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Men Aren’t Serious About “Protect Black Women”

Content warning: abuse, violence, misogyny

All last weekend my social media feed was filled with videos about Lexus’ story about the Tabi Swiper, Roh Bashe, the woman assaulted by a man with a brick, and men acting whole fools about both incidents.

“Ladies of NYC, be-f—ing-ware. This man is out here on Tinder and Hinge and he will steal from you,” Lexus said. “This is a story about how that f—er stole my Mary Jane Tabis that my father bought for me as a birthday gift.”

That’s right, this lady got robbed of her expensive designer shoes by her Tinder date. You can get all the details on her TikTok, NextLevelLexuss, but long story short, she saw an attractive Black man while she was out in SoHo. Later that evening the man sent her a message via Tinder asking her out for drinks. They go out. She thinks he’s cute and suitable enough for a brief fling. He’s insistent on seeing her again and on their next meeting he’s invited over to her place. He spends the night and the next morning she politely shoos him out of her home, only to realize that he has stolen her designer shoes.

Ultimately, her video goes viral, and her updates reveal Josh admits to stealing her shoes, which he gave to his girlfriend, and returns them to her.

Trifling, right?

Then there is the story of what happened to Bashe.

After refusing to give her phone number to a man unknown to her, he began threatening her with a brick in the presence of other men. At some point he stops threatening her and uses the brick—striking her in the face—before fleeing the scene in a car.

In her initial video after the physical assault, she addresses the men who witnessed the assualt and refused to intervene, "Y'all, this man just hit me in my face with a brick and all these Black men just watched. This man ... grabbed a rock and hit me in my face because I wouldn't give him my number. I want you to be a man and do something. You gonna let a man hit me in my face?"

A faceless male voice in the crowd responds, “What do you want us to do?”

Bashe’s injuries are horrific. The swelling on the side of her face is immediate and yet despite witnessing what happened, no one offers to assist her, call the police, or an ambulance.

In follow up videos, we learn Bashe’s injuries include a concussion along with severe swelling. At the time of publication, there are still men in her Instagram comment section taunting her.

Both instances quickly went viral, and the conversation surrounding these incidents feel even more unhinged than usual. Too many Black men have made their disdain for Black women entirely transparent. They’ve responded with what feels like even more vitriol and misogyny than usual.

The men across the internet have raised their voices to exclaim:

“Why’d you let him in your house?”

“If you have casual sex you should expect to be robbed.”

“You wanted to be independent, protect yourself!”

“If you aren’t my mama, related to me, or dating me I am not risking my life to protect you.”

“No one cares about you.”

Hearing, seeing, and reading about the hatred and indifference felt by Black men toward Black women being assaulted or experiencing a violation of home is nothing new, but these instances leave me with a refreshed kind of tired resignation.

Thankfully, there are people online, with sense, talking about these situations with nuance and pointing out important context of the barrage of nihilistic takes, but I keep returning to this: We are at a point where Black men are more and more often failing to recognize the humanity of Black women, and that is terrifying.

Because it’s only “Protect Black Women” when they’ve deemed you a Black woman worth protecting.

Remember the Montgomery Boat Brawl? What a time Black people had online celebrating the coming together of Black people against white racists who thought they would get away with beating a Black man up in broad daylight. So many people claimed to be ready to ride for our people.

No one asked if the Black man being punched was worthy of being defended. No one expected him to simply protect himself against a mob of unruly violent white people. They saw a Black man in trouble and jumped in to help.

And weeks later here we are reminded of just how unwilling many of us are to ride for the women among us. Bashe’s TikTok was mass reported and banned from the platform. Lexus spoke about her experience in an interview with “Vogue” and made points that apply to both unfortunate situations.

“This whole incident speaks to how misogyny works in this world, how men treat women,” Lexus says. “It is about someone sleeping with me and stealing from me, that dynamic leaves me in a vulnerable position. He knew that he could charm his way into a girl’s bed with a secret, ulterior motive. […] He lied to me and gaslit me, he made me feel like I was besmirching his name and ruining his life [by posting the TikToks]. And it’s a similar story for women who have gone through much worse. You just constantly think, ‘What did I do to him?’, it’s never about what happened to you. That’s because of the power dynamics that exist between men and women. The same goes for the people online who said that it was all my fault for having casual sex. We all have sex! Be for real. Is that the crime here? Not the robbery?” … or a brick to the face?


Perdita Patrice is a Texas-based writer and documentary filmmaker. She enjoys live music, reading, and watching TV. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @perditapatrice


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