Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The White Knight Hero

Last weekend, my husband and I went to see Borne Legacy.   Good movie. It started out slow but once it got going, it GOT going!  Lots of action and suspense.. and a touch of romance.  But what always gets my heart pumping are scenes where the strong, confident hero swoops in to rescue the heroine.  I'm just a sucker for rescue scenes!!  (You could probably tell from my books)   To me, there's nothing more romantic, more thrilling than a man risking his life to save his lady love.  To me, it defines the exciting differences between men and women.. the masculine protector and the soft, feminine damsel in distress. Now, I know this goes against women's liberation and everyone who says women are just as capable and strong as men, but I'm sorry, my heart doesn't swoon when a leather-clad woman barges in with machine gun in hand to rescue her man. It just doesn't do it for me. :-)

Yet, you would think from most of the TV shows and movies today that the tough I-can-take-of-myself females are a huge hit.  You see them everywhere from popular shows like Falling Skies to hit movies like The Avengers.   I do like strong female characters... but when I say strong, I mean internally. I like women with spunk and inner strength, smart, wise, and who know what they want and how to get it. But I don't like women who can overpower men or who have a macho, independent attitude. It's not feminine. And I'd bet most men don't like that either.  God made us uniquely feminine and masculine. Let us celebrate the differences rather than try to meld the two together and take out all the fun!

I guess I'm just an old-fashioned romantic, but I will never get enough of the knight on the white horse galloping in and fighting off the bad guy to rescue his princess.  My heart will always beat a little faster. I will always utter a little sigh and long to be in the heroine's shoes.

What are your thoughts?


  1. Tues Aug 28th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    My thoughts re - the hero swooping in to rescue the damsel in distress ... are the same. I'm not in to the womens' lib movement. I am quite happy and content to be a female. And I say: "Here, here ... to celebrating our unique differences" !!! Let the men be men, and the women be women.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. I absolutely one hundred-percent agree with you!

  3. Ah, thank you! I thought I was the last one standing ... ;)
    YES! I'm all for the equality of men and women, but with the understanding that we were created differently from each other. In God's image, both of us, but complimentary to each other. Oh, to have a man who is strong enough to stand and be that protector-defender, and a woman who is strong enough to encourage her man's masculinity, and embrace it thankfully! In an ideal world, don't you think that so many issues of today's marriages would be non-existent if all men and women let down their pride and allowed themselves to compliment each other?
    I sometimes think the women's lib. movement has actually put us back a few steps, rather than worked in our favour!

    And, MaryLu ... I love your comment - "my heart doesn't swoon when a leather-clad woman barges in with machine gun in hand to rescue her man"! Ha-ha! You made me laugh! Totally hits the nail on the head!

  4. I heartily agree, MaryLu! Give me the knight in shining (or better, a little tarnished but still strong) armor any day over the leather-clad woman with a machine gun.

  5. This post brought to mind some books by John and Stasi Eldredge. "Wild at Heart" and "Captivating". They are both highly recommended in my family and church family.

    Hope you have a great day!

  6. This is a very thought-provoking post for me. On the one hand, I dream of a man who will choose to be my "white knight." The closest thing I've ever experienced to that is the man who is now my father figure. It's so relieving to be able to not stress about "Am I protected? Am I safe?" But a white knight is more than that. A white knight guides with wisdom and tenderness. It's something that's sorely lacking in today's day and age.
    In all of your action/adventure movies, I personally enjoy watching the female heroine kick the bad guys' tails. As a single young woman, I view it as more of a self-defense ability that I wish I had more of. In reality, it would be difficult to be able to win in a fight against a man, however it is not impossible (that being said, most self-defense courses teach you how to strike in self-defense and then RUN AWAY!!!). However, what I often do not enjoy is the often aggressive, arrogant, and obnoxious attitude that the female heroine often takes in addition to her fighting abilities. Granted, they often pair her with a white knight figure that's equally obnoxious and arrogant, so he kinda deserves it, but why can't they create a heroine with self-defense fighting abilities tempered with wisdom, softness, and everything else that is feminine? Why can't they create a heroine that instead of making snide comments towards and constantly putting down the hero chooses to support, nurture, and encourage the hero towards greatness? I should think that would create a great deal more respect on the part of the "white knight," which is the core of what we desire in equality of the sexes anyways.
    I guess for me, I wish that as a single young female I could be that entrusting of white knights. However, a true white knight is a rare find indeed.

