It is a strange oxymoron isnt it. How can a man be kind and loving to some and hateful and cruel to others. I think a lot of it has to do with idenity crisis. They feel ok with their own but hate the others for some reason alien to most of us. Actually, most ppl cant think like the ppl u mentioned because u need to posess a thought process unknown to normal ppl. But getting to your question. That old saying probably meant that it took a good woman, someone loving, kind, sincere, nurturing and trusting to foster a good husband or good man. And thats exactly what mothers are suppose to do. They are the female its talking about, but not always. Sometimes wives fall into this catagory or a sister or a faithful companion. It sounds silly that a man cant be good without a woman but its just an old saying. Most wouldnt fall for this today because we know more about human nature.