] Men Are Obsolete – Are They?
Do women need men for companionship? What about support? Do our friendships provide enough of an emotional connection if we’re without a partner?
YourTango Experts Ellen Whitehurst, Maya Ezratti, Jasbina Ahluwalia and Abby Rodman speak about this issue with YourTango Senior VP of Experts, Melanie Gorman.
Check out the video above to learn just how necessary men really are.
What do you think? Are women doing just fine without their male counterparts, or should we keep them around?
(00:14): Lots of women think that they can do everything. They can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. But do we still need men?
(00:21): I think that the answer to that question depends on where, what stage and what age you are in life, I really do. I think we need relationships all the time. No man is an island. Nobody can exist by themselves. It’s that interaction. I think the therapists are probably more qualified to answer this question than I am, but isn’t the sense of belonging right up there on the food pyramid of what everybody needs in order to have a happy life? It’s that sense of belonging and a relationship brings that to you.
Do I need a man to complete my life? No. I’ll bring home the bacon and I’ll fry it up in the pan. If he wants to bring it home and wants to fry it up, that’s all good. I don’t want to do it for him. I did that already. That’s my experience in life. I’ve done it already.
(1:10): Yes, I think you hit something great when you said, “I can bring home the bacon, but he can fry it up.” This is an exciting time to be a woman. We are almost 50% in professional schools. We’re earning more college degrees than men, even in certain cities like New York City where we’re sitting. Women of certain age groups are outearning men. Do we need men to survive? I don’t think so. I think that with men and women both it adds so much to our lives to go through it hand in hand.
I think to thrive it is helpful to have men, and I think that for men to thrive it is helpful to have women in the same way. I think in an intimate partnership, the kind of growth that you can experience as a person, I’m not sure that’s accessible or attainable in other ways.
(2:04): I disagree. I think that you can find that intimacy and that connection in any close relationship. I don’t think it necessarily has to be your sexual partner. I don’t know. What do you see in your practice? Do you see people who feel like they have to have a partner in order to be fulfilled?
(2:21): I think there is that feeling, especially for women, that they need to somehow feel that whole thing that we were fed as young girls. Grow up, get married, have kids. It’s the trilogy. Whether or not they really think about whether they need a man, they’re convinced that they do. However, there is something to be said for having contact with the other gender and just learning and understanding a different perspective.
(2:58): I love men. I enjoy them in my life. Yes, I can hold my own, be on my own and go out there. I’m a single mom so I am on my own. I support myself. I support my daughter and take care of her in every way. I’m also very lucky. I have a great family around me, wonderful friendships and a great career, so it’s good. All of that is fulfilled. I have all of those things. I would love to have someone to next to me when I lay down at night and think, “That’s my partner,” but that man will be Mr. Awesome.
It won’t just be because I know that I can do so many things on my own and take care of so many things. It won’t just be any random guy just to fill a void. I don’t need a void filler. The person I will choose to be with will be someone phenomenal to really add something to my life.
(3:43): That’s why I said I don’t think that you need a man to complete you. The women who feel they need a man to be able to have a fulfilling life, that’s not what I’m talking about. I really feel like you have to be leading a fulfilling life to be able to attract the kind of person you’re going to grow with. I don’t think it’s a matter of, “I need to be a complete person so I need to find a man to complete me.” Absolutely not. I think the growth happens when you have two people who are fulfilled already.
(4:12): I think that what I’m trying to get at here is, what’s the purpose of men in our lives?
(4:16): To protect us.
(4:18): Okay, I’m sorry.
(4:20): I’m serious.
(4:25): For me, it would be to protect me. I know when I’m vulnerable, when there are things that personally as Maya, I’m not capable of. I look to someone to have that strong side to them. Even though I’m strong, they have a much stronger. It’s a different type of strength. You want to go to that person, snuggle up to them and they make you feel like everything’s okay. That one hug, that one connection is so strong.
(4:52): It sounds like, according to this panel, it’s not that you all agree that we need men. You agree that we need relationships. Relationships seem to be the fountain that gives us the things we need to grow. Some of us need men and some of us need partnerships. All of us, it sounds like, need intentions with relationships. I think this would be a good question to come back and revisit again.
What do you think?
Men Are Obsolete – Are They? What do you think? Share with us in the comments below.
Other videos by Melanie Gorman are at: Melanie Gorman YourTango Video Interviews – Dating & Relationships