White Knights, Black Knights and Noble Men.

There are two concepts that are thrown around on the internet a lot.

The first is the White Knight, the idea of a man who spends his days, online or offline, gallantly racing into situations, even ones that he wasn’t a part of, to rescue a woman in distress, especially from other men. The archetypical White Knight makes no distinctions between whether the woman is in any actual danger or just making noise, whether she is asking for help or just looks a little bothered, whether the problem is not her fault or entirely her own creation. He will just march in and do her homework for her, punch her boyfriend during an argument and troll and doxx anyone who disagrees with her online. He lives to serve womankind by making sure that women never face any hardship, disagreement, troubles or even inconveniences.

A slightly more obscure concept is that of the Black Knight. Named as a witty counterpart to the White Knight, Black Knights also aim to be a witty counterpart to White Knights. He will respond dismissively, sarcastically and even rudely to situations where a woman might be in distress. Rather than boost her ego into the stars, he wants to drive the pedestal out from beneath her. He will call her ugly when asked for an opinion, call her out when she lies, support other people in arguments… basically treat her like another man, but more like a man he has no loyalty to than like a best friend. He lives to try and undo the work of White Knights at any cost and make women realize that they too are people.

Few people live up to one archetype. Generally, unless they’re going out of their way to be one way or the other, someone will display White Knight and Black Knight behaviours based on personal preference. With their girlfriend, mother or female friends they may White Knight, with their ex, their coworkers and bar staff they may Black Knight. And these two identities, both on an individual and a societal level, live in a state of tug of war. At the moment White Knights are in the lead, but they are slowly losing ground and Black Knighting may soon become the norm. And this continual see-sawing balance is good, but not necessarily enjoyable by society or likely to inspire productive behaviour in those on the receiving end of White Knighting and Black Knighting.

This is because the balance is normally reactive. A White Knight is reacting to all the “jerks” he sees upsetting women and overcompensates in an attempt to balance. A Black Knight is reacting to all the “simps” he sees pedestalizing women and overcompensates to balance. A normal person White Knights people they like and Black Knights people they dislike. And all this does is create personal preferences. A woman will avoid a man who Black Knights her and only call on White Knights when she wants their assistance because neither of them are pleasant, just or balanced people to be around.

Instead of reacting to other people, the healthy middle ground is the Noble Man, who reacts to situations. The Noble Man doesn’t Black Knight everyone on principle or Black Knight people he dislikes: he Black Knights when someone is getting uppity. If his sister starts insulting and hitting her boyfriend, the Noble Man will restrain and calm her and probably advise the boyfriend to reconsider the relationship. However he also White Knights, or goes to the defense of the weak and needy, when the situation calls for it. If he sees that a rude waitress is groped by a drunk patron, the Noble Man will support her side to get the patron removed. He won’t treat anyone a specific way forever, rather, he will do what is needed to restabilize the situation.

Not that any of this will change many men’s minds. But at least it will give other women some groundwork from which to evaluate our relationships with the men in our lives.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.