Pro-choice = “Inappopriate”; Racism and Misogyny? Not So Much

Jim Romenesko is reporting that the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Oregonian, among other newspapers, will not be running next week’s Doonesbury strips, which deal with the effects of those anti-abortion/mandatory ultrasound laws that are making their ways through a number of state legislatures. From Romenesko’s description of the cartoons, it doesn’t appear that they’re sexually explicit. But politically, Gary Trudeau is not pulling any punches. To wit, here’s how one cartoon is described:

In the stirrups, she is telling a nurse that she doesn’t want a transvaginal exam. Doctor says “Sorry miss, you’re first trimester. The male Republicans who run Texas require that all abortion seekers be examined with a 10″ shaming wand.” She asks “Will it hurt?” Nurse says, “Well, it’s not comfortable, honey. But Texas feels you should have thought of that.” Doctor says, “By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.”

Frankly, I’m a little shocked that a strip that for years more often than not has been so toothless is now being so uncharacteristically blunt.

Spokespeople for the newspapers which are banning the strips say their reason is that the material is “over the line” and “inappropriate.”

I wonder when the day will come when these extraordinarily nasty examples of unadulteratedly racist and misogynist (not to mention witless) political cartoons are also considered “over the line” and “inappropriate.”

Kathleen Geier

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee