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It’s been said that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. Fish, you see, don’t need bicycles. Or so the saying implies. But are men really disposable?

As a woman born into the post feminist world, then raised from the age of two by a widowed single mom, I was fairly indoctrinated with this fish not needing bicycles business. I was not raised to be a wife and mother. In fact I can’t remember by mom ever talking to me about becoming either. But I do remember her constantly saying, “When you go to college…” and “When you have your career…”

It wasn’t that my mom was opposed to marriage or kids necessarily, but I believe she said these things to me in reaction to her own experience of losing her childhood sweetheart at the age of 27 and not having any marketable skills or education to fall back on. So she went back to school and she did well by my brother and me, worked hard, provided for and protected us. She was a good mom and I believe she was trying to do her best, raising me to be independent so that if I ever had to stand on my own two feet, I could.

My mom didn’t remarry or date much when we were young. She choose to be alone because she was (and is) still in love with my dad and she feared nobody would be able to love my brother and I like he did. While I think that there are amazing men who make awesome step-dads, I am also glad that she didn’t shack up with whatever man would have her or let anyone ever mistreat us.

I grew up. I went to college. I have a career. I own a business in a mostly male realm. I have accomplished many things. Being female has not held me back. Feminism worked. Or did it?

I am also divorced and a single mom. While that is not entirely my doing, I will admit, among other things, I did not have my priorities straight and put my education and career before my marriage and then my family. I didn’t even question it at the time. I was living the feminist script. Having a man was “optional.” I could do without.

What a foolish, foolish thing to think.

I am not sure if things would have turned out differently had I done differently, and that’s something I will never know. I do know that if I ever marry again, my attitude and priorities will be entirely different.

Women do need men. Men make a woman’s life more stable and secure and safe and easy in so many ways, little and big, I can’t even list them.

Sure, there are men who aren’t good partners or husbands, men women are better off without. But that’s very different than saying women don’t need men, that all men are disposable.

I had a conversation with my mom a few months back, where I shared these ideas with her, and she surprised me by agreeing wholeheartedly. Like me, she’s seen with time and life experience how much easier women with a good man and a happy stable marriage have it in life. A good man is a blessing, not a burden. A woman is wise to know it, and to know how to be a good woman to her man in return.

Let those who have ears hear.

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