Be a Modern Knight: Protecting Your Lady in the 21st Century

by Brett & Kate McKay on August 12, 2008 · 116 comments

in Dating, Marriage, Relationships & Family

Although the gender lines in this modern age have become increasingly blurred, there is one male/female disparity that even the most ardent feminist cannot deny: men are physically stronger than women. As such, they have from the inception of the human race been called upon to be the community’s warriors, knights, and soldiers. Fending off would-be attackers and predators, these men took seriously the charge to protect and keep safe the women and children.

Of course these days, the danger of marauding enemies or ferocious beasts has all but waned. Sure, a man must be ready to protect his home should a villain invade it or protect his lady in a street fight. But the days of men universally being both citizen and solider have passed. Yet a man’s role in protecting the women in his life has not ceased. While men are no longer called to be warriors against physical attack, we now have the duty to protect our women from emotional harm, to keep safe the hearts and esteem of the ladies in our lives.

Newsflash: Men Like Women with Curves; Women Still Think Their Butts Look Too Big

I recently came across this interesting study (warning: nude ladies covering their lady parts with their hands) which showed that while women believe a thin figure is the female ideal, men actually prefer a more curvy lady. What was even more interesting is that this story made the front page of Digg, and while Digg users are known for their terribly disparaging and caustic comments, the vast majority agreed with the results. So what does such a story show us? First, men like women with curves. Second, women don’t believe this. Third, contrary to popular belief, men are not to blame for this disconnect. The blame lies instead with the media and the catty expectations of a woman’s female peers.

While men may not be at fault for women’s skewed body image problem, we can be part of the solution; we can support the women in our lives and help them feel better about themselves. I have been rather dismayed at the number of my female friends and family who on the surface appear confident and attractive, but inwardly are pained with acute insecurities. Even beautiful women often feel ugly, fat, and unattractive. True, some men also battle insecurities, but by and large we often feel fairly comfortable about ourselves. Just take a look at the beach at the shirtless men, their huge guts hanging over their Speedo, strolling along without a care in the world.

Let me be clear about something-at the end of the day, a man cannot make a woman feel good about herself; a woman’s self-esteem is under her control and something only she can fix and heal. But it would be most naive to not admit that we are all-men and women alike-influenced by those around us. To your lady, you are the most important and influential person in her life. And you must be valiant in protecting her heart and spirit.

Being a modern knight for your lady

Be generous with your compliments. Whenever your lady is looking luminous, let her know. I often fall into the trap of looking at my wife, thinking about how beautiful she is, but then not vocalizing that thought. I figure she already knows how pretty I think she is, so there is no need to repeat it. But I have come to realize that she can never hear it enough. Insecurities never completely go away, and my frequent and sincere compliments can buoy her up each day. Whenever your lady is experiencing self-doubt, be there with an earnest and encouraging word for her.

Don’t blatantly ogle other women. It’s natural for a man to look at other attractive women and women should understand this. But men should try to keep this impulse under control. If you’re at dinner with your lady and she sees you ogling some model-esque woman, even though she knows it’s a natural impulse, the message is still going to register as, “He wishes I looked more like that.” Feeling that you only have eyes for her will make your lady feel confident and secure.

Guard against harmful media sources. Women will admit that advertisements make them feel insecure, yet they keep on reading Cosmo and other trash that make them feel like crap. Try to steer your lady away from tabloidy rubbish. Buy her a subscription to a magazine that doesn’t set the standard of female beauty artificially high.

When magazines and television do present some fake, plastic surgery constructed stick of a woman as the female ideal, you may be thinking, “Yuck, she’s so gross,” but your lady may be thinking, “I wish I looked like that.” Interrupt these thoughts by vocalizing your distaste for women who look like they are strung out on heroin or are the result of a science experiment gone awry.

Quit watching porn. When you turn to porn to get aroused, you send this message to your lady: “You are cute, but when I really want to get excited I need to look at women with cantaloupe sized breasts” Your lady, and her alone, should do if for you. And she should know that in her heart.

Steer her away from negative friends. When a woman gets all gussied up, she’s not doing it just for you. She also wants to impress other women. And who can blame her when so many women are super judgmental and critical of their female peers. Steer your lady away from negative friends who obsess about their appearance, make comments about your lady’s appearance, and generally make your lady feel insecure.

{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Chris Nelson January 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm

I applaud the spirit in which this has been written…let’s just say men should vigilant about such things.

