INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

Is this cartoon offensive?

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.

Do you find the cartoon offensive?

Yes, definitely.
1
2%
Hmmm....maybe a bit.
3
7%
No way!
32
76%
Dunno.
6
14%
 
Total votes: 42

Message
Author
DougS
Posts: 737
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 9:48 am

#21 Post by DougS » November 14th, 2007, 9:49 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

GPJ wrote:I voted "Yes" because I find ALL of Rowson's cartoons offensive. Many cartoons by others of the same ilk (Scarfe, Bell, etc) are also intentionally offensive. It's their style. It's the current fashion.

When I first saw the cartoon I thought the intention was to send up Dawkins' tendency to find "awe" in nature -- symbolised by bluebirds and daisies -- but rosy cheeks and sandals are definitely stereotypical "gay" indicators. And the "out" placard is a big clue!

Sandal-wearing was introduced to the UK by Edward Carpenter author of "The Intermediate Sex", an early socialist and homosexual campaigner (and a good poet).

By the way, the cartoon is not by itself. It is intended to illustrate an anti-Dawkins article. Humanists are their own worst enemies.
GPJ, I don't quite follow. That you find "ALL" of Rowson's cartoons offensive doesn't explain why you find this one in particular offensive. You pointed out the stereotypical gay indicators but what exactly is your point? Are you saying the cartoon is homophobic? If so, why? Or are you saying it's anti-Dawkins?

squiffy
Posts: 42
Joined: September 26th, 2007, 12:22 pm

#22 Post by squiffy » November 14th, 2007, 10:37 pm

I don't know what either of the men look like, so I have no idea whether it is offensive or not. I never knew that sandals were stereotypically gay and I think that most antipodean men would be very surprised to hear that. A fair percentage of Asian men wear sandals and I don't think that means they are gay. I think it would have been funnier if he had been wearing socks with his sandals!

Have not cartoonists been deliberately offensive since cartoonists were invented?

Is a limp wrist not one which allows the hand to flop down, his hands seem to be flexed back.

If I were Richard Dawkins I would be more upset that I have been made to look like Michael Heseltine and possibly vice versa! Are either of them upset or offended? The other man looks like a cross between Brian Blessed and Luciano Pavarotti...

User avatar
Lifelinking
Posts: 3248
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 11:56 am

#23 Post by Lifelinking » November 14th, 2007, 10:56 pm

imho, its just a rather poor cartoon.



L
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney

Hamish
Posts: 3
Joined: September 25th, 2007, 10:31 pm

#24 Post by Hamish » November 14th, 2007, 11:00 pm

Thought it was typically funny although I didn't recognise Hitchens straight away. And I don't think the article isn anti-Dawkins; disagreeing or taking a different line or pointing out gaps in his arguments doesn't mean humanists are split into two hostile factions. RD is not a holy cow!

Maria Mac
Site Admin
Posts: 9294
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:34 pm

#25 Post by Maria Mac » November 14th, 2007, 11:47 pm

Desmond wrote:I guess it's here I come out as a Humanist not on the militant wing. He wrote:

"Humanism is more than atheism, it is about putting humanist beliefs and values into practice and trying to make the world a better place. And that is impossible unless we’re prepared to cooperate with others who share those values, including those for whom the values are inseparable from a religious commitment."

I wholeheartedly agree.
Hamish wrote:And I don't think the article isn anti-Dawkins; disagreeing or taking a different line or pointing out gaps in his arguments doesn't mean humanists are split into two hostile factions. RD is not a holy cow!

I've just finished reading the article and I have to agree with the above comments. I thought the article was excellent (apart from a small bit about faith that I didn't quite understand) and I find the suggestion that to disagree with part of what Dawkins says is to be "anti-Dawkins" quite disturbing from a freethinker.

Firebrand
Posts: 686
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 9:05 am

#26 Post by Firebrand » November 15th, 2007, 11:27 am

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I didn't even know about this magazine but will probably subscribe now that I do.

Maria wrote: Another objection seems to be the portrayal of Christopher Hitchens as..um...fat and ugly. Or fatter and uglier than he is in real life, at any rate. "This cartoon is aggressive and mean. I reserve fat jokes for people I truly despise," said another poster.
I find the comment quoted here far more offensive than the cartoon. Only truly despicable people deserve "fat jokes"? Why, for goodness sake? Is being fat so despicable?

As a matter of fact, I don't find the cartoon offensive at all. I think it's very funny but the caricature of Hitchens is a bit cruel.

I agree with the article, which just reads like common sense to me.
Maria wrote:
I've just finished reading the article and I have to agree with the above comments. I thought the article was excellent (apart from a small bit about faith that I didn't quite understand)
I'm intrigued, Maria. What part didn't you understand?

pauldsims
Posts: 4
Joined: November 15th, 2007, 10:24 am

#27 Post by pauldsims » November 15th, 2007, 11:43 am

I've not posted on this forum before so I'll start by identifying myself - Paul Sims, Editorial Assistant at New Humanist.

Good to see this is being discussed here. We've picked up on the various threads about the cartoon and Richard Norman's article (on here, on the Dawkins site, on Pharyngula) and we're running our own poll on our blog. It's all here: http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2007/11/ ... versy.html

Thanks for all the comments - it's always good to stir up a debate, although I must admit the cartoon angle is somewhat surprising.

clayto
Posts: 384
Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Cartoon

#28 Post by clayto » November 15th, 2007, 11:59 am

No, like most of us I don't think the cartoon is offencive and even if it was so what? It is part of the purpose of many such cartoons to be offencive, provocative as well as amusing. Sometimes cartoons can inflict lasting unfair damage as is widely thought to be the case with the cartoons about the political relationship between David Steel and David Owen, some years ago. It is just something one has to live with if a victim, especially as complaints are more than likely to increase any damage. The fact that Humanists can publish such cartoons about ourselves without demonstrating in the streets is something in our favour, compared to some others I will not mention.

