Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Also Not Funny, Supreme Court Edition

When women are in places of power and visibility, its never long before they get threatened with violence, either explicitly or through cartoons or "jokes" meant to put them in their place. (Just visit a feminist blog like Shakesville or Feministing and search "Hillary Clinton" or "Sarah Palin"). It stands to reason, then, that those who feel threatened by the choice of Sonia Sotomayer for the Supreme Court would feel empowered to draw a cartoon like this, currently running in The Oklahoman :

With editorial cartoons like this accepted by their paper, its not surprising that Oklahoma ranks as the 3rd worst state in the nation for women. According to the Oklahoma Women's Network, much of what holds Oklahoma women and girls back is the state’s culture of violence and disrespect for women. Oklahoma ranks #4 in women murdered by men, #1 in child abuse and their domestic violence shelters are full of women escaping violence.

Obviously playing on damaging racial stereotypes, the prevalence of violence against women in their state makes this cartoon even more insidious, especially when one recognizes the multiple oppressions in play for women of color who are victims of violence and how easily these women are dismissed by the systems designed to protect them. Please help us tell the Oklahoman that racism and violence against women aren't funny.

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