That said, I don’t know if I would care to date any woman who would need me to do this for her on a regular basis. The trick is to be intuitive enough to know when it may required, and when she’s handling things just fine on her own. Give me an article on how to be a more intuitive male…now THAT would be something I’d get into…. It is an integral tool in the survival of any successful long-term relationship, whether you want to admit it or not.

102 Patricia January 25, 2010 at 3:41 am

Dear all who are users of pornography and adultery,
If you believe that man is nothing but an animal and cannot control himself then obviously you would be right in saying that self-control is not worth even mentioning, why try. “Do what thou wilt” is the primary law in your book just as satanist, Aleister Crowley, said. But, if you believe in a God that will judge every thought, word and deed, and a Judge, that counts hate the same as murder and *lust the same as adultery* (Matthew 5:26), Who will punish you according to your sins (without repentance of your sins-turn from them and do right- and trust in Jesus’ attoning sacrifice) then you would have a different view on these moral matters. Ideas have consequences! Your worldview matters.

103 Jeem January 31, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Much ink spilt on the issue of pornography. Here’s more, be patient.
If I may, I’d like to list the average characteristic “views” of the “porn-advocate” (based off extensive conversation, research, observance, and basic understanding of the human condition):
1) Considers porn a helpful, if not an integral part, of their relationship, and believes that it has no real or damaging effect on user.
2) The physical aspect of their relationship is the most important/binding aspect (if the sex stopped, the relationship would too).
3) Has no problem with sexual activity outside of a married situation.
4) Masturbation is not considered a disordered lack of self control.
5) Would not readily disagree with the statement,”If it feels good, do it.”
6) Would hold that not masturbating / engaging in sex is repressive and unhealthy.
7) Hold that arguments made against 1-6 are religious based.
1. We are very visual people, that is why billions of dollars are spent on advertisement. One brief pornographic image can stamp itself in our memory and be near impossible to get rid of. When you are having sex with your partner, are you sure it is you they are thinking of? If porn is not addicting, try not using it for 40 days. I dare you.
2. Sex has become a recreational sport for the majority of the western world. Why are there broken homes? Because the “glue” is often based off of sexual excitement and gratification. When that fades, and it surely will, most people think “O we’re not in love anymore” or that they have failed in the relationship. Yes, sex is important in a healthy, committed (dare I say, married) relationship, but to artificially avoid the challenging times with porn is stunting the maturation of the relationship. Use these “lulls” in times of physical intimacy as in invitation to deepen the relationship.
3) Reserving sex for marriage is not just a “religious” argument (cf. 7). Sociological studies are now showing that 70% of non-married sexually active couples will end their eventual marriages in divorce. Ref #2.
4) Masturbation is exerting a real desire towards a non-real object (porn, fantasy, etc. / a “removed” stimulation) Anyone serious about bio-chemistry will recognize that a lot of hormonal activity is involved with sexual arousal, and these actions are quite a bit more powerful than imagining your next cheeseburger when you are hungry. The deliberate, habitual choice to masturbate accustoms the brian to this hormonal activity and can further weakens one’s ability to channel and control their urges.
5) If you can’t see what’s wrong with the “if it feels good, do it” mentality, please do not procreate.
6) Not masturbating will not, despite mistaken belief, cause your legs to fall off or send you into a manic state. Learning self-control makes the difference. “Expressing yourself” sexually doesn’t necessarily mean genital stimulation. Urges happen, but these can be channeled to more productive energy. It also is a psychological alarm to see if the other areas in your life are in check (sleep, diet, stress, etc. Get these right so you don’t have to masturbate to cope.)
7) Morals and ethics are the ways we speak about human actions. We don’t say the dog is malicious because be peed on the rug. Animal’s actions can not be evaluated morally or ethically. Human being’s can, because we deliberate and freely choose an action. Often, the secular sciences/sociologies support what many ethical and moral assertions claim (killing an innocent person is not in conformity with healthy human behavior). Traditionally, religion has played a role in giving voice/shape to these moral evaluations, many times contributing a few new ones. This is because the traditional Judeo-Christian religions have a higher view of the human person, believing that them capable of greater things and hence, set a higher moral standard. Some despair of a loftier vision of the human person, thinking it unattainable, and reject claims of moral objectivity on the grounds that “it’s just one’s religious perspective.”

