Women Don’t Need Men – That’s Good For 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 May 29, 2017, in men, relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. Odd that you want to enter the priesthood in a religion you don’t believe in. If the religion changed because you complained, what would say about the epistemology of that religious belief system?

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

    It would be interesting to watch the economy collapse as no men are paying child support and all women are on welfare.

    • I don’t want to enter the priesthood of a religion I don’t believe in.

      But I don’t want women to be barred from priesthood in any religion, whether I’m leaving it or not.

      If a religion changed because we have more gender equality what when I think about that? Is it a true religion or not? That’s a question I just asked my class last week.

      Religions always reflect their culture. Gender-equal ultures have gender-equal religions, patriarchal cultures have patriarchal religions.

      There are two possibilities here. First, there is no God and people create their gods in the image of their cultures. Second, there is deity but we don’t receive perfect communication with that deity. After all we are near mortals and our minds cannot understand the mind of a God. apostles and prophets have said as much. The apostle Paul says that we see through a glass darkly. Meaning we are trying to understand what God wants but we don’t actually get it. In the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Ezekiel talks about how difficult it is to comprehend what he has seen, let alone communicate it.

      Even on this blog I am speaking English but my readers hear different things, depending upon the frameworks of their minds.

      If we had no men the economy would not collapse because the situation is not such that all men work and all women are on welfare. Roughly equal numbers of women and men work.

      But in the not-too-distant future, robots will probably take over almost all the jobs. And then we will need a redistribution of wealth from the wealthy to everyone else. (Instead of sharing profits with their workers who help create profits, robots will free owners of capital to take all the profits for themselves). Or the economy really will collapse.

      • “First, there is no God and people create their gods in the image of their cultures. Second, there is deity but we don’t receive perfect communication with that deity.”

        Most religions would reject both of those and say that God perfectly gives their religion dogmatic teachings, even though some of the outward appearances reflect the culture of the time.

      • Having grown up in a dogmatic religion I don’t doubt that what you describe often fits with a dogmatic perception for the people who take that view.

        That said, it is possible to have conversations with people of all sorts of fundamentalist perspectives and some Will see things the way you described and some will venture to think outside the box. Since some people are open to reform, it’s important to have these kinds of conversations.

        But the thing is, if you don’t want any sort of reform, we will all have to go back to the goddess. That is the earliest form of deity that we have evidence of. Yay! (kidding. I actually prefer deity to be seen as both female and male. In partnership.)

        By the way, my eye doctor says I need to do less screen time so I will only post comments I read, And if posts are too long I might just read the first few paragraphs. And I don’t post anything I don’t read.

  2. Well, a fertile male still needs to exist in order to make sperm that can fertilize an egg as sperm is necessary for reproduction and females don’t make sperm.
    Also, not all females are fertile, so, then would someone say they aren’t necessary?
    Also, not everyone chooses to reproduce, so, then would someone say those that don’t reproduce aren’t necessary?
    I think, as a society, we need each other. Healthy interdependence.
    I get what the article is trying to say, however, I disagree with the way it says it. I think, in relationships, especially those of a romantic nature, it’s healthier to want vs need the other person, however, a healthy level of interdependence is okay.

    • Ha ha — i’m laughing at myself now. I didn’t mention that the reason this Boise State professor was saying that women don’t need men is because you can actually take a soul of a woman and fertilizer that way. I’ll have to reread the article. This is a rerun.

      Absolutely, men don’t need infertile women.

      And yet they marry them anyway!

      That’s my point. Wouldn’t you rather be wanted than needed?

      I would rather someone be with me, married to me, because they wanted me than because they just needed me for money, for fertility, for housekeeping, for whatever …

  3. At first, I thought this was new, but figured it would be a reposts from another time since it’s holiday, Memorial Day. Well women would need men for reproduction at some point as sperm banks would eventually run out and need men to refill them and/or get pregnant from men directly. Thought I wouldn’t be surprised with cloning, that not that far in the future, technology would have it where men’s sperm can be cloned. So that men wouldn’t be needed to refill the banks or needed for that and the sperm from sperm banks cloned and continued and women could continue on and have children without men or not need men ever for that.

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

    What a compliment lol. What a smart ass, could almost seem like a back handed compliment. Good think men are entertaining ha.

    So what do you think about this article? It came out not long after, a few years ago when there was a science report how the y chromosome is weakening and men could die off in 25,000 years or something. That’s a pretty long time, I don’t know if we’ll be around 10 years with trump. But there it is anyway. But I saw this a few years ago. And maybe why men might get defensive if or when seeing misandrist thing like this. Oh yeah this article reminded that they already are almost able to make sperm in a lab or working on that. This was written by a woman too.

