Certain toxic people have the skill of destroying relationships or using powerful people or a network of people to exact vengeance on someone, and then pretending that they are innocent. The pretence of innocence can be accompanied by some cleverly dramatized sorrow or crying or white-lies. The deed done by the person can be purely out of jealously, hatred or misunderstanding.

Certain people are prone to sympathizing with such toxic people. Even if they are factually aware of the destruction the toxic person has caused, and they are aware of the reason. These people not only ignore the deed, but also support and protect the toxic person from others. What's worse, they support the toxic person even if the toxic person ruined the supporter's own life or relationship, or even if the toxic person backstabs them.

Is there a word or phrase to describe such people (or the behaviour of such people)?

  • 1
    According to your description, not so blindly?
    – Xanne
    May 26, 2022 at 7:30
  • By "blindly", I meant that the person is aware of the facts but ignores it when they see the woman crying.
    – John David
    May 26, 2022 at 7:54
  • 1
    Check out Tom Lehrer's take on the subject May 26, 2022 at 15:27
  • It's the 21st century, we've realized that men are all dicks and women are always right. So this seems to be a tautolgy.
    – Barmar
    May 26, 2022 at 21:29
  • I'd like to see you re-formulate this question without the genders -- they really aren't necessary to your question -- let's replace the woman with A and the man with B. Then B is easily manipulated / always falls prey to A's manipulation / is gullible where A is concerned. Note there is a pejorative term for the woman who manipulated the man in a destructive, repetitive way: ball breaker. May 27, 2022 at 4:48

3 Answers 3


The term "white knight" is pretty spot on for this. From Know Your Meme:

On January 17th, 2007, the Internet humor site Something Awful published a post titled "A Few Words on the Internet White Knight," which criticized white knights for being indiscriminate in the women they choose to defend. On January 6th, 2009, Urban Dictionary member abstractsplash submitted an entry for "Internet White Knight," defining the term as "someone who stands up for girls on the Internet they barely know."

It's a disparaging slang expression that's pretty well known (at least to people who spend enough time online). Sometimes (maybe even often) it's used to describe a guy who is trying to get a reward from the woman/girl for defending her, maybe not even letting her decide for herself how to handle the situation. The behavior you describe is definitely white knighting, though the term would also cover situations where the person being defended wasn't in the wrong and any reasonable person would want to say something.

Simping is pretty similar but it's a bit broader, used to describe what I would summarize as woman-worshiping (usually to an unhealthy extreme). Again, not a nice word.

Strictly speaking, neither of these terms has to be used to describe this specific gender/sex dynamic, but that's how they're almost always used.

  • 1
    Is this a new connotation? I've always taken "white knight" as someone who comes to a woman's rescue when she's being attacked, bullied, etc. There's no connotation that the woman is on the wrong.
    – Barmar
    May 26, 2022 at 21:30
  • Simping seems closer to what I asked. "White night" reminds me of Harvey Dent from the Dark Knight trilogy :-)
    – John David
    May 27, 2022 at 10:24

In the U.S. at least, we'd often say that such a person was "whipped". From Merriam-Webster:

What does whipped mean in slang use?
In slang use, if someone in a romantic relationship is whipped, they let their romantic partner have a great deal of control over what they do, where they go, etc.

And from Lexico:

1.2 informal Dominated or controlled by a woman (typically used of a man)

  • Thank you, but "control" is not what I intended to convey. The support they give is based on some kind of a misplaced sympathy when they see the crying. It's not just toward women. They tend to sympathize and ignore wrongdoing of anyone.
    – John David
    May 26, 2022 at 7:53
  • 1
    @JohnDavid Oh, I see. I think I misunderstood your question then. I'll leave my answer here, because your comment helps to clarify, but feel free to ignore it of course. May 26, 2022 at 7:57

Based on the questioner's recent comment, he might want to consider the term "sap". The following is copied from Google, which employs Oxford Languages as source:


noun: sap; plural noun: saps

a foolish and gullible person. "He fell for it! What a sap!"

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