104 Margo February 26, 2010 at 12:17 am

Though I like many articles on this site, I find this one a little off-track in several ways. Firstly, how do you make the link between “men are physically stronger, and therefore can protect the group from physical harm” to “men are meant to protect, and therefore are responsible for the emotional well-being of females”? I understand that this site promotes kindness, confidence, and competence as a part of new masculinity, but why is it “a man’s role to protect the women in his life”? How is he not protecting other men? How is he not being protected by everyone?
I also find it strange that the insecurities faced by the women mentioned in the article seem to center around physical attractiveness and body image, as if this were the extent of “emotional problems” they might face, being less complex and layered beings.

105 Lizzy March 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I am a woman as my name suggests. I very recently became aware of this website. I think this article is interesting both for its content and the comments it inspired. I guess I think that it can be distilled down to two basic ideas for relationships whether one is male or female. 1. Be a positive force in the life of your significant other. 2. Limit the number of things that you do which you know makes the other uncomfortable. Honest communication is at the center of all of this. It’s hard to develop but well worth the effort. The individual activities described in this article were perhaps chosen because they are common causes of conflict in many relationships. Maybe they are starting points by which manly men and womanly women can examine their behavior and become better partners in life. I can think of situations I’ve seen where men and women have both chosen to put certain things aside for the sake of a relationship. Maybe not forever, but I always admired that they recognized something that wasn’t helping the situation and removed it so that more important matters could be dealt with without added and sometimes painful distractions. This article is about learning to die to self for the sake of another. It’s a very attractive quality in a man or woman and something that the me generation ought to consider more closely. (I am in my early twenties.)

106 Erik March 31, 2010 at 11:17 pm

As Terry Jones said in the TV documentary Crusades, a knight was someone who ‘was trained to destroy the weak’. The Crusaders themselves he described as ‘heavily-armed professional killers’.
None of which stops the reality of chivalry from being awesome, in a horrifying kind of way.
This means that perhaps we should all bear in mind that a real knight would probably have been more likely to give his ‘lady’ a violent backhander if she ever started carping on about how fat her ass was. (Courtly love was aimed at impressing *other men’s wives*, not your own).

107 Bergie April 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I took a very critical look at the “article” you showed at the top there… much different from yours, but our sentiment towards media is similar:

You guys are amusing. =)

108 Dave May 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Gaurd her self esteem? Come on this is a tad rediculous. Princess want to burn her bra, then princess is tough enough to hang with the guys. You ladies have been the ones blurring the gender lines. For the most part men take pride in being able to protect and provide for their women and children. Women stop telling men how to be men. Men stop buying into the whole it’s ok to cry, get in touch with your inner child stuff. Men need to know how to protect and defend. In fact, I suggest that every man who reads this post punches the next guy he see’s with a manicure. Here is the Gods honest truth. Women do not want what women say they want. In my opinion there is an attraction to women when they can tame the beast. Once your domesticated however they quickly realize that this is not all it was cracked up to be. Men are just as hypocritical. We do not want easy girls. They might get our attention for a date or two, but men like the pursuit, and the challange. As far as protecting your self-esteem the answer is in the question… SELF It is not called everybodyelses-esteem for a reason.

109 Jonathan June 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Setting completely aside the issue of whether pornography is something that can or should be included in a relationship, have any of you been to a porn convention or met someone who works in the porn industry? I have a friend who is working to rescue people from that line of work, she’s out living in L.A. and sends me horror stories of people she’s met who have been so twisted and emotionally bankrupted by the industry that they don’t know who they are anymore. Those who leave the industry and start rebuilding themselves look back at who they were and shed tears over their having been rescued.

Solely on the basis of knighthood (something I am very big on) and standing up for my principles and what’s right, I can’t excuse the use of porn because of what it helps perpetuate. Not to mention dignity, which has already been mentioned – I have watched porn myself, and when I have, it’s like I’m standing outside my body and thinking not “this is wrong, I should stop,” but rather, “this is disgusting, why am I reducing myself to this?”

110 Tito June 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

@Jonathan: Spot on. I agree completely.
@Brett: I only recently started reading this site and the posts are, at the very least, thought provoking. Great article, thanks.

Having read at least the first half of these responses, I’d like to say that, from my relatively inexperienced point of view, when you’re with someone who is sexually satisfying to you, you will have no desire to use pornography. I know people who think otherwise and seem to have relatively healthy relationships, but this is the kind of belief that goes back to the core of this article: modern chivalry. Those people I know who regularly use pornography also don’t engage in any activities that seem to me to be grounded in a sense of chivalry. You’ve got to live right – by your own standards – but don’t try to say that looking at other women naked is part of a chivalrous life. To those that warn of potentially “unstable” women that can’t deal with “such a small thing” as pornography in their man’s life: man up, grow a pair, and show that you can sacrifice “such a small thing” for the relationship you have with your woman.

