Women Don’t Need Men
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?