Women Don’t Need Men

More than ever, “mankind” is becoming a misnomer. With advanced understanding, we now know that women are both necessary and sufficient for reproduction, and men are neither.

So says Greg Hampikian, a Boise State biology professor. Expounding in the Times on how much women — and not men — are needed to propagate the species, he offers examples like this:

Your life as an egg actually started in your mother’s developing ovary, before she was born; you were wrapped in your mother’s fetal body as it developed within your grandmother.

Wow! I had never realized that.

Then after leaving our mother’s body, suckling provided our nourishment.

But there’s more: Mom sampled our diseases by holding and kissing us and then countered our infections by making antibodies that she passed on through her milk.

The in’s and out’s of our dependence on mom contrast with our short encounter with dad, when our egg-selves met “some very odd tiny cells that he had shed.” Turns out, these same cells may be transmitted to mom via turkey baster.

Prof. Hampikian wondered if there was anything irreplaceable about men. A female colleague replied, “They’re entertaining.”

Amanda Marcotte, over at Slate, feels the fear is overblown.

What do men imagine will happen if we don’t need them anymore? Will we magically stop having boy children? Go on mass murdering sprees to rid ourselves of the burden of men? Are all women just one equal paycheck away from killing all the men?

More interestingly, she points out that this is not a new concern. The fear that women won’t need men always arises when women grow more independent. One blogger feels the whole right-wing obsession with controlling women is bound up in a worry that we don’t really need men.

The oddest concern I have heard came from a friend who belongs to the church I grew up in. There, all males get priesthood at age 12. Women never do. (And I have complained about this!) But my male friend worried that,

If women get the priesthood then they won’t need men, anymore.

Really? Then why do women from other churches – and women who don’t belong to any church – bother to love men and even get married?

So yeah, women don’t need actual men to create babies, given the sperm banks at our disposal.

But who knows, maybe guys do come in handy for love, relationship and sex. As Ms. Marcotte points out:

There are lots of things we don’t need but we still want: flat screen TVs, YouTube videos of cats, expensive microbrews, fathers. Doesn’t mean we don’t want them.

And why would you rather be needed than wanted, anyway?

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on September 10, 2012, in men, relationships, women and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. I loved this blog. Very interesting! It points out a unique perspective that I never really thought about a lot. Keep up the good work!!! 🙂

  2. Nice 🙂
    I found out about the eggs from the research for my novel.
    I’ve written about ‘The End of Men’ satirically as a wake-up call because all the really bad things are sadly perpetrated by males – just as Jonathan Swift tried to scare and shake folk out of their torpor with his Modest Proposal.
    However, I’ve found what seems to really scare people is to talk about there being fewer people in the future. I say, “We’re not talking about killing anyone, just having less kids…” but they react without thinking with stuff like, “If everyone stood close together we’d only cover California – so there can’t be overpopulation!” (honest) and “Women like having children…”

  3. There’s a fundamental flaw in the “women don’t need men” perspective. Whether or not sperm is delivered by penis or by turkey baster, the source remains the same. It’s not as if sperm can be conjured out of thin air. So the need remains, even though the delivery method may vary. So, without men, there would be no babies, same as usual.

    It may be said that we don’t need men for as much as we needed them years ago, but it cannot be said that we don’t need them at all.

  4. So yeah, women don’t need actual men to create babies, given the sperm banks at our disposal.

    Ummm. At some point in time you are going to need to refill those sperm banks, you know (which requires men). Unless in a couple of hundred years you want a world populated largely by hillbillies. Think about it 🙂

  5. Heya! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated your blog for the One Lovely Blog Award: http://cratesandribbons.com/2012/09/11/one-lovely-blog-award/
    =)

  6. As some have already pointed out, sperm still has to come from the man. In any case, at some point in the future technological advances may well reach a point where neither men nor women are needed to reproduce humans, at which point we all become redundant in the reproductive process, with the exception of the mad scientists.

    As for now, human beings are far too myopic, narcissistic, selfish, dumb and weak to make the implications of these theoretical musings relevant. People don’t have children to propagate the species, so outside of the agenda setters, that is never a concern foremost in people’s minds. People have children for their own selfish reasons. The challenge of raising children also compels most people to seek a partner to do it with in order to share the burden. That’s where men come in for most women who want to reproduce and even those who don’t; emotional and material support.

    It would take quite the revolution in the way society is structured, not to mention a complete paradigm shift in the motivations behind human conduct across the board to change these facts. Obviously, that isn’t happening any time soon or at all.

  7. well with so many women nowadays going for other women, that will certainly be a problem.

  8. A.S Dream team

    constant hate speech? one extremist said “why are you blaming all women?” It means that men can live on their own without any assistance and they are saying women are the same way. Its not talking about wanting to get rid of the male gender. that would be stupid. women need men like infant need his/her mother breast, common let’s all face reality men can be compete dicks and so can women

  9. The relationship between a man and a woman is more than just the necessary means of reproducing. With a dual gender relationship, the interaction is something that can’t be replicated with the same gender. With the right person, the interaction is better than the friendship with your best friend. But the emotional connection is just as good as your friendship with your best friend. There’s no hidden tension like what some girl friendships carry, and the relationship isn’t as surface-level as guys’ friendships are. (I’m talking about gender here, not biological.) Somehow, we level out each other.

    A little while ago, my friend and I discussed on the thought of this – “The only thing separating a relationship from friendship is touch.” Touching, kissing, hugging, or just being physically intimate in general enhances some emotional aspect of our evaluation of the other. So there’s the additional benefit that also satisfies our biological desires. Although women don’t often view men as sex objects, when they have bodies that are nicely built, hugging them, carressing them, feeling them, will bring pleasure that other women’s bodies can’t ever provide.

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