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/09/women-men-better-off-without

    “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?”

    True that you don’t want a person, gender, sex, race, desperate or depended on you, which could happen if they need you. But I think it makes a person feel important if they feel really, really wanted to where it’s like they are needed. Yeah but that comparison she made showed how like you can get by fine and be happy without a tv, expensive microbrews So that actually a compliment and she actually makes men sound more like a novelty and I mean using the word father amongst objects is not flattering at all for men.

    But I do think there is some truth about controlling women and wondered the root of it. There are probably many layers, but I said something before about women’s reproductive importance, mother important and life importance and life givers. That men feel their purpose is to provide and male duties. If that is not needed as much and then reproduction need is taken from me. Many could be lost with finding their use. Ironically like she said about the right wingers, it does seem men like that are actually more insecure and one’s that may try to act superior, but it’s because they actually might have male guilt or insecurity of use. It seems like the biggest trolls and chauvinist guys are actually the most insecure and it might be because they don’t feel they have much worth in reality but cover it up with rage. Look at this for example. This clip was just a satire and mockumentary of life with women and a decent number of guys got mad and defensive and took it serious when it was supposed to be a parody.https://www.thecut.com/2016/04/new-mockumentary-envisions-a-world-without-men.html

    • Which says a lot about some men, because I just watched the mockumentary and thought it was funny, because it was so stupid and over the top. Satires and parodies are supposed to be that way and I would think that it was obvious it was tongue and cheek and sarcastic. But the fact that guys still got pissed off says a lot.

  4. I actually didn’t write a lot, it just looks long because of the copied quotes I pasted. But the paragraphs i actually wrote were short. The links and quotes just stretched it out in length, but not from what I actually typed.

    • Sometimes I like to be provocative.

      But the lead may be a little too buried here. As I wrote to someone else, here’s my main point:

      I would rather someone be with me, marry me, because he wanted me than because he needed me for money, for fertility, for housekeeping, for whatever … !!!!

      I would expect that men would rather be with someone who was with him because she wanted him, not because she needed his money or his sperm…

      Also, my eye doctor says I need to spend less time looking at computer screens so it would really help to be as succinct as possible. Plus it’s a holiday and I won’t be spending much time on the computer today.

      (maybe I’ll rewrite this sometime and not bury the lead.)

      • True. But isn’t it good to be or feel important too? Nobody should want to be needed like someone’s desperate or depended of you. But what like that lady said in the post, she doesn’t need tvs, espressos, but she wants them and she put father to go with that ha. Men amonst objects. And the other quote showed “they’re entertaining” . Quite a smart ass, kind of back handed compliment. It does seem like right wingers and men like that ironically and I said it before. They act superior to women, but infact feel they have the least worth but cover it up with rage instead. Fact of the matter though is that they are already getting close to creating artificial sperm or cloning it so men wouldn’t be needed to refill sperm donor places and in general for that. I’ve seen misandrist articles though and maybe why some men think of feminists in such way when it probably isn’t feminists writing them.

        That’s why I posted the links, but it’s a lot so I’m just explaining here. I think guy’s could be sensitive to it though because of male guilt maybe, as well as less reporudictive importance as well as women moving up the corporate ladder as well as women having more degrees and will run the economy more so and some think better than men. And as technology improves less “muscle” , protection and male duties needed to provide worth for society and women from men. And then as potis said in the first one of this. Women’s sexuality more fluid, lesbian porn. Sure women want men for love and sex. But as you said, less women want sex or dampers over time so the need and want for sex is not really that high and nothing compared to men for women. There was always divide with who wants or needs one more. I think though men can act like dicks, more often guys want or need women more. Not just from the evidence with sex, but aren’t men actually more heartbroken or taken longer to recover from a break up? Men also don’t go long from a divorce or it’s hard without a man being in a relationship with a another woman. I know plenty of single moms or women who may want or like to have a man, but who are fine and even stay single forever especially widows or women who were married but divorced or broken up from a relationship

      • Yeah I plan to cook out and enjoy memorial day too. Unfortunately it’s rained on and off most of the day here. But you can ignore that big post and my main point was this one which I think is pretty short and not that much.

      • Hey, it’s still way too long. Can you edit down to the main points?

      • “I would expect that men would rather be with someone who was with him because she wanted him, not because she needed his money or his sperm…”

        True. So, why are women so obsessed over men with status and money.

