Decision makes women look weak
Cutting the cartoon was indicative of the Review reputation
Students need a little levity and disrespect
To the Editor:
It might seem that arguing about a comic strip not being printed in a newspaper is a waste of time, a trivial matter in the larger scheme of Oberlin existence. But, when The Oberlin Review (our beacon of political correctness) says that a comic strip depicting a girl being killed by an angry white male demeans and degrades women, and for this reason they decide not to print the comic, there's clearly no option but to respond with a letter explaining the absurdity of such a simple-minded decision.
First of all, let me say that of course the Review has the right to print whatever it wants. No one's First Amendment rights were violated, a newspaper can make any editing decisions it wants. The question isn't whether or nor the Review had the right for such a decision, but whether such a decision was a smart one
Well, it wasn't. In fact, there are so many things wrong with the decision that I had to make a list (in random order).
Number one: Lucy is a bitch.
Number two: Men are shown being kicked and beaten and killed every day in comics and in movies, everywhere you look. Sometimes it's even women who are hitting them. But women, the Review contests, have this trump card up their sleeve that exempts them from violence, that makes them untouchable. The Review didn't protest during the gay and lesbian cartoonist weekend when a lesbian cartoonist came to Oberlin whose work included a drawing of a woman dancing in a blood storm while singing "It's raining men!" Violence is violence, whether it's on a man on a man or on a woman, whether it's a political statement or a comic strip. And it's part of life, whether you like it or not. Creating a barrier in art between females and violence makes women look so defenseless that they can't even handle a drawing of themselves being hurt.
Number three: Art has no morality. It doesn't have an ethical code to follow, it doesn't have rules; that's the first amendment. Art is created to be seen, not to be judged on whether it can be seen. It is created so that an emotion can be evoked and if this emotion is disgust or anger, then great. The artist has done his job well. Art is not made to make people happy, to show the good parts of the world and ignore the rest. There's love and flowers and there's shit and blood, and all of it has to be seen. The good stuff only accounts for one minute part of the world. There's so much more, and to see the whole picture, to understand what's reality and what's truth, everything has to be included. Everything doesn't mean art that we find acceptable. Everything means a comic strip about a bunch of white men who sit around all day saying 'Nigger' is a worthy piece of art, if only for the fact that it pisses everyone off. When it gets printed, people will see it and protest and grow red with anger and say "what kind of a sick idiot draws a cartoon like that?" and those reactions are just as valid and important as any. A decision to not print a comic strip like this one denies people the opportunity to have such reactions. With a paper like the Oberlin Review, which doesn't have to worry about popular opinion and sales since it's free, the only consequences of printing Kevin McShane's cartoon would have been that it might have made people angry.
To the Editor:
I cannot begin to understand what it is about Mr. McShane's cartoon which resulted in its not being printed. At the very least, the cartoon's grammar is flawless and its message clear and concise unlike 95 percent of the other fecal-like material which you deem fit for print in your "news"-paper. Like the typical spineless (and silent) majority at Oberlin, you certainly chose an opportune time to exercise your editing"privileges." This entire issue will be long forgotten by the time classes resume. Bravo! What an utter act of cowardice. I've certainly seen curse words such as "bitch" and "shit" appear in the Review before, so this cartoon must have violated some other "standard." Hmmmm, what could it be? Is it because it is violent? Maybe. Or is it because its violence is directed at a ficticious caricature of pre-adolescent female? Seems likely. This cartoon certainly glorifies and encourages violence against women. Unquestionably. Seems like yet another instance a decision was made in a knee-jerk, reactionary-like manner. I'm really glad this cartoon was cut. Because anyone who doesn't already think the Review is little more than shit on rag (that has, incidently, been sitting around for a week) will now see the God given light of truth.
To the Editor:
What's up with this McShane thing? I read the comic, and I didn't find it offensive or anything. Plus, it was a whole lot more entertaining than all the "racism, classism, discrimination, affirmative action" shit that's been crapping up your paper. What are your priorities? It's finals, fer Chrissake! Students need a little levity and disrespect. Get it together.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 13, February 6, 1998
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