Are Boys and Men Becoming Obsolete?


The other day I saw an image on a Facebook page in which a mom and her daughter stated “I don’t need a man” with a shadow of a man  leaving the house in the background. The picture represents one of  the most celebrated statements uttered by women. I have to be honest and say that I hear this most often from black women than any other group of women.

Some women use this statement as a defense mechanism to explain being single or express their disappointment  or distrust of men. Where does that leave boys and men? In the effort to raise girls to be strong and independent, women are conveying the wrong message by telling girls that they don’t need men.  First of all, we should teach all children to be independent and self-sufficient. People shouldn’t need other people. However, we were created for human relationships. By nature, we are social creatures and benefit from connecting and interacting with others.

Stating “I don’t need a man” doesn’t help girls or women become strong, confident, and independent. I get it, we want to ensure girls and young women understand that they don’t need a man to be or feel complete.  What we really should be telling girls is:

  • You don’t need a man who’ll disrespect you
  • You don’t need a man who doesn’t appreciate your efforts and contribution
  • You don’t need a man who is too insecure to let you own your greatness
  • You don’t need a man who only sees you as a sexual object

My mother taught my brother and I life skills so that we can care for ourselves and not rely on anyone for our financial, emotional, spiritual or physical well-being. She never stated to me “You don’t need a man”. When I was a child, I never doubted my mother’s confidence, power or strength. She didn’t depend on my father to make her feel whole. I understood the difference between “want” and “need”.

Also, let’s  think about what this statement tells boys. If our sons overhear us saying this, what are they learning about themselves as men?

We don’t want to undermine the roles  that boys and  men play in our lives. If we want to raise a generation of empowered women and compassionate men, we must begin to change our what we say.  It’s not about needing anyone, it’s about being true to yourself,
practicing self-care and  maintaining your individuality, even when
you’re in a relationship. Let’s not dismiss boys and men as an inconvenience in our lives.

Image courtesy  of Flickr

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2 Responses to Are Boys and Men Becoming Obsolete?

  1. Lynette says:

    Thank you for posting this! I grew up in a very female-centric house. My dad was gone a lot and my mom, having come from a chaotic home was keen to teach me to ‘never rely on a man’ and ‘don’t make yourself need a man’. That message was also heard by my brother who I think had a hard time finding his place in the world. Now as a mom of boys, it saddens me to think that a woman wouldn’t want them. They are amazing boys and I hope they grow up to be amazing men who find someone who does need them in their life, because it adds love and completes the partnership.

  2. mroker says:

    Thank you Lynette for your comment. It’s something we have to be aware of when we are raising sons.

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