Further, I don't see the article as 'an attack on Dawkins', nor I am sure did the author or Editor ----- in fact I think it is one of the best articles I have read recently.

Chris
clayto

verte
Posts: 153
Joined: July 6th, 2007, 9:23 pm

#29 Post by verte » November 15th, 2007, 1:23 pm

It's a caricature. It's not meant to be flattering. And I'm not offended.
Space for rent, cheap.

Jaybird
Posts: 161
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 9:03 am

#30 Post by Jaybird » November 15th, 2007, 2:04 pm

To the site admin here, may I say I welcomed the email notifying me of this thread. It's good to be reminded of this forum's existence and an email asking me to look at a cartoon that has aroused controversy is irresistible.

Having said that, I too am surprised that the cartoon should be considered so provocative, albeit by a minority. I love it, myself and I'm glad common sense prevails.

I am much more interested in the suggestion that the article it illustrates might be considered 'anti-Dawkins'. How so, GPJ? You haven't explained so it's hard to respond.

I've read through it twice and I think Norman gives Dawkins credit where it's due him, in particular in his dealing with the nonsense of a creator God as the driving force behind the universe. But his criticisms of both Dawkins and Hitchens and their unhelpful generalisations about religion are sound, they apply to a great many of those who seem to want to elevate these authors to the status of gods who can do no wrong. I've seen this extraordinary phenomenon on this forum and elsewhere on the web and I really have to wonder how these people can call themselves freethinkers.

User avatar
Oxfordrocks
Posts: 673
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 9:45 am

#31 Post by Oxfordrocks » November 15th, 2007, 5:21 pm

New Humanist always has a catoon like this on the cover.
It's just their "thing"
A few months ago someone wrote in to the magazine to complain about a cartoon starring the Archbishop of Canterbury and the rest of the priests in The House of Lords saying it was disrespectful (or somesuch thing).

If it entices people to pick up the magazine then more power to them.

Not offensive.
http://newhumanist.org.uk/subscribe
There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating staying in EU.

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of staying in the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens will be caused by leaving EU?
3. Should the supreme court ruling on British subjects be based in UK?

ColinAngusMackay
Posts: 109
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 1:02 am

#32 Post by ColinAngusMackay » November 15th, 2007, 6:10 pm

All I can say is that it make Dawkins look kind of excitable. I don't think anyone is going to rush out and burn down a few embassies because of this. I doubt there'll be any flag burning or rioting either.

Lucretius
Posts: 262
Joined: July 26th, 2007, 11:19 pm

#33 Post by Lucretius » November 15th, 2007, 10:28 pm

I don't find it offensive but I am not the one on the cover. I don't remember Hitchens particularly supporting the "OUT" movement.
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

Jem
Posts: 973
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:37 pm

#34 Post by Jem » November 15th, 2007, 11:26 pm

Lucretius wrote:I don't find it offensive but I am not the one on the cover. I don't remember Hitchens particularly supporting the "OUT" movement.
The people who are saying it's offensive aren't on the cover either. It does seem that the main objection is that it's supposedly homophobic rather than insulting to Dawkins or Hitchens.

Lucretius
Posts: 262
Joined: July 26th, 2007, 11:19 pm

#35 Post by Lucretius » November 16th, 2007, 12:13 am

I don't see it as being homophobic. Its being a bit stereotypical by portray Dawkins as a camp fairly type of gay. I know 6 gay men and none of them are like that. Just because your a minority doesn't mean you get to be immune from the occasional comedy bashing. I don't find it funny, I don't find it offensive. Dawkins himself was trying to portray the out movement as in some way similar to gay liberation so its not even an original thought. The art works it fairly decent though.
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

Jem
Posts: 973
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:37 pm

#36 Post by Jem » November 16th, 2007, 2:57 pm

I know dozens of gay men and quite a few of us like that. I'm as camp as a row of pink tents and I don't object to gay men being stereotyped in that way at all. It's when soap operas try to be all worthy and only ever portray gay men as macho and totally indistinguishable from straight men that my hackles rise a bit - there's nothing wrong with being a mincing, bitchy queen and we're much easier to caricature.

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

#37 Post by Alan C. » November 16th, 2007, 5:42 pm

Jem
It's when soap operas try to be all worthy and only ever portray gay men as macho and totally indistinguishable from straight men that my hackles rise a bit
Jem, do you not watch Coronation Street? They have a gay character on there (can't remember his bloody name) :sad: He's as mincing a bitchy queen as you could ever meet. :grin:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Lucretius
Posts: 262
Joined: July 26th, 2007, 11:19 pm

#38 Post by Lucretius » November 17th, 2007, 4:03 am

Jem wrote:I know dozens of gay men and quite a few of us like that. I'm as camp as a row of pink tents and I don't object to gay men being stereotyped in that way at all. It's when soap operas try to be all worthy and only ever portray gay men as macho and totally indistinguishable from straight men that my hackles rise a bit - there's nothing wrong with being a mincing, bitchy queen and we're much easier to caricature.
The bottom line is, a stereotype by definition isn't all inclusive. There is bound to be someone a bit offended by every stereotype. This however isn't a reason to not print something offensive. People need to have thicker skin.
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

ThinkHumanism
Site Admin
Posts: 156
Joined: June 25th, 2007, 11:21 pm

#39 Post by ThinkHumanism » November 27th, 2007, 11:13 am

Posts discussing the article itself have been split off to a new thread:

Responses to Richard Norman article in New Humanist
This post was probably brought to you by Maria, unless it was Alan.

Post Reply