A World Without Men Is No World For Me

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

 My son and his friends after his high school dance company performance. The boys’ dance is beloved tradition.

My son and his friends after his high school dance company performance. The boys’ dance is beloved tradition.

I love males. I’m surrounded by them and to tell you the truth, I like it that way. In my daily experience, I come in contact with men of all ages and I feel complete. They are the yang to my yin and I don’t want that to end.

Toxic masculinity is a hot topic, but is masculinity exclusively toxic? Would the world be safer without men? Would work be better, if not for the bros? Would life be easier, if men were sent to Mars, so that women can inherit the Earth?

What sort of world would that be?

A world without men would be a world without:

Fathers. I love my father. He taught me to code, fish and change a tire. Moreover he taught me that it was safe to love a man. Fathers show their children the ways of men, and while many may fail, most do not. They hold their children, read to them and take them to the amusement park so that mom can have a break. Fathers are also great scapegoats. “Oh little Amelia did what? Goodness, she’s just like her father.” Fathers are tickle monsters and wrestlers, they’re also great for piggy back rides and tosses into the air.

A world without fathers is no world for me.

Husbands. Oh, it’s great to have a husband. I know there’s been a lot of talk about how much work husbands are for today’s women, it’s why women are the initiators of 70% of the divorces, but I for one like having mine around. He’s my friend, lover and yard slave. Oh, and a great father as well. Some of my fondest memories are the hours we spent together putting the kids to bed each night, taking turns reading stories. My husband started reading to our children when they were in-utero. I was very pregnant and tired and asked him to tell me a story. He took out a copy of the “Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and read it to me out loud. Both children are completely enamored with British comedy now and of course I blame the old man. I’m the mother I am because he’s my partner. I’d never want to do this parenting thing without him.

Oh sisters, I must be honest, a world without husbands is no world for me.

Sons. Do you look at your sons and see the face of patriarchy? Do you see The Man we need to take down and put in his place? Or do you see a child in love with his mother? Sons are loyal and loving. They’re action and spirit. Something is always going on when my sons are around and I can’t help but feel joy when they let me into their hearts. Sons love their mothers, so much that it can feel like a burden at time. What if I break their hearts with my incompetence? Sons are lots of work when they’re young — I can’t recall how many CD players were filled with coins, or vases shattered by a moving object, be it body or ball — but if by the grace of God they don’t do drugs, sons can be your best friends when they get older. Yes, their rooms are a mess and they often refuse to shower, but my sons are the stabilizers I so dearly need. Gently, they share their knowledge and wisdom. They’re also really, really funny, but that might be the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy influence. And their friends are just as wonderful. A house filled with teen boys is a house of laughter, wrestling and lots of cussing while playing Mario Kart. The pantry might be empty when they go home, but the heart is full.

A world without sons is no world for me.

Strong Jawlines. Okay, I love all of their body parts, but there’s something about a man’s jawline that makes me weak. Some will try to tell me that I’ve been programmed by the patriarchy to be heterosexual, but sorry ladies, nothing but the scent of a man will do. To be held by a man, kissed by a man, loved by a man, this is grace. To say nothing of how handy it is to have someone to carry the heavy stuff, including a toddler on his shoulders and a pack-n-play in his arms.

A world without the strong embrace of a man is no world for me.

Friendship. I love my female friends dearly, yet I can’t imagine my life without those boys and men who have spent hours with me, sometimes having fun, sometimes lending an ear and often times giving me advice. As a kid, my neighbor Scotty was the most reliable person to call upon when I needed someone to play outside and get muddy with me. In high school, my friend Steve taught me how to drive a stick-shift. In college, I spent many nights in the math-science lab, coding till the wee hours and surrounded by males and empty pizza boxes. They played text based online Dungeons and Dragons (this was the nineties after all, Al Gore had just invented the internet) while I told them all about the boy problems in my life. Their advice on how to woo the male species was priceless. As a young woman, men mentored me at work, showing me how to be a leader myself, as well as how to play softball (the beer league is a serious thing you know). Today if I need help, I know I can call upon my friend Jeffrey, who will come lift a tree off my goat barn, or show me how to light the pilot on the heater, while my husband is out of town. And I love talking with my Facebook friend John, a man who I don’t think I’ve ever met in person, but who grew up in my home town. His insights have inspired many of the articles I’ve written for my blog and Medium.

A world without the camaraderie of men is no world for me.

Great Choral Productions. What? Stay with me. A world without men is one where all the best SATB (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) choral pieces are rendered useless. I can’t imagine the loss of bass, baritone and tenor. Yes, sopranos sound like angels and there’d be no jazz without the sultry second alto, but honestly ladies, when the men join in, the song deepens and their voices fill the room with masculine power and beauty. They complement our higher chords and when we all hit the notes in our various octaves, the troubled world seems to grow dim and heaven draws just a bit closer.

A world without a man’s song is no world for me.

Why would I write this piece? Because the internet is filled with masculine critiques and while dominance, violence and hate crime (which is the essence of rape) must be faced and fought, I don’t want us to lose what’s best about humanity in this world. For this reason, those of us who love men need to share our stories as well. Heartbreak is not uniquely female, men share these experiences with us. A world where only one sex dominates is not a healthy one, we see this right now, do we not? Industrial civilization has been built almost exclusively by men, which is why correction is needed. But in our attempt to bring the feminine voice into the culture let us make sure to balance our caution with arms outstretched in partnership, for the issues we need to solve at this turning point in time require all of us together, side-by-side.

Besides, I really don’t want to inherit the Earth without the men in my life. From my father, husband and sons to my friends, students and colleagues, men are some of the best people I know. So let’s not be hasty and ship them all to Mars, okay?