        The hard truth is this: women need men to provide and do their dirty work. If civilization were left up to women, we would still all be living in huts.

        Let men stop paying taxes and see what happens. Let men stop being firefighters, police officers, and fighting in wars. This society would disintegrate in to chaos. Guess who would NOT be able to survive with becoming whores and prostitutes?

        These types of pieces are incendiary. I am not sure exactly what purpose is served for women to write these types of articles. Yet, you want men to believe that modern day feminist are not anti man.

        Well this man is not so stupid. Women are users. They view us men as idiots and disposable. Fine. We can both play that game. I guess that’s why so many men today are going MGTOW AND the levels of unhappiness among women, especially college educated/professional women, is at an all time high.

        Annoyed to say the least.

        PS: Just because a man opposes abortion does not mean he is trying “control women.” Maybe he feels that it is morally wrong and repugnant.

      • I can’t figure out why any man would prefer that women are with him because they need him instead of because they want him. And you say as much yourself. So I don’t see why what I wrote would be offensive.

        The thing is that women love men. They want men. Almost all the women marry men. And almost all women and men want to be with each other, even if they don’t actually need each other.

        In arranged marriages where women need men’s money and men need women’s housekeeping the marriages have less potential for happiness.

        Straight women want straight men! And vice-versa.

        Women and men do have some biological differences, Making it more likely that men will fight wars and be better at fighting them. And women are certainly better at bringing life from their bodies.

        But that’s beside the point of this post. My main point is we do want each other and that is better than being with someone only because they need you.

        On abortion people who are against it are inconsistent. They claim they are pro-life and yet most want to cut funding for food stamps (which go to children, the disabled, the elderly, and the working poor), they are against Obamacare/ Medicaid, the EPA, Federal regulations for food and drugs, they don’t worry about the devastation of climate change… They want to cut funding for mammograms, cervical cancer screenings… They want women to have babies but are against funding for prenatal care for poor women. And they want to cut funds for maternity care. I could go on.

  5. I hope Georgia that you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend

    • Georgia did. Although I wouldn’t have minded if it were a little warmer. Seem that about two-thirds of the time it’s cool in the south bay area for this weekend celebration, Which I have a hard time getting used to.

      I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend too!

  6. I don’t understand how women not needing men is good for men. Would it be good for women if men didn’t need women?
    In our current patriarchal society, I agree with the title of Amanda Marcotte article, “Fine, Women Don’t Need Men. So What?” We have been taught that men’s needs\wants are very important to men and women. However, as we move away from a patriarchal society, this attitude will change. With a change in attitude, robotics making the difference in strength and endurance unimportant, the ability to choose the sex of a baby, and sperm cloning, things don’t look good for men in the long run.
    “But who knows, maybe guys do come in handy for love, relationship and sex.” I wonder if the statement would be in the minority if we lived in an egalitarian society and sexual fluidity replaced heterosexuality as the default?

    • I shouldn’t have buried my lead, which is in the last paragraph.

      Wouldn’t you rather be wanted then needed? Wanted for who you are instead of needed for your money, your sperm, your status, your know-how?

      I would.

      • As an individual, yes I would rather be wanted then needed. When it comes to men as a species, I would rather be needed then wanted. *I know species isn’t the correct term but I can’t think of a better one with now.

        Here is what I’m inferring from your post.

        Women don’t need men for reproduction but men need women. It’s good for men because it’s better to be wanted than needed. It’s bad for women because it’s better to be wanted than needed. Men are in relationships with women because of a need not a want.

      • Nope. I assume that both women and men are in relationships, and prefer to be in relationships, that are based on being wanted, not needed.

  7. to be fair, men or males in nature are just needed for reproduction, even among ant and bee the qeen just need to copulate once. The have millions of babies without male participation.

    Even among mammals, lions, tigers, and a loooooooooong list, male just have sex with females and the they are unnecesary.

    Excep for humans, but thats maybe is just cultural and its retuning to a more natural state, males just exist to find the fittest so females can pass the best genes and the species cand survive and bla bla bla.

    • My point is that women don’t need men. But they still want men. And that is better for men.

      (Isn’t it better to being wanted than needed for your money or whatever?)

      And evolutionary psychology is controversial. What is considered attractive varies greatly from society to society and certainly does not clearly indicate who is fittest. In west Africa obesity is preferred. But anorexic Victoria Secret angels are thought highly attractive here.

