WTF Email

A reader is upset about my Unplanned Parenthood cartoon:

Hi Jen, this is in response to your recent depiction of Planned Parenthood. First of all, I am not irrationally upset, please do not delete this message upon noting that it is a complaint. My lady associate and I found the particular section “Sexual Assault Victim” to be offensive and particularly insensitive. You have obviously never been raped, though many readers of Santa Cruz Weekly have been. You probably ruined someone’s day. Play nice, bitch.

Now, the second panel of that cartoon obviously criticizes the viewpoint of the Unplanned Parenthood counselor, who suggests the sexual assault victim was “probably showing a little thigh.” It illustrates the horror and absurdity of being told such a thing. This reader seems to think I’m attacking Planned Parenthood itself. But it says right underneath the title, “Pregnancy Centers, GOP style!” For some people, I suppose cartoon interpretation is a bitch.


  • Steve Fisher

    Some people are irony-challenged.

  • Justin

    You have to love it when people don’t pick up on satire, especially when it’s handed to them on a platter labeled “SATIRE”.

  • Chris Grealy

    Not sure whether they are simply thick, or trolls. Keep up the great cartoons.

  • Michael Fish, Canada

    Great Work, Dear, There is always someone who makes a mistake. It may not be the fault of the commenter. Sexual assault is very disturbing and can skew the irony meters.

  • Tom

    I have noticed that a lot of people nowadays are satire-challenged. Why, I don’t know. My pet explanation is that fewer kids grow up reading Mad Magazine, and aren’t exposed to satire at an early age. It’s harder to teach satire with, say, a video game. Sheesh, I sound like a really old guy now! The late great Mike Royko wrote a column making fun of the LAPD sending racist comments over police communications gear, and was called promptly accused of being a racist.

    When I worked for newspapers, Lewis Grizzard wrote a column saying that Congress had resigned because of the scandal over personal overdrafts on the House bank. Some reader called me at the paper to ask if it was true that Congress had resigned, and I had to explain to the guy that it was satire “What’s that?” he asked. I had to explain that satire is making fun of things to get a point across. “Then Congress didn’t resign?” he asked.

    Remember, he’s got a vote on Election Day that will cancel yours.

  • Sandy

    Maybe the email writer and his “lady associate” assume that by labelling it “GOP style,” you must be in favor of it. Because anything the GOP does is, of course, a warm and fuzzy, very good thing.

  • Steve Fisher

    @Tom –

    As someone who grew up reading Mad Magazine, and who was a big fan of Mike Royko (and Lewis Grizzard, for that matter), I can’t help but think that you have hit it on the head.

    Your comment about the satire-challenged having a vote is very depressing, albeit all too true.

  • ugly canadian

    It would be nice it if only extended to being satire-challenged. From what I’ve seen of the education system these days, we’re lucky anyone under the age of..oh, I’d say around 25, can even walk and chew gum at the same time, let alone comprehend even a moderately-complicated concept like irony. I can’t believe how shockingly dumbed-down our world has become. Satire-challenged? I’d say it’s more like basic-intelligence-challenged.

  • Chris

    I noticed the less-than-flattering letter you got came from Santa Cruz. Back when I lived there many years ago, there was a large vocal class of people who had raised getting offended to a lifestyle. It’s nice to see that some things never change!

    By the way, on your latest comic with the dictators, panel 3 is pure win!

  • Doug

    HAHAHA! Emailer you just got served!

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.