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“You don’t need a man to make you happy,” came through my FB feed the other day and I’m having a chuckle here at the vehemence of my response, the certainty, the conviction that exclaimed and blurted out, “Oh but you do! Desperately!

Do you know what they call women like me? Never mind, I’m sure you can imagine. So much for “empowering our sisters and tolerating diverse views.” It seems as if some views are simply “too diverse,” and some sisters just….. too fallen.

How crazy is that? I mean we live in a world where it is socially acceptable to have horns implanted in your head, or to re-imagine yourself as a sea-lion. (Sorry to say, Sea Lion Boy is a real thing in the world.)  What you cannot do ever, is something quite natural, quite biological, quite normal even, take note of any sort of female dependence on men.

Don’t  faint, this is a biology blog after all, and the fact that women may actually have a slight tendency to be drawn towards men is something that should have been learned in 6th grade “reproductive health” class. It’s not exactly rocket science. It’s kind of…normal.

I should clarify however, no human person can actually make you happy. We must consent to our own happiness and a great deal of that stems from having an intimate and powerful relationship with Jesus Christ. Happiness stems from Him and then stems from within. Actually happiness itself is highly overrated and frankly, rather exhausting. Nothing wrong with being happy, but contentment is a far better goal. You can rest in contentment. Happiness? Far too much exuberant dancing and jumping  around required. I much prefer the laziness of contentment.

I should clarify too, I am not speaking of men exclusively in terms of romance and reproduction, for goodness sakes. One could be single, one could be elderly, one could be completely disinterested in family and still need men in order to be happy.  We do! We need things reached off of tall shelves, pickle jars opened, the roof  patched. We need their eyes, their way of perceiving the world, their conversations. Everyone has a song to sing somewhere within them, and so we need to hear their song out in the world.

A famous and giant redwood that we could drive right through recently fell in some bad weather. It has died and I am sentimentally attached to that old tree, so it is sad, it is the end of an era. “Do we need men” is a bit like asking, do we need trees? Well, I suppose we could probably get along without them, but why would you even want too?

All in good fun here, but I have long admired the Shakers, their commitment to fine work, their furniture, their strong faith. The very name “Shakers” came from their exuberant shaking during worship. The “shaking Shakers.” We could learn a few things from them, what it means to truly live your faith, what it means to perceive the fruit of your hands as a form of worship, your labors an act of praise.

So it is with some sadness that I note the end of yet another era, the passing of Sister Frances Anne Carr, one of the last remaining Shakers.  The Shakers did some lovely things over the years, took in orphans and the unwanted, helped to free slaves.

Unfortunately they were big fans of egalitarianism….and celibacy. It is with wry humor that I note the end of the Shakers and the harsh biological truth of their own un-sustainability.

With all good gallows humor here, I note the predictable eventual passing of things that attempted to defy biology and natural law. Is it a surprise that a tree we carved a giant tunnel through, sent millions of cars driving through, eventually keeled over? Not really. It is also no great surprise that the Shakers dedication to celibacy and equality has now lead to their predictable demise.

“You don’t need a man to make you happy.” Of course not. We can just all ignore biological truth and reality here and imagine ourselves to be Sea Lions. May our decline be as graceful as Sister Carr’s passing and as dignified as the fall of a giant sequoia.

red queen