I've titled this Black women deserve protection, however, even typing that, I can acknowledge that the statement is one that's considered a myth. Earlier this week, a Black woman was hit in the face with a brick by a man after telling him no when he asked for her phone number. In addition to her being hit by a brick, there were several men standing around watching the incident. And those same people did nothing. They didn't step in, nor did they do anything to help her after the fact. Instead, after she made the incident public, people decided instead to take to social media to share their opinions on what happened to this woman. Their opinions on the violent attack of another woman.
TikTok lives are often a place where you can often catch people discussing current events. It is not uncommon for there to be debates about any number of things. The assault that Rho experienced quickly became a topic for many content creators. People were going so far as to post a screenshot of her picture from the hospital. Men at large could not WAIT to share their feelings on the protection of women. I say men at large, because there were also women speaking from a place of internalized misogyny, which is another conversation in itself. Back to the response from men - when discussing the topic of nothing being done for Rho after the attack, the answers varied anywhere from "I have to think about my family, I have to get home safe to them" to "she really just should have smiled and given out her number." The majority of the responses that were seen were those placing the responsibility at Rho's feet for her own attack. The major thing that was missed, however, is that help looks many different ways. There was the option to step in as the man was walking to get the brick, there was the option to call the authorities after it happened, hell the option to simply ask Rho if she was okay and if she needed anything was there. Instead, nothing was done.
The frustration with the responses from women is that they were using the very words of their oppressors to try and justify what had happened to another woman. To see and hear women say that Rho deserved it because she was less desirable, that she deserved it because she was queer, even so far as to say she was trans, and therefore definitely didn't deserve the help. Never mind the fact that Rho is a cisgender woman, that thinking further pushed the narrative that she didn't need the help of men.
Another argument given as to why the protection or intervention wasn't needed for Rho came from a video of her where she is stating that men are not the protectors, that women are the protectors of other women. She went further to make the statement of "men ain't shit" and while a logical response could have, and should have, been to sit with what was being said and understand why it was being said, men proved the very point she was making. "Why should we protect her, look at what she said about men! She said men ain't protecting women, so why should we?!" Quite literally proving the point that was being made, largely in part due to not liking the delivery of the message and/or who was delivering the message.
For me personally, the biggest frustration about these excuses for not doing anything comes from the fact that Black women have always been and continue to be the protectors of everyone. Black women are the ones that make sure everyone is okay while also making sure that we're okay. Even with being the most disrespected people in America, we fight to keep us all safe.
And in the midst of doing all that we can to keep everyone safe, again with the knowledge that liberation for us is liberation for all of us, we are faced with men practically racing to tell us how much they, to not mince words, hate us. They are showing us in so many ways that the only time they deem us even remotely deserving of protection and respect is if we are in some way a possession of theirs. Whether that's a wife, partner, or child, that is when we can expect the protection to be there. And even that is conditional, because the moment that we "step out of line", that layer of protection is then stripped away.