottonbro studio / pexels

#12 People insisting on carrying things for me. I worked in a warehouse for years and can’t count how many times I got told that the lifting should be left for the ‘men’.. I was usually the only employee on shift and if I left all the lifting for them men then I just wouldn’t be employed ??‍♀️

Image source: Ill_Task_257, Ketut Subiyanto / pexels

#13 Offering to help you and not backing off regardless of what you say. My cousin is very beautiful and often has guys offering help left and right in an effort to get in her good graces – except they keep offering when she says no. And keep offering. And keep pushing. It’s basically a thinly veiled “let me get close to you”, and they won’t take no for an answer. It’s extremely disrespectful

Image source: peachandpeony, SHVETS production / pexels

#14 Men I don’t know calling me “honey,” “sweetheart,” or any variation of that. Happens less now that I’m older, thank god.

Image source: emshlaf, cottonbro studio / pexels

#15 Kissing my hand when first meeting them. Please no.

Image source: anon, Bethany Ferr / pexels

#16 Men who refuse to swear or use curse words around women because they think we’re too fragile and easily offended to handle it.

Image source: See_You_Space_Coyote, Antoni Shkraba / pexels

#17 Not sure if this counts but those cringy “POV” TikToks where a guy acts out an imaginary scenario where he saves a girl from being harrased/assaulted. They just love imagining that a woman is being hurt just so that they can be a hero. And there’s always epic movie type music playing in the background.

Image source: No_Natural2495, Chris F / pexels

#18 Trying to tell you your relationship is bad because they’re rather you were single. I’ve met several guys who compare people’s partners to how they _imagine_ they themselves would behave in the relationship, and whaddya know, the other guys always come up wanting when compared to their personal mythology. And then it heads into “he’s not good enough for you”, and from there into “why do women only date a******s?”

Image source: Robot_Girlfriend, Roberto Hund / pexels

#19 Any time a man is speaking for or “defending” a woman and he gets extremely possessive. And you can tell that he’s more offended because she’s HIS, and it’s therefore disrespectful to HIM, than he is concerned about her feelings. “That’s MY f*****g WIFE,” “don’t talk about MY wife that way,” “keep my wife’s name out your f*****g mouth!” (This is basically the quintessential example of this behavior in pop culture tbh).

Image source: lizard_ladder, Timur Weber / pexels

I think a lot of women are actually attracted to this on the surface, but it bugs me deeply now that I’ve realized how it really serves the man.

In contrast, I had a really s****y conversation with my dad recently where it got heated and he was questioning my professional decisions. My dad’s a contrarian and loves to lecture, so if I say “I’m doing this,” his first reaction is “no no, that’s wrong” — even if he would say it’s right under other circumstances. Drives me batty. My husband sat back and let me stand my ground until I was getting basically bulldozed. He finally “stepped in,” because my dad tends to respond better to men (eye roll)…. but what he said was “Hey. She’s doing an amazing job, and her performance isn’t up for debate. You may not agree, but it isn’t your career or your life. We’re both extremely happy with how she handled the situation.” It just… felt different. I didn’t need him to go all “That’s MY wife, back off” macho macho mode. I felt like a teammate, not a possession.

#20 When they try to mansplain me how to do my job.

Image source: Bebe_Bleau, Jonathan Borba / pexels

#21 Idk if this counts but my mom once interviewed a guy who was applying to work for her company and he said something like “I just want to say, I have no issue whatsoever working for a woman.”

Image source: twinbruise, Ron Lach / pexels

#22 Random adult men who just happen to be in the same public space that believe they are “being nice” and have a right to get to know me. Being cordial is fine, but pushing hard for information is creepy. Especially when they start topics like, “are you still in school or are you working toward a degree?” Dude, I’m almost 30 but thanks for admitting you were attempting to target someone you thought was significantly younger and naive… it’s not a compliment when they don’t know me!!!

Image source: sleepysheepyborp, cottonbro studio / pexels

#23 Assuming I’m incapable of doing “mans” work. Being my “friend” just to hop on the first chance to try to sleep with me. Then get salty when they get denied.

Image source: DiligentDocker, Anastasia Shuraeva / pexels

#24 Men I don’t know being gentlemanly (hmm) and letting me walk up the stairs in front of them when I’m wearing a short skirt or shorts. This usually happens with repairmen in my house.

Image source: Late_Significance519, Daniel Duarte / pexels

#25 Taking tools away from me while I’m using them because they are “thinking of my safety”. Like, no, it’s not safe to try and take my ax out of my hands mid-swing.

Image source: notanotherkrazychik, Andrea Piacquadio / pexels

#26 When a guy is explaining something, and I say “I know.” Could be directions, telling me about a show, a fact, current event, whatever. But if I said that I know already, them saying “Ok, but…” and continuing as if I had said nothing.

Image source: Cultural_Note_6722, Polina Zimmerman / pexels

#27 I’m 5’2″ and have never been over 127lbs. I like physically demanding jobs because it makes things go by faster and helps my depression. I constantly get asked if I need help with something heavy. Once had a dude watch me lift a 70lb box onto a conveyor belt and the clap when I got it up there. I gave him a dirty look and he stopped coming near me, so I count that as a win.

Image source: Fariesinabottle, Kampus Production / pexels

#28 If I’m holding a door already for everyone to get in and a man has to make it awkward by trying to be gentlemanly and hold the door for me.

Image source: TenaciousToffee, PNW Production / pexels

You’re causing a traffic jam then making it awkward holding the door also so now I gotta do a weird shimmy under your arm or go around you somehow to go inside. I hate it.

And for what? Because you think it’s emasculating for a woman being nice holding a door?

You’re not actually being nice to me either, you’re taking away a choice I made to do an action and saying no, no, you can’t do that woman.

#29 Babying pregnant women because they “need protection”, including from themselves.

Image source: fireflygalaxies, Amina Filkins / pexels

When I was pregnant, one of my coworkers told on me to my husband (we work at the same company) because he thought the box I was carrying was too heavy for a pregnant woman to be carrying. ?

My husband laughed in his face because obviously I know my own limits.

#30 Ugh I have a story for this one

Image source: Miss_111, Anna Shvets / pexels

I used to work in a brothel, I did quite well and didn’t mind the work at the time. One day a very rich (now ex) friend offered me money completely unprompted. I thought maybe he wanted sexual favours but he claimed that wasn’t it. I declined stating that I don’t take money I haven’t earned then few months later he offered me a job.

He claimed he’d pay me whatever I ask to be on call 24/7 as his personal assistant (he ran multiple businesses)
i was about to start working as an escort for an agency making upwards of $500 an hour, I would have barely had to work but he swooped in with this incredible offer of training me in his field and flying me around the world I thought I may as well take the opportunity.
Seeing as I was about to make so much money I set my price pretty high but then s**t got weird.

He offered me a personal assistant job, but instead of filing paperwork and organising meetings as he promised I spent each day cleaning his apartment and tending to his increasingly ridiculous requests (drive 14 hours to pick something up, organise mtg cards, fix an aircon etc)
THEN he decided he’d rather only pay me half of what he promised for the 2 months of work I did and that’s when I quit, there was no contract or anything so had to cut my losses.

I chalk this up to a white knight complex because on multiple occasions he tried to “help” me financially and tried to give me an out of the s3x industry neither of which I wanted or asked for and it actually ended up screwing me over I couldn’t afford rent or food for the month after and lost the chance to be with the agency.






Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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behaviour, cringe, gentleman, men, outdated, patronising men
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