To address the rest of the article, I know that women can, and do, defend themselves, both physically and emotionally. However, as several posters have noted, and I myself have been told by girlfriends in the past, they enjoy feeling like their man wants to and can protect them. Being there for support and protection is not the same as attempting to control your partner.

111 Brendon August 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I agree with the porn comment. It is a shameful thing to do, espeically when one has a wife. It is outright cheating. Those of us who are Christians know that even looking at a woman with lust is committing adultery with her in your heart. So if you’re watching porn, you’re committing a complete act of adultery in your heart. Where your treasure is, your heart is. Additionally, it ruins you psychologically and strains your relationship. When you finally do turn away, you will always be plagued by those evil images. Men who look at porn, religious or no, lack self control – they lack control over their very being. And if you can’t control yourself, then what do you have? If you’re a slave to your own desires, you are not free. As far as I am concerned, if you have a wife and she knows you look at porn, you ought to be honored and humbled by the fact that she has not dumped you yet, and loves you enough that even though you cheat on her in your own heart, which is supposed to be her heart, she has not left you. You ought to turn from your perversion and apologize to her, and God. After you quit watching porn, work on eliminating lustful thoughts that are not about your wife altogether.

112 Leah October 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Not bad, I think not so much the porn but the fact that women don’t want to date someone who has lust issues, it all starts in the mind… I want a man not a horny little boy with no respect for me.

113 Dillon Colbert February 22, 2013 at 5:52 pm

@Patricia you are forgetting a very part of Alistair Crowely’s teachings he said, “if it harm none, do what thou wilt”, also Alistair was not a Satanist, he was a type of pagan, yes, his teachings are very well respected amongst the pagan community, his “lady friend” actually encouraged his acts of adultery. amongst pagans their is mentality of, “if it makes sense, in a logical way, a spiritual way, and may or may not depending on your view points conflict with quantifiable scientific research”. In my humblest of opinions relating to morality porn, masturbation, even ogling a woman who is not your partner is wrong and severely harmful to either party. take my observations for example, they aren’t the end all reasoning to this, but they are mine and at least on this you can trust me, in my experience the majority of pagans are female, the ratio of heterosexual men to homosexual men is 2:1 of those who are straight the amount that masturbate, with a relationship or without are far less than males and even females who are Christian, Jewish, Atheist, or Mormon. think about that you’re condemning pornography as bad and giving the reason that is not Christian, oh excuse me satanic, and then stating a quote from a prolific author of modern day paganism, certainly not the founder and certainly not a believer of Satanism. In the future if you are going to quote somebody, please know what your talking about, you never know who is going to read it and whose feathers you are going to ruffle, I don’t go around saying that Christians are bad because one of their major writers butchered people for a living or even because MOST of their writers butchered people for a living, I don’t demand that Yahweh is evil because one of the ten commandments which every believer of the old testament says that I’m going to be selfish and if you worship somebody who isn’t me then I’m going to kill you, or the fact that elohim is in a plural context at the beginning of the bible and is in fact a plural word in Hebrew, no that’s not what I say is bad or illogical about the bible.

114 Josh August 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

This article definitely rings true with what I’ve seen. Ladies need and adore compliments, honest and thoughtful, from their men.

I’m gonna have to call out your comment on porn as broad-handed and religion-driven. I think that the God-fearing mans perception of porn, as used by the majority of men, is terribly misconstrued to be how it is used by an ill-set minority. When men choose porn over women, that is an ill-set situation in my opinion. If porn is used when a woman is not available, I find this completely healthy. In the latter scenario, I would argue that it is merely a means to an end rather than an end or an escape from reality. I’ll use myself as a case and point: I’m working an internship far from home and my girlfriend, so our relationship has become long distance until i return. I did not even ponder it when I was in town with her, but I “use” porn a lot now but merely to satisfy urges. However, when I’m done, I’m done. I walk away from it like I do the toilet. Does anybody remember what they were thinking about last time they were in the bathroom? What part of the wall you stared at? Not likely. The details of what I watch fade immediately because that’s not why I was viewing it. The only details I seem to ever remember are whether the women looked like my girlfriend or not.
I do not think porn can be broad-handed-ly banished. It has a place in my mind and some psychologists agree. There is growing research on “healthy amounts of porn” google it.

115, love message, ловемессаг.ру, сайт знакомств без регистрации, сайт знакомств December 7, 2013 at 4:25 am

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