Sunday, January 4, 2009

...not necessary but much more interesting...

" A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. "
-Irina Dunn 1970

...not necessary but much more interesting...

Every once in a while someone will say what I've been trying to articulate for years. The following is an excellent post which I will leave the link to here (just in case you want to check my facts or comment to the lovely authoress), but since i know we are all lazy daughters-of-guns I will also just post it directly on the page for you. Ta-da!

"By: fMhLisa - January 3, 2009

I wrote this post exactly four years ago. I feel like my writing and my feminism have become more disciplined(maybe), but it’s a pretty good post, if I do say so myself.

I Don’t Need a Man

But I do want one. And as luck would have it . . .

It starts with the idea that women and men are fundamentally different, complementary differences that make us need each other. We are in fact essential to each other. This is pretty bare-bones fundamental to Mormon belief. I think. And it’s all nice and neat in theory but on a practical level . . . not so neat.

I don’t know where I stand exactly on the whole biology is destiny thing. I know the Proclamation on the Family makes me nervous and uncomfortable. But it also seems to be clearer and clearer that science is supporting the notion that some of the differences between men and women are actually pretty-well hard-wired into our chemistry.

This in many ways is a relief to me, silly as that sounds. I like being a girl and if I can defend my girl stuff with religion and science all the better.

But still I have to say I’m really uncomfortable with a blanket statement that says men and women need each other. So far as I can figure here’s why:

1. While many Mormons say this with good intentions, talking about celestial things and heady deep gospel principal stuff. Idealistic and hopeful. The fact is, that “needing men” translates into some very earthly unpretty ways. And no matter what intentions you say it with, how people hear it does matter.

2. To say women need men is very different, feels different, sounds different than to say that men need women. Just when you look at it from the weight of history and the way it sticks in the gut.

I don’t know how to say this exactly, but history had been pretty easy on a man with no woman, so the “need” is really more of a luxury than a desperate fundamental actual need. Whereas history has been brutal on a woman without a man. BRUTAL. It’s even deeper than the whole bachelor vs. old maid mindset. But that is a good place to start. At best women without men were pitied and marginalized, at worst cast-out and destroyed.

So just to say that men and women need each other, while it sounds quite egalitarian on the surface, it really isn’t. The option always has been open for men and closed for women. Not so much now-a-days, but the weight of it is still there, and the dregs of it still affects us all. And in most parts of the world, it still holds true.

3. Women don’t need to be told that we need men. Vice versa, I don’t know so much, I’m not sure. But as a woman I can tell you that the need-a-man thing is pretty much obvious, fundamental, basic, visceral, and deeply felt. I remember lying next to my husband, nine-months pregnant and suddenly being overwhelmed with fear that he would die and leave me alone with this baby. Overcome with anxiety that I could not do this without him. And yet stone cold awake in the middle of the day without all those crazy hormones crashing my system I can tell you honestly that I could totally do it without him. Just fine thanks. I’m smart, I’m strong, I’m meaner than rattlesnake in the July sun. But try to tell that to my hormones at three-in-the-morning nine-months-pregnant.

It’s easy to see why some women sell their souls, destroy themselves, to hold onto a man that they should be taking out with the trash.

So please, don’t tell me what I need. I’ll figure that out for myself. What I don’t need is for my crazy hormones and the weight of history and society to be reinforced with some simplistic unrealistic platitude.

IMO, More important than men and women knowing that we need each other, is women knowing that they will be, can be, must be okay without a man. It starts with the brutal reality that “he” might never show up on his white charger. Or he might be hit by a bus tomorrow. Or he might abuse you or your kids.

And women must know, it is essential that we know, that we are okay often even better off, without men at all. Needing men is why abused women stay. I’ve seen this personally. He put his boots on so he could kick her harder and she went back to him, because she needed him. Needing a man is why so many women will choose to believe that their boyfriends aren’t raping their children and do nothing. Happens all the time. Needing men is what causes women to turn on each other and fight over men who are faithless and yucky when we’d be better off packing his bag and buying him a bus ticket to Guam.

Now wanting a man, that is entirely different. I’m perfectly fine with the statement that men and women want each other. But that goes without saying almost doesn’t it? Most women want a man, and most men want a woman, or two (hee hee, a little Mormon humor). And those not so interested in heterosexuality still yearn for a pair-bond. I can’t recall ever meeting a person who didn’t yearn for true love forever and ever.

I know this whole ‘not being needed’ thing makes a lot of men really uncomfortable. I had a friend tell me her husband said recently: “I just don’t feel like you need me.” I’m not sure what to say to that. Of course she doesn’t need him. She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s meaner than a rattle snake in the July sun. But she wants him.

I’m wondering if that whole being needed thing isn’t ultimately selfish. Isn’t the point of raising children making them independent, strong enough, tough enough, smart enough to be just fine without you. Why would you want someone to be dependent on you, it’s totally self-centered, what happens if *you* can’t provide anymore. Real love isn’t about being needed it’s about being wanted.

Or so I’ve just decided"

Megan Again: And also just for light fun I will post this video...cus I think it's pretty funny.


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