In these trying times, who doesn't appreciate a little extra chivalry and politeness every once in a while?
But, if you're a woman, you probably know that some "good deeds" don't come off as "kind" or "polite" at all. Instead, they can feel condescending, creepy, infantilizing, or worse: all of the above.
Recently, Reddit user u/ParamedicExotic2510 brought this issue front-and-center when they asked women to share which "white knight behaviors" actually make them really uncomfortable, and points were definitely made. Here are the responses:
Note: This post is in no way, shape, or form trying to say "DON'T BE NICE TO WOMEN EVER." Rather, it's about considering how your actions — no matter how well-intentioned — might come off to a woman, considering *gestures wildly* all the ways we've been treated in society up until this point.
1."Offering to help you and not backing off, regardless of what you say. My cousin is very beautiful and often has men offering help left and right in an effort to get in her good graces — except they keep offering when she says no. And they keep offering. And they 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."
2."When people try to put words in my mouth, like, 'what I think she meant was...' No, no, no. I said what I said, all questions can be directed to me."
3."When someone interrupts or stops telling a story to apologize for the profanities being used in front of me."
"Or you're in a group conversation with some men and one of them swears, so another man cuts him off and scolds him because I'm there. What is this, the 1850s? I promise I won't faint."
4."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 the men, then I just wouldn’t be employed."
5."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 WIFE,' 'don’t talk about MY wife that way...'"
6."When they try to mansplain to me about how to do my job."
7."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."
8."Insisting on walking me to my car. No one has insisted on this with good intentions, so stop pretending you are protecting me."
9."Kissing my hand when first meeting me. Please, no."
10."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."
11."Men I don't know calling me 'honey,' 'sweetheart,' or any variation of that. It happens less now that I'm older, thank god."
12."Walking you home after a first date, especially when you don't know them well. Like, okay, maybe there's good intent, but statistically, the guy I just started dating is more of a risk than the possibility of some random stranger-danger attack on a busy, well-lit city street. Until I know a guy better, I emphatically don't want to give them my address. I once told a guy all that out of sheer exasperation when he wouldn't accept my 'no, thank you'. He was...not happy."
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 axe out of my hands mid-swing."
14."Those cringe-y 'POV' TikToks where a guy acts out an imaginary scenario where he saves a girl from being harassed/assaulted. They just love imagining that a woman is being hurt, just so they can be a hero. And there's always epic, movie-type music playing in the background."
15."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."
16.And finally, "Men I don’t know being 'gentlemanly' 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."
Do you have any super annoying "hero" behaviors you'd like to point out that weren't mentioned? Share 'em in the comments!
Responses have been edited for length/clarity.