During a live forum about Black relationships hosted by podcast, Tonight’s Conversation, a woman asked if she should be concerned about her man’s behavior. The curious woman wanted to know if it was cool that her boyfriend seemed to extend himself when it came to her best friend. For instance, if the three of them attended a group dinner, her boyfriend would walk the friend to her car, to make sure she got off safely. If the two of them gave her a ride home at night, he’d wait until she got in the door before pulling off. Immediately, there were groans and moans of disapproval from the audience. But one of the male panelists interjected. He shared that women who want men that prioritize protecting Black women shouldn’t shun or shame him for operating by those principles for their friends.

It’s an interesting conversation that clearly raises mixed emotions from women especially. But as the panelist explained, if you believe Black men should care for and protect Black women that should be extended to all Black women. Still not convinced. There are a few other reasons to consider why you man should look out for your homegirls.

It Expands Community

It’s a real testament to your man’s character if other women feel comfortable around him. When so many women are abused and assaulted by men they know, it’s nice to know that there is a man in your circle you can trust. Sadly, many women, especially Black women, don’t get to experience this safety because men only choose to show up for the women they are connected to biologically or romantically. Having a man lookout for your girl, broadens the definition of community. 

It Proves His Character

When you’re dating, it’s important to observe your partner to see if their words and actions align. If your man says Black women are queens but treats them like paupers, then you know something ain’t right. Far too many people offer empty platitudes when it comes to how the Black woman should be treated in society. But when it’s time for those same people to put action behind their so-called convictions, they fall short. The way your man treats your friends says something about his views on all women.

He Cares about the People You Care About 

For many women, it’s important that our friends and close loved ones approve of our partners. After all, these people have likely known you longer and better than any romantic prospect. Their opinion matters. If the relationship progresses, how beautiful would it be if all parties got along? When you really love someone, you also love the people they love. Your man should always prioritize you. Still, it’s nice to see the good vibes and well wishes extend to your tribe.

Establishes a Standard of Care 

There’s a good chance men would like to show up for more for the women in their everyday lives, but just don’t know how to do so. There aren’t enough examples. So women may not know what to ask for and men don’t know what to do. But if more men took the approach of communal care, i.e. walking a woman to her car, defending her against other men, etc. it would establish a standard among boys and young men who may one day follow his lead.

It’s what Black Women Deserve 

Young men are not the only ones who need to see communal care in action. Girls and women need to as well. In all of our relationships, for better or worse, we go for what we know. If a person has only seen men disrespecting and disregarding women, that’s what they’ll look for. Having a man who is in service to Black women, not just relatives or romantic interests, not only sets a good example for young men, it can serve as a model for the type of treatment your friend should expect when they choose partners of their own.