In this fabulous era of equality, I’m hard-pressed to find something a man can do that I can’t. Maybe pee standing up, but that’s about it. I have the same opportunities as men in this glorious nation. Opportunities for an education, a career, the right to vote -- things our grandmothers and great-grandmothers could only dream of.
It was a hard-won fight by our foremothers, but by golly, we have arrived. Growing up in the tail end of the twentieth-century, it never occurred to me to limit myself based on my gender. I never played dumb to attract a boy (in fact I tutored more than one boyfriend), never feared discrimination for having breasts, and never needed a man to intercede on my behalf.
In other words: I am woman, hear me roar!
Unfortunately, many of my homegirls have taken this whole equal-to-a-man concept and erroneously transformed it into a we-don’t-need-men-except-as-sperm-donors ideal. Want kids, but don’t want to put up with a pesky man and his stinky feet and his whiskers in the sink every morning? Just get yourself a spermsicle, and you too can be a glamorous single mom!
Who needs a perpetual man-child anyway? Aren’t we better off without them?
Statistically, historically, and personally speaking, no, we’re not better off without men. We need our guys, and even more importantly, our kids need fathers. Kids from households with both a mom and dad (who are married) do better at life than kids from single-parent homes. On average, they get better grades, do fewer drugs, run away less often, and are less likely to kill themselves or end up in prison as a result of committing a violent crime.
I’m not saying that all kids from single-parent homes are bad kids, and in no way is growing up with a single parent an excuse to become a hoodlum. I’m also not saying that single gals who decide to have out-of-wedlock sex and wind up pregnant should abort their children, and I’m definitely not saying that gays or singles should legally be denied the opportunity to raise their own children. I am, after all, all about personal liberty and the freedom of choice.
What I am saying is that our society would be better benefited if husbands and fathers were given the recognition they so deserve. Equality does not equal sameness, and I know there are things that my kids get from my husband that they could never get from me alone. For one thing, they get a relatively sane mama, as my husband and I work as a team in this nerve-wracking pursuit called parenthood.
In addition to being my parenting teammate, my husband is also the heavy-lifter, the spider-smasher, the computer-fixer, the dish-washer, and he’s way more fun than anything I keep in the bottom drawer of my nightstand.
A feminist once famously said that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. If that’s the case, then call me a fish out of water, because I need my man. Needing him does not detract one iota from my female fabulousness either, because at the end of the day, he needs me too. My marriage provides support, love, encouragement, and a partner in crime ... who doesn’t need that?
Image via Scented_mirror/Flickr