ifeminists.com: A central gathering place and information center for individualist feminists.   -- explore the new feminism --
introduction | interaction | information

ifeminists.com > introduction > editorials

Letter to the editor: "Leaky Launch"
November 11, 2003

This is in regards to your Article: Editorial: Leaky Launch. I found what you published to be very condescending and dismissive of men's concerns.

First was the mere mention that the NH Status of Men commission is the first one in the country for men. No mention of the fact that there are over 250 women's commissions in the nation and that they are funded while the men's commission is unfunded and has only a 2 year mandate that must be renewed. Men around the country wrote letters in support of this commission which was years in the making, but is being treated as a poor cousin that has to explain its existence and go unfunded.

Next was the sexist comment about men being "homophobic" about prostate cancer checks and that they might, being men, get together, drink beer, play poker, and watch the sports channel. This is a childish and sexist comment that your editor should have rebuked the writer for, instead of publishing. Would you have, were this the first women's commission, published that women had gotten together, gossiped, had some knitting workshop, and watched the Home Shopping Network? I doubt it. Where is your sense of journalistic objectivity? Why the double standard?

Then the writer said "the men could have gotten together, sat around, beat drums, and talk about their suppressed feelings. No harm done. Or, in the worst imagined scenario, the commission could turn into a vehicle to bash women and gripe about life's inequities." This is condescending and degrading to men. The men who came forward were not suppressed in their feelings at all, but passionate and personal. And the writer's arrogance in this paragraph, "no harm done" smacks of men needing a women's permission to say what they feel at a men's commission.

One of the men addressed how anti-father groups like N.O.W. were helping to discriminate against men and fathers. N.O.W. was in full opposition to the Paternity Fraud Act (California) which would have ensured that only the biological father of a child would be paying child support instead of the current system which allows a women to "father shop" for the most financially well off man that the mother can stick the bill with. N.O.W. also published a "study" about bias in the family courts (again from California) that was debunked within days of its publishing as S.L.O.P. science. N.O.W. keeps publishing long debunked falsehoods on sexual assault and domestic violence that have misinformed the public for years. So these men who testified at the Status of Men Commission had legitimate grievances, but the writer never mentions any of this.

The writer then goes on to say that the commission was weighted heavily with members concerned with father's rights. This country has long called for men to stand up and be good fathers while often painting them as unconcerned and wanting no part of their children's lives. But in New Hampshire the story told over and over was of men wanting more involvement in their children's lives and how this is being prevented by the courts and vindictive ex-spouses. These men told of ex-spouses who denied court ordered visitation rights. Maybe this was the theme because the often publicized "uncaring father" stereotype is just hogwash. Fathers overwhelmingly don't get custody, child support is set on unrealistic guidelines, there is no accountability in the child support money paid out and spent by mothers, fathers are vilified to their children, and this is all done by a court system that treats men like human sperm banks with a wallet. So, yes, these men were upset.

I don't know if this was a reporter who wrote this or some write-in letter, but I hope it was the latter. I don't know if the writer wrote in ignorance or with tacit agreement of the editor to publish this anti-father/anti-male column, but your paper is displaying a sexist and anti-family view of the men's commission. Men around the country are watching what is happening in New Hampshire. If you don't believe me then why am I, who live in Alaska, writing you a letter? Have you received other letters from other parts of the country? Men will no longer tolerate the anti-male bias in the media. This men's commission is the first we have, as compared to the over 250 funded women's commissions, and we are watching. Fathers are important in a child's life and these men are standing up to be actively involved fathers, write a column about that.


ifeminists.com > home | introduction | interaction | information | about

ifeminists.com is edited by Wendy McElroy; it is made possible by support from The Independent Institute and members like you.