The Medieval White Knight is Alive and Well

May 13, 2013

A white knight was a hereditary knighthood within Ireland dating from the medieval period. Although the original knighthood, itself, has become dormant, it denotes an era of chivalry.

Today’s white knight is also a hero who comes to the rescue of a different kind of damsel in distress. This white knight is often seen as the beleaguered champion who fights for a cause, generally of women who are seen as weak or victims of circumstance.

This is the kind of man who draws women to him like magnets who are in financial trouble or in a troubled marriage and can’t get out. He takes on the role of savior, first giving advice, and then getting sucked into the role of giving money or gifts.

This goes beyond having a need to be needed. It’s an exaggerated need to be seen as godlike, a man with superhuman powers who can fix all the woman’s problems.

It doesn’t occur to him to help the woman learn what she needs to know so that she can fend for herself. He doesn’t want her to be independent. He wants her to look up to him and depend on him to take on all the jobs that have been difficult for her.

It can be hard to distinguish if this man is valued for himself, or for his advice, or for his money. But one thing is clear. After a short period of time, he sees nothing else but the necessity to play the white knight, win, lose, or draw.

At some point, he is even willing to give up everything in order to save the damsel in distress and one has to wonder, if every woman in the world needed rescuing, just how far this white knight would go to rescue all of them.

Bankruptcy, sleep deprivation mean nothing to him as long as he can continue to play the white knight and be seen as her hero.

And that’s how he wants to be seen, even if he has to appear to be humble while he is playing at being godlike.

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