A state lawmaker has abandoned his effort to set up a commission to study "unhealthy stereotypes of what makes a man a man," an idea that drew interest from around the country but insufficient support from the legislature.
Del. Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) said last week that he quietly asked the chairman of a House committee not to act on his request this session, with the hope the proposal may become more palatable with time.
Sociologists, therapists and professors testified at a public hearing this month in favor of Cummings' resolution calling for the creation of a task force on contemporary manhood.
But Cummings' proposal to study the problems of being a man in modern society drew snickers from some lawmakers.
"I think I was able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish," Cummings said. "I wanted to get beyond people's shock of just the whole nature of the bill."
The task force would have studied problems peculiar to men and how "unhealthy sterotypes of what makes a man a man" have resulted in an "unsympathetic treatment of men" and contributed to general societal problems.
If the Judiciary Committee had voted this year to reject the idea, as had been expected, Cummings said, it would not have stood a chance of passage for at least several years.
The delegate said that if he does decide to introduce the measure again, it probably will not be until the 1987 session, when a new General Assembly will be taking office.