  7. Absolutely! I am not a fan of the gender lines being blurred.

  8. MaryLu, I agree with you 100%

    God specifically designed men and women in different ways to beautifully compliment each other. I want to see this in my novels also. Each having their strengths and weaknesses which the other makes up for. Like you said, I like my heroines to be internally strong. Enduring hardships and injustices with a gentle spirit, standing up for children, even standing up for her hero and helping him. I don't want a useless heroine who is stuck in tower or asleep for the whole book. But one who is right by her hero's side, ready to help in any way she can. But she has to compliment and encourage the hero not make him appear weak or stupid.

    And I LOVE strong heroes! I love when a hero knows his strength and when and how to use it, never abusing it. Like those times when the heroine catches him being gentle with children or animals yet she knows those same gentle hands can turn deadly should they be called on to protect or defend. Also spiritually strong. One who holds to his convictions and does what's right no matter the cost to himself. A man with wisdom, who foresees danger and protects those in his care, even with his own life. An alpha male but the kind that produces respect not fear - well, his enemies should fear him ;) A leader that others look up to. A man worthy of white horse and fair maiden :)

    Truly this is subject I could go on and on about, so I hope I didn't ramble too much lol! I, too, have often wanted to step into the shoes of a heroine and have the handsome hero save me and we ride (or sail!) off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Guess I'm just an old-fashioned romantic too :)


  9. Wow, this certainly sparked some discussion. It's interesting that most of the women I talk to feel this same way. They want to be strong yet feminine, and they want their men to be honorable, courageous and manly. I do believe this was God's plan from the beginning.... because the two fit together so well. Man wants to be admired. Women want to be cherished. Yet our culture has twisted and blended the roles so much, it has taken all the fun, the sparks out of romance, don't you think?

    I believe in equal pay for equal work and equal justice but I do believe Women's lib has ruined romance. Every man I've spoken with says he'd rather have a feminine woman than one who takes charge all the time.

    yes, I am familiar with those Eldridge books, Jennie. Great books!

    Sasafras, great points! I agree. As a single woman in today's culture, I imagine you are having a hard time finding that White Knight Hero. Frankly, I don't see too many out there anymore. It's sad. And that generates a distrust or men and a more independent I can take care of myself attitude among women.

    No, you didn't ramble, Amanda. I can tell you are passionate about this topic... and you described the ultimate hero so well!!

    What it reminded me was how ultimately Jesus is our hero. He's everything you described. :-)

  10. I'm big into women's self-defense, but I also take a bit of a historical view of being gentlemen and ladies in the context of romance...

    So, in a novel for example, I very much appreciate it when the heroine is given like one chance to risk her safety for the hero, but only if the hero does the same for her more than once. I guess for me, the reason is that risking your life is the ultimate expression of love (John 15:3), so I like to see them love each other equally, while the man can still remain the knight in shining armor. And the ultimate romance scene for me is when the couple has to fight *alongside* each other. :-)

  11. I agree with everything you said, even though I like it when a girl can defend herself and kick butt, even against her prince charming or knight and shining armor. Because that just shows him she's not afraid of him or of doing right (hoping that that's her intention). There's nothing wrong with being just as good or better than a guy, sometimes it can't be helped, that's just where the gifts/talents are. But it's not like she won't ever need him, because she's not perfect. I think that's where couples balance each other...(from my observation as a single person anyways).

    And if he's not even known to her it's because God is still working on him, so she's got to be able to defend herself (with like you said inner strength, spunk, smart, wise and knows how get what she wants.


  12. MaryLu, I'm sorry if I came across as sounding distrustful of men. Admittedly, because of some things I've gone through, I'm working through that (And as far as people tell me, I'm doing quite well). The man who embodies that role is rare to find, but (and this is what my father figure said when I showed him this post) that largely is due to a lack of maturity and a lack of determination to grow. However, I have to admit I have occasionally seen glimmers of it in the men around me. The potential is there, if it could only be nurtured. However, I do not think it would be wise for a woman to fully entrust herself to a man who is not ready to carry that responsibility. That is why I, being single, am careful to equip myself with the necessities to be independent until God brings me that man I can entrust myself to.

  13. It's really interesting to hear the younger single ladies' perspectives... because the culture (and the men) are so much different than they were even 20 or 30 years ago.

