Women Call Out 39 Toxic “White Knight” Behaviors Men Do That They’re Sick Of

Contrary to what dating apps and social media might lead you to believe, chivalry is not dead. My partner always opens doors for me, carries the heavier bag of groceries and makes sure that I have a blanket as soon as I express how cold our apartment is. But as nice as those behaviors are, we both know that it’s not necessary for men to treat women differently. In fact, it can often become toxic.

Women on Reddit have recently been discussing “white knight” behaviors from men that they’re sick and tired of, so we’ve gathered some of their thoughts down below. It’s wonderful to open up doors and help women out when they’re transporting heavy items, but those actions are pointless if you become condescending in the name of politeness. Enjoy reading through this list, and be sure to upvote the habits you can’t stand either!

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#1

Kissing my hand when first meeting them. Please no.

Image credits: anon

#2

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 credits: CatrionaShadowleaf

#3

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

Image credits: smellycatsmelllycat

#4

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

Image credits: emshlaf

#5

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 credits: SlimJimLahey

#6

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 credits: peachandpeony

#7

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 credits: See_You_Space_Coyote

#8

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

Image credits: GubbleBumYum

#9

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.

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.

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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.

Image credits: TenaciousToffee

#10

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 credits: No_Natural2495

#11

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 credits: Sassy-Pants_888

#12

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 credits: pretentiousant

#13

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 credits: notanotherkrazychik

#14

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

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.

Image credits: fireflygalaxies

#15

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 credits: Ill_Task_257

#16

Ugh I have a story for this one

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.

Image credits: Miss_111

#17

Needing to feel needed and not being able to cope when you do in fact not need them

#18

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.’”

#19

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 credits: Late_Significance519

#20

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).

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.

Image credits: lizard_ladder

#21

When guys come up to u while ur clearly having a fun and enjoyable time and being very affectionate towards a guy or person ur with and they ask the “is this guy bothering u” I can not tell u how many times this has happened to me when I was with my husband and we act like any other married couple holding hand and laughing and just having fun and guys have come up to me to ask

At first I just thought it was tht maybe I looked uncomfortable or something with out Meaning to then some of my guy friends were like oh nah they prolly have a hero complex and wanna be the knight in shining armor some guys are just like tht so idk

#22

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.

#23

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

Image credits: Bebe_Bleau

#24

Men getting unnecessarily loud/aggressive with customer service people at small inconveniences in order to seem more alpha/in control.

I have zero problem standing up for myself or resolving my own issues. However I’m not going to treat people like s**t to do so. If I need to escalate something I’m going to be firm but civil.

It’s incredibly embarrassing to watch them step in and puff out their chest and throw a literal tantrum.

#25

Opening the car door for me. It’s very awkward waiting for them to walk around and open it. Ima big girl and can handle the door myself.

#26

Guiding me with a hand between my shoulder blades.

#27

When they want to save me, save me from what?

Image credits: Marma85

#28

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!!!

#29

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 credits: twinbruise

#30

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 credits: Fariesinabottle

#31

Insisting on walking me to my car. No one has insisted on this with good intentions so stop pretending you are protecting me.

Image credits: weewee52

#32

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 credits: Robot_Girlfriend

#33

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 credits: Cultural_Note_6722

#34

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

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.”

Image credits: anon

#35

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 credits: anon

#36

There’s this guy at my work who is really a good dude, but sometimes is too “chivalrous”. A couple weekends ago we were at a coworker’s wedding, carrying our chairs up to the reception from the service. I heard him behind me asking if I wanted him to carry my chair. First off, no. But I turn around and the dude is already carrying at least four chairs on his own. Kinda insulting he thought he could carry five, but I couldn’t carry one?? He really is a nice guy, but benevolent sexism like that is a red flag.

Image credits: hannikanskywalker33

#37

My husband can do all that stuff for me.. order my food/drink without asking me? Sure thing! Open the vehicle door for me? Well thank you! Offer to carry the bags of stuff to our destination? You’re amazing!! We’ve been married nearly 10 years and he still does all that and more for me. If it was a first date and the guy tried to do that I’d probably.. have to go to the bathroom and not go back. My hubby and I met in high-school. He was there for me in the hardest parts of my life. He knows me more than I know myself sometimes. He has always been my knight in shining armour. The only things he could possibly do to make me uncomfortable, he does on purpose, because we need excitement in our lives lmao.

Image credits: Nature_Soldier

#38

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 credits: susanna270

#39

Whenever there’s a online discussion and a male commenter needs to identify himself as such, “as a cis straight male I approve of this message” type thing. It just makes it so obvious they’re just creeping around for praise and approval while sexualising whatever everyone else was talking about. “As a fellow lowly male I approve and support you lovely ladies fighting for abortion rights/ public breastfeeding/ women’s sports/ anything really.” If they were really supportive they’d just listen.
It’s even creepier when anyone discloses a story of harassment or assault and they need to interject. Things like “as a man I’m so ashamed of my gender/ I would never/ if that happened to my girlfriend I would be devastated I wasn’t there to protect her”. It’s never helpful for the person involved.
Source: boredpanda.com

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