  8. One woman said “they’re entertaining and another compared men as a want to tvs and espressos. You don’t want to be needed and someone dependent on you, but you want to be really, really wanted to where you’re very important. There’s always that disparity with men wanting women more than women needing or wanting men. But with artificial sperm being closer to being created in a lab without men, men’s biological use and importance could fade.Unfortunately it might not help that women want men, when men want and need women more.

    Proof of that is well sex with men desiring women more. But also relationships. Men actually feel more heartbroken from break ups and actually take longer to rebound than women. Men also usually remarry or can’t go long without female company from a break up. Whereas, you can see single moms or widows or women divorced or broken up, who not only stay single and not with any man. But a fine without a man and maybe happy. They only care of want one if he’s perfect for her life whereas, men will have a harder time without and will be with a woman that they like but not to be special like for women. This only compounds the hard truth or importance each sex is to each other….

  9. Don’t forget bars and clubs. Men will go out and be happy at places where many women are at. Women actually may want a place where some men are, but not many. And many are fine at bars or clubs, wherever even if it’s mostly women or maybe all women.

    • But women still want and love men. Even if bars aren’t their thing.

      • Yeah but isn’t that true about men re marrying or getting into a relationship sooner than women from a break up as well as it more often actually effecting men worse. Women can be fine being single for a long time after a divorce or break up compared to men. That seems to show who is wanted more and more important to who,

      • Men do tend to depend on women emotionally more than women depend on men. And that is probably due to our socialization. If we allowed men to be in touch with their feelings and express them then men could rely on one another better.

  10. I will push back a bit, but I always appreciate that Professor Platts is inclusive with men in a genuine and friendly way, and I think that’s not only nice and refreshing (which it is), but also more conducive to good outcomes for everyone.

    Beyond strict reproduction, from an evolutionary standpoint it seems extremely unlikely that a species would have an entire sex that’s “not necessary”, because it would simply be too metabolically expensive, and thus would lead to extinction (millions of years ago) or selection against that lopsidedness, especially for beings as complex as humans. It seems much more likely that men and women have relatively slight differences that make each sex contribute something valuable.

    (And we can’t use the facile dismissal that “men were good when we needed hunting or moving heavy things, and now aren’t”, because for example hunting is much more than mere physicality, and there _is_ some evidence that suggests men may have higher spatial skills in some ways (_not_ that women can’t be excellent at things related to spatial skills (and many women can be better than most men))—humans are much more complex than “is just 10% stronger on average”, so if there are some slight adaptations, they have consequences in skills way beyond just that specific task.)

    (Again, all this I mean beyond maybe technically reproduction, although I’m even skeptical about that; without looking into the subject in depth, I’d speculate that if we had populations with reproduction from only females, given sufficient time genetic problems might arise because of biological mechanisms, and when people try to get too “smart” against nature (as in Greg there versus Mother Nature), very often very bad things happen.)

    I submit that men do indeed contribute significantly, and in a better society, which we will hopefully become someday, men would be in quite a different shape than—unfortunately—people are today. Emotionally healthy men that have been allowed to realize themselves would contribute a lot to society, in ways that I would argue a world or community with only women would _not_ have in the same way / degree.

    The “They’re entertaining” quip is telling: maybe men are on average more showboats or ego- or accomplishment-oriented, and maybe that brings some productive outcomes like good work. Further, the actual _interactions_ between women and men, aside from enjoyable (which they are), might in themselves bring some valuable concrete outcomes.

    Plus I suspect that having only women in a community would make some unexpected and not-good dynamics spring up, for example competitiveness between women, pettiness, etc.

    I agree that differences between women and men are on average slight, and Prof. Platts has convinced me that culture and interactions have quite a large influence beyond the biological. But by the exact same token, when women joke about a world with only women they’re logically implying that there are indeed some innate differences between women and men. And the other side of that coin (to mix metaphors / sides) is that women and men have different things to contribute, and I would argue that that includes not only different voices (and a variety of views does have value in itself), but also skills.

    For example, if women are on average more considerate (or whichever other quality you choose), how _biology_ works directly implies that that’s a trade-off, so the other side of men being less considerate is necessarily that, for example, they are on average less squeamish and thus maybe (on average) more men will tend to prefer to do certain jobs, and maybe even be better at those jobs (_on average_), like for example soldiers or surgeons. (I actually personally value consideration more highly, and I think society needs more of it, but we can apply this to other traits.)

    On average.

    Plus, I know many of you would miss us too much.

    • I always appreciate your thoughtful responses.

      A lot of men seem to fear that women won’t need them anymore. And my main point — though I unfortunately buried the lead — is that even if women didn’t need men we would still miss you too much, as you say.

