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Just a Guy Saying Women Need Men

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Bruce Sallan: There was a popular feminist slogan in the early days of "the movement" that went something like, "A woman needs a man as much as a fish needs a bicycle."

women's legs on a pedestal

Thankfully, we have moved past the radical nature of early feminists' beliefs to a middle ground -- though you'd never know it if you looked at the courses and syllabuses in Women's Studies departments at colleges.

But most men and women -- especially moms and dads -- understand that equality doesn't mean we're the same. We all tend to agree that equal pay for equal work is the way it should be, but in other areas, our gender needs are just different. We are built differently, so get over it.

Men are slugs; women are emotional. Men watch sports; women like chick flicks. Men retreat to their caves; women want to talk about it. Men like to burp and fart; women like to do laundry. Shall I go on, or are you already screaming at your computer screen?

Part of this quirk of nature is that women DO need men, in spite of the feminist rants. We know men need women, if only for the civilizing, order and family they bring to us. (I'm not even mentioning the cooking and laundry.)  In fact, studies show that married men live longer than their single counterparts.

But women also need us. It's a fact. Sorry, Ms. College Professor, but it's true, no matter how many bras you burn. And bottom line: We need each other -- and what is wrong with that? But what do I know? After all, I'm just a guy.

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31 comments so far | Post a comment now
Denise May 29, 2010, 7:08 AM

I completely believe the women’s movement, the feminist movement, Gloria Steinhem, and all those early and present radical feminists sold us women a complete bill of goods. Yes, we should have equal pay for equal work - no argument, but Title IX has been a disaster on many fronts and so many women of my generation woke up one day in their forties, maybe with a good job or career, but no kids and no man and realized there was a big whole in their lives! We need each other - period and, yes, we are different. Thanks Bruce for putting out the truth - takes guts and we love you for it!

Definitely! May 29, 2010, 10:42 AM

I 100% agree with this. We weren’t built to be alone.

Real Mom Confessions May 29, 2010, 10:54 AM

Awe, men are so CUTE when they get all desperate like that don’t they! LOL Like watching my toddler throw a tantrum in the drug store the other day. ;-)

Anyway, I think we get what we go for. If we need them, fine, if we don’t, also fine. I think what we can learn from the lib movement 40 years ago is that we’re all different, not all men love the cave and not all women love laundry (I actually don’t know ANY, but I’m certain Bruce knows a few, he seems very convinced that they exist anyway)… Thanks for sharing, all opinions are worth hearing.

chris May 29, 2010, 1:31 PM

I agree with you on everything except that I don’t like to do laundry (but I do it all the times) I couldn’t image not having my husband to kill the spiders, change light bulbs, cut the grass, take out the trash, take care of the car, paint the house, do all the house repairs and on and on…in return, I handle the bills, do most of the cooking, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping. I don’t mind these roles because they work for us. It’s all about give and take.

Jeff May 29, 2010, 2:06 PM

So true, so true. Though in my household I’d say I need my wife more than she needs me…lol. Men need women; women need men. Period. Sometimes the truth is so difficult and un-PC to say these days. We all need to hear it now and then and I love your candor and frankness Bruce. Oh, and I think Denise is completely on point!

Christina May 29, 2010, 2:39 PM

While you cite the study that proves married men live longer, you provide absolutely no evidence for why women need men. What, exactly, was the point of this article?

michelle May 29, 2010, 6:19 PM

Classic strawman argument. Who exactly are the bra-burning “Ms College Professors” in 2010 who claim women don’t need men? Or did Bruce fall asleep in 1969 and just wake up now, determined to have the last word?

michelle May 29, 2010, 9:19 PM

And another thing. Bruce, as long as we are trading in stereotypes, you are a type I know well. So many of my male MBA classmates and colleagues thought they were saying something “controversial” and “un-PC” to “upset” the “feminists”, when in fact it was complete, utter, sad cliche. The joy they evinced in doing this was matched only by their smug certainty that they were the first brave souls in the world to ever Tell It Like It Is. Telling It Like It Is is intended to assert male superiority and to assure us that either sexism doesn’t exist anymore or that we shouldn’t call out anything that is sexist, because This Is How It Is. We Are Wired Differently. Get Over It. And they were so awkward and douchey and obvious about it. Us “feminists” would totally make fun of these guys. They felt so threatened! As you obviously do! But seriously, you keep fighting the good fight, sport!

Bruce Sallan May 29, 2010, 10:11 PM

I love your comments. This is a blog so I don’t quote sources as there’s no room. I’m quite limited on words. And, of course, I’m going to write it in a provocative manner as why bother being nuanced in this forum?

That said, my bottom line was clear and missed by those that were offended or sarcastic with their comments. We need each other - period - both sexes need each other and most humanity, throughout history, has made that choice.

I don’t think the 60’s is really going to re-invent the wheel and really that “we” couldn’t trust anyone over 30 and knew so much more than our parents anymore than the political elite and university elite have a clue about what goes on between New York and L.A.!

