Why White Knighting Is Predatory

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Most people are familiar with the term “white knighting”, which they associate with events where one person (usually a male) swoops in to save another (usually female) during discussion or debate. Yet, we’ve seen many people misunderstanding what it truly represents, so we wanted to talk about it.

The best place to start is to explain what white knighting is not:

  • White knighting is not inviting someone into a conversation who is more well-informed than you are. We can’t be experts at everything.
  • White knighting is not when your significant other joins a conversation. Imagine that you two were sitting at a table together talking to another person and that person told one of you to go away and stop white knighting in the conversation. Absurd, to say the least.

White knighting is an established psychological phenomenon called “White Knight Syndrome” (WKS). Unlike the images of a knight in shining armor coming to save the day, WKS is considered to be a negative trait by psychologists.

It’s easy to see why… WKS stems from beliefs that the other sex is weak and incapable of taking care of themselves, and beliefs that “rescuing” them will earn you brownie points to use towards the establishment of physical or emotional relationships. It is overwhelmingly more common in men, so we are going to focus on them.

The men that have WKS have a terrible self-image and believe that they will be perceived as better if they rescue women. In fact, he feels righteous as he engages in this self-perceived virtuous behavior. They desire acceptance, friendship, sex, and relationships from women, yet feel that they are too inadequate to obtain such things. Hence, they rescue.

Needless to say, most women today are well-equipped to handle their own shit and deal with adversarial conditions. Online and in the real world. They don’t need anyone to rescue them. Most can also smell the hidden motives from miles away seeing the wannabe prince charming as a desperate creeper.

The best example of this type of person is the feminist male. These individuals often portray themselves as virtuous rescuers of women and women’s rights while unconsciously holding beliefs of misogyny and inadequacy. Unlike people who openly disparage women, they do so in far more subtle ways involving psychological projection.

The only way out of this cycle of playing the rescuer to the eternal “victimized” woman is see that what you’re engaging in is not altruistic at all, but rather a way for you to seek love in unhelpful ways. What we see, we can change.

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