      And isn’t it better for men to be wanted than needed?

      • Those women weren’t very flattering though. men are “entertaining”, that sounds like a smart ass, meh, comment ha. When I hear that comment, I see woman shrugging her shoulders. How would women feel if a guy said that? And then compared men as a want compared to (objects) and how people want tvs, and espressos, etc.

      • You make a good point. It’s funny, but I hadn’t thought of it that way.

  11. Men do tend to depend on women emotionally more than women depend on men. And that is probably due to our socialization. If we allowed men to be in touch with their feelings and express them then men could rely on one another better.”

    True, but a lot of men’s dependence is just how drawn men are to women. There is that disparity as far as sexual attraction, visually, physically, but even if it’s not about sex. It just seems men care more or motivated to be around women than woman to men even if a men is in a serious relationship and faithful and the party he’s at or so. It’s just to socialize and not date or anyting. But even despite that,a married man, one in a serious relationship will still like there being women at the party, attractive one’s too as long as the pretty women don’t come on to him. But women are so interesting, femininity, the differences, wit, nurturing, beauty, etc, Men do become entranced in the eye candy, but just love the feminine presence. I know women like male company, but it’s generally stronger for men.

    • That sounds right. And even that is due to socialization. Women come to feel their worth is tied to how sexually attractive they are too men, and their bodies are more eroticized and decorated. Meanwhile, women’s sexuality is for repressed. Kind of the perfect storm.

  12. Amelia de Leon

    I think that young women first entering the big world often feel pressured to choose between pursuing a serious career or finding love and starting a family. The fear is that if you don’t choose one you’ll miss out on both and if you’re not doing one you’ll be considered a failure as a woman and be forced to rely on men and patriarchy. Women who are afraid of that are the ones that need to be reminded that men don’t need women and women can do anything they want to. We hold the power, it is always up to women to decide when and if we want to start a family. You don’t have to find a man but if you do it should really mean something since you’re looking for something beyond the basic needs of survival and life. It’s a different kind of desire than what we once thought we needed men and women to have for each other.

    • Feminist, Gloria Steinem once said “Women need men like a fish needs a bicycle.”

      She was trying to show women that they don’t have to put up with abuse in order to be in a relationship.

      My mom got divorced when I was young and never felt like she had to remarry because she could support herself. And I was always grateful for that when I talked to friends of mine whose mothers put up with abuse because they felt dependent on a man.

      That said, it’s really nice to have men around and we love them (the healthy ones) even if we don’t need them.

      And having a woman with you because she wants you instead of because she needs you is even better for men, too.

  13. In this post, it is mentioned that Amanda Marcotte pondered, “are all women just one equal paycheck away from killing all the men?”
    I believe this statement brings across a very interesting perspective and infers that if women were to receive equal pay, their interest in men lessens because they will not need men to suffice their well being anymore since they would have the ability to do so themselves.
    While I read this, a thought came to my mind that if men could procreate maybe they would not view women as necessary?
    I do understand that based on the knowledge that scientists around the world have to date that it is literally impossible for men to procreate, while the fact that women receive less pay than men is something that could definitely (and should) change. Either way, it makes it seem that is things were different, there is this negative connotation in which neither men nor women would desire one another. But, is everyone truly that self sufficient? I am sure there are many positive reasons for a man and a woman to want AND need each other like having someone to spend time with, to love and cherish, to share their lives with, and to grow together!

  14. I know many men who have been offended over the years by the Dunn/Steinem phrase “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Their self-image has been so built upon the idea that in order to be good enough, valuable, or worthy, they must be absolutely needed by others–their wives, their daughters, their friends, that random damsel in distress. I think this is an effect of a certain brand of social programming that has instilled this incredibly harmful idea into the heads of little boys. The idea that they are unneeded attacks the very core of their self-image and shame issues, that removing that need, especially so flippantly, leaves a very deep wound.

    While I understand how this came to occur and have empathy for the emotionally difficult experience of having the core of your self-worth questioned, it’s not our job to reassure men. It’s not our job to be reliant on them, especially when we are actively harmed in the process. I am under no obligation to light myself on fire to keep you warm. That is your job–to deal with the harmful messages you were given as a child. To do the emotional work to shed these ideas, to heal the wounds, and to grow past them. Just as I have to do that work for myself in the countless ways the patriarchy has harmed me, you have to do the work to undo these internalized messages. In the meantime, I’m going to continue existing as a self-reliant individual, and making choices that support my own growth and protect my own boundaries, just as you should.

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