If you are a black man out here claiming that you protect black women, but you have stipulations on the kind of black women you protect – only cis, only hetero, only respectable according to assimilationist standards, only afrocentric, only “woke,” only pretty, only the ones you fuck, only the ones you wanna fuck, only the ones that act like they might fuck you – then you are part of the problem.
You’re a patriarch. You might even be a misogynist. And the only thing that makes you livable is that you’re not a rapist. That is if you aren’t a rapist because a lot of them have rules like this too for women and what makes them worthy of decent treatment. And most of them don’t see what they do as rape.
A true protector does it out of love, not hubris or self-interest. And love means accepting and respecting women in the fullness of their humanity, flaws, mistakes, bad decisions, “mileage,” rachetness, raggedyness, trauma, damage, whatever and all.
It means giving them your good because you’re good, not because they’re good.
It means putting away all your rules and scales and checklists – all your oppressive metrics – and making a single determination: Would I want anyone to treat me this way for this same reason?
And if you need an example of how it’s done, black men – how people can protect imperfect human beings unflinchingly and unfailingly, no matter what might happen to them the victims or them the protectors – just look at how black women protect y’all.