    I like that women can take classes in self-defense these days and protect themselves if need be (because let's face it, there aren't many heroes out there any more) But this has only been a recent development. Women in my mother's day would have never considered taking a karate class! It just wasn't considered feminine. I think it's a sad testimony of our culture that women feel the need to train to fight a man to defend themselves. Of course in the old days a lady never went out with an escort to keep her safe. We do live in a different time.

    Sasafras, it's okay to be a little distrustful of men. I have to say that I am as well. There've been many men in my life who have let me down, starting with my own father. Your words are wise.. to not entrust yourself fully to any man until he proves worthy of that trust.

    And in the meantime, we have to learn to be independent and take care of ourselves.. but let's do that while maintaining our precious gift of femininity.

    I'm still holding out for a hero.

  14. MaryLu, that's a really good point about how much this issue is affected by how the culture has changed.

    I actually did a research project on women's self defense in the modern world for one of my classes last semester, and found out some scary stuff. Overall (for America): 1 in 4 women will be beaten by a boyfriend/husband in her lifetime, and 1 in 12 will be stalked. As for rape, 1 in 6 will be raped, but the younger you are, the worse your chances - for a woman between the ages of 15 and 25, it's a matter of 1 in 3. Yes, 1 in 3!!! 28% of the time, the attacker will be a romantic partner, and 38% of the time a non-romantic friend or close accquaintance. Only 27% of the time is it a stranger, even though the scary man in the dark alley is stereotypical - women are in the most danger from those closest to them, nowadays. (And these aren't fearmongering statistics; it was academic research.)

    When people ask me if I enjoy studying self defense, I tell them, "I love being able to defend myself - but I hate having to know how to."

    Sorry for how long that ended up being. :-) All that to just say - yes, a lot of young women feel that way because of the what the world has become. Feeling *safe* is one of the things I most look forward to about heaven.

  15. Those are scary statistics, Sapphire!! Wow. I'm glad I didn't know those when I was younger. Like I said before, I'm completely in favor of women learning to defend themselves.. particularly in this day and age.. and with such a huge lack of honorable men running around. What a shame. Yes.. heaven will be delightful in so many ways.
    Ladies.. all of you be safe out there.. may Angels watch over your every step!!

  16. My mother was like those ladies from another time you mentioned, MaryLu: she didn't believe self-defense was lady-like. So I never got to learn that. On top of that, because it was automatically assumed by my parents that I would never leave the house on my own without a parent with me, I was never taught the self-awareness skills that are far more important than learning any self-defense techniques. As a result, when I left, I knew squat except for what I'd taught myself as a result of my home life. Thankfully, God has blessed me with a certain natural amount of discernmentm, and has also surrounded me with women (and men) who are watching out for me, so now that I'm out of my parents' home I've learned so much. But God has also allowed me to be in a few situations that were potentially dangerous in order to help me learn, like a few weeks ago I was at a running track and got some stuff in my shoe. I wandered off to find a stick, sat down and began cleaning it off. This tall black man who'd also been running around the track came up to me and started talking to me before finally asking me for my phone number. I was pretty much removed from public view, and he looked to be in his mid-20's, while I easily could've passed for a teenager (and there were several young girls who'd come out to run at this track, so he couldn't have known differently). Thankfully, nothing happened. God protected me, and I managed to remove myself from that situation, but it taught me several things about being self-aware and not making myself a target that I hadn't known.

    But as far as actually finding a "white knight," when I think of what I want in my husband someday a lot of the qualities of a white knight come up: a close walk with the Lord, respectful, honorable, tender and gentle, a strong leader who is also a humble servant, an open and honest man. These are the qualities I search for. But awhile back it occurred to me that the only way I will ever catch this man's attention is if I cultivate those exact same qualities, as well as ones that compliment his. I wonder, perhaps, a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg question: Is the reason why see so few "white knights" also the reason why there are so few "God's Princesses" out there? Perhaps the lack of each feeds off the other and further perpetuates the problem?

  17. My mother never taught me anything about defense or how to be careful either. When I was in my 20s I did some really stupid things and put myself in some really dangerous situations that make me cringe when I think of them. Thank God He was looking out for me even in my own stupidity. But sometimes, as in your case, you can just be doing something you think is fine and not realize you've put yourself in danger. I'm glad this guy didn't try anything.

    I love your point about us being God's Princesses. How true is that? We want the knight, but we need to also make ourselves worthy of a man like that. And visa versa.. But it's got to start somewhere! It all boils down to being the best man or woman God has created you to be!