Living each day much muchier
Sisters are doing it for themselves. Men need to feel needed.
It’s a conundrum for which nobody seems to have an acceptable answer.
This isn’t a feminist versus chauvinist argument. We all grew up together in a society that seeks equality while being deeply rooted in rewarding gender roles.
For a woman, it can seem like the choice between conflict and loneliness, little woman or alpha bitch.
The independent woman is educated. She earns decent money. She owns all that she needs and probably lots more she doesn’t. She has good friends and an active life. It’s a wonderful life and she shouldn’t have to give up an inch of it. Yet, that makes her intimidating.
It inspires men to feel like an accessory and why would they want that? It’s not chauvinist or unfair to want to be needed. They no more want to be our useless arm candy than we did theirs
Yet, to expect that we should return to a state of need feels like asking us to be lesser, unfulfilled beings and not strive for that which we know we are capable. The purpose of equality is to celebrate a fuller richness of life through diversity.
On the outside, independent women don’t spend much time pining for love. I’d go even further to say that needing a man feels like some kind of flaw or feminist betrayal, but it’s not.
Of course we need men. The question is as misguided as asking why be gay or lesbian if you’re already the man or woman.
The conundrum arises when we don’t need men the way it’s traditionally defined – the role they grew up expecting to fulfil – like earning (most of the) money or catching spiders. We don’t need them to make decisions, fix things or plan and pack the car.
We don’t need a provider. We do need a partner.
The strong, practical, independent (straight) woman still wants and needs a man in her life. She needs him to put his arms around her and kiss her hair. She needs him to be there in the morning when she opens her eyes to let her know she has someone to share her day with. She needs him to be there in the evening to distract her and keep her sane. She needs him to share the load of living, paying, planning, packing, driving, cleaning, cooking, decision-making … everything, because sharing is better and so much more rewarding. She needs him to be the vessel for the outpouring of her love and affection. She needs him to choose her and to love her every day.
Sure, she could live without him. She could build a different life and it might even be a good one, but it’s not what she wants. It’s not what she’s chosen.
She chooses this life and him and he is crucially, pivotally needed.