Okay, I’m ranting, but it feels good. Do women need men? Damn right they do. And, I sure as hell need my wife who humanizes me, comforts me, and tells me when I’m full of it - much more than any comments from anonymous people do on this blog!

BTW, I’m not upset! I just like to write with passion. Believe me or not - that’s for you to decide.

But, keep commenting - love it/them and call in to my radio show sometime and let’s hash it out directly! This coming Thursday’s show should be fodder for those of you that have taken me to task as the subject is “Do You Keep Secrets From Your Spouse” and I assert some secrets are worth keeping from you spouse!

Let’s debate it on air this coming Thursday at 11:00 a.m. - noon on KZSB AM1290 or on the web via a live-stream from my “Radio Show” page on my web-site.

Christina May 30, 2010, 12:08 PM

FYI - Feminism was not born in the 60s, no matter how much Boomers would like to believe otherwise. Mary Wollstonecraft was writing about women’s rights in the 1800s. Betty Friedan wrote her seminal work back in the 50s. And the “bra burnings” everyone likes to toss out as evidence of “crazy” feminists? Didn’t happen. If some of us seem a little irked when you make unsupported pronouncements, it might be due to the fact that for generations women were jailed, lobotomized, and put in mental institutions for daring to even suggest that they might be equally human and due the same respects, rights and considerations commonly grante only to men.

chris May 30, 2010, 12:24 PM

Wow, I can’t believe how some of you are reacting to this blog. Every blog that Bruce does is done tongue n’cheek. No need to throw him in the lions’ den. The truth of it is that men need women and women need men and there is nothing wrong with that.

Christina May 30, 2010, 2:01 PM

No, the truth of it is that many men need women and many women need men, and some men need men and some women need women, and some people prefer not to be coupled at all. And there is nothing wrong with that.

I don’t think anyone objects to the idea the people need one another, it’s the breathtaking level of male privilege and the dismissal of real struggles by women to which people are reacting. We all know that his posts are tongue in cheek, however, a little accuracy is not too much to ask.

tennmom May 30, 2010, 6:18 PM

I’m not sure if it is so much a need as a want.
I don’t necessarily need a man in my life. I did a fine job of caring for my daughters and my home after my late-husband died.
For me, it is a want. I want a man in my life. Not just any man, of course, but I know I wasn’t meant to live “alone” (never alone when you have kids, ha)but was meant to have Another in my life.
I know many women are just fine living without Another, but that’s not what I want.

Lisa May 30, 2010, 6:27 PM

I am not saying we do not need men in our lives but as a mate…at least the men I have been dating wanted me to give them the world but they give nothing in return. That is why I am single for now. I feel like some men are not as manly as my father. Now these days, women do not even need a man to have a child. Maybe I haven’t found that man to take out the trash, repair stuff around the house, wash the car, etc. I have been doing all those things myself. I agree with some of the posts…we need each other.

Anonymous May 30, 2010, 6:55 PM

I personally, as a lesbian, do not think I need a man. Although I’m guessing to “Bruce” I likely don’t count as a true woman either. Some women need men. Some men need women. Some people of some gender like some type of idiosyncratic person or thing. We are not all the same. Grow up.

deaddrift May 30, 2010, 7:44 PM

Bruce, even with our limited history, I think we both know that you don’t quote sources because you don’t have them. Learn some html and the link will not take away from your word count.

Some women need a man and some don’t. Ever heard of lesbians? Same for men; some need a woman and some don’t. Your pieces on gender relations provoke critical commentary because they are reactionary, ill-considered, and poorly informed.

Now go on Facebook and rally the troops — the internet bullies are after you!

michelle May 31, 2010, 2:42 AM

Debate what, Bruce? Who’s out there screeching that women don’t need men? You didn’t provide an answer to that in your otherwise lengthy response. Do you actually think that “women need men” is a “debate” anywhere but in your own head or among certain commenters on “Women need men” — OMG LOL. Another half-wit cliche spouted by another guy who thinks this is provocative. Please for the love of God go have an original thought, preferably one grounded in some sort of reality. But what do I know? I’m just a girl.

Emma May 31, 2010, 10:29 AM

I have enjoyed a long and successful career. I appreciate having men in my life. I can understand a reaction to the word “need” but I think there is nothing wrong with this tongue in cheek brief blog. By the way, apparently Mom Logic limits the length of their bloggers’ blog posts so you can’t expect an in-depth treatise here.
Michelle - if you would like to debate Bruce, please do call into his radio show - you can find the link on his website. I’ll be listening and hope to hear from you.

Black Iris May 31, 2010, 4:45 PM

We all need love. It doesn’t have to be from a man. Having two parents for kids is better for the parents and the kids. I’m with Real Mom Confessional - I’ve never met a woman who likes doing the laundry. And it’s no big deal, but a lot of Women’s Studies Departments are switching to calling themselves Gender Studies nowadays.

Black Iris May 31, 2010, 4:48 PM

Okay, Bruce, exactly how do women need men? You talk about some common American gender differences, but what makes us need each other? Why shouldn’t I just hang out with people who will listen to me talk about my feelings and enjoy the same movies as I do? What’s in it for me?

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