The Secret Problem

In 1999 the New Hampshire House of Representatives created the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Men, which the State Senate promptly stripped of funding. The funding was finally given in 2002 and the Commission was established.

The commission’s unique purpose is to examine issues facing boys and men in New Hampshire. Issues covered range from an institutional bias in divorce law and domestic violence cases to an educational bias that has resulted in women representing sixty-percent of the college population, and girls greatly out performing boys in reading and writing. The commission examines myths about domestic violence and how government programs have a gender-bias that perpetuate the problem and create greater societal problems.

This November, the commission published its first report on these issues after holding meetings with men and women from New Hampshire, hearing reports and testimony from experts, and analyzing prior research on the topics they discuss. The report furnishes both the findings of the commission and the recommendations they make to alleviate current problems.

This report is worth taking a look at and flies in the face of much of the feminist rhetoric that those of my generation have grown up listening to. There is clearly an underlying problem with the treatment of men in our legal system, which derives from a presumed bias that is inherent in our patriarchal Western civilization. While steps have been taken to correct what were injustices, those steps have been extrapolated over time into an overreach that disenfranchised many men in an attempt to help women. The commission’s report should be dismissed as it very well be; it should be looked at and begin a discussion in our society about the gender roles that does not discriminate against either men or women.