I'm currently doing my Masters degree and the first class discussion for one of my modules was to discuss whether or not women need men in their lives.
The actual quote that we were meant to analyse stated the following: "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."
Imagine a fish peddling for dear life on a bike! In effect, what this quote really means is that we women do not need men at all in our lives.
Now, I am one of those loud and strong advocates for women's rights BUT I will NEVER EVER believe that men are unnecessary in my life.
First and foremost, without a man I would not exist. It is the science of life that sperm + egg = zygote, which becomes foetus and finally baby. And the sperm has to come from a man, regardless of whether he is a chauvinist, patriarch or traditionalist. It's just that simple!
Secondly, as a child, one needs the advice and guidance of a male figure. I did not grow up with my father but I can reflect back on the role that my uncles and other male relatives played in giving me practical advice of how to go about doing things. One always needs a balance between the worldviews suggested by their male and female role models as the differences between them tend to open up perspective.
Thirdly, in my adulthood I do need men. One learns a lot about the inner psyche of males by talking to them, asking them questions, relating to them. There's no point in a bunch of women huddling up together and saying, "Men are like this" or "Men are like that". Let's talk to each other and not about each other!
Also, as a heterosexual woman, I do need men because somewhere among them all is my life partner! How will I find him if I do not interact?! And I do also believe that lesbians cannot disregard men completely as they need them for other things beyond sexual and gratification. Men are not just penises!
Our world abounds with may social ills - rape, domestic violence, oppression and so many others. If we put the blame on men, we don't actually solve anything. Rather than blame all men as though they ALL indulge in such activities, let's talk to each other so we can find out where the problem is and why someone would feel like they have entitlement to a woman's body at any time they so wish.
I believe in men, though it's sometimes hard to. I thank God for them. They complement me, balance me, make me laugh, make me angry, make me woman. This one is for the men! Viva!