Letter: Sexist cartoon
Re Mike Marland’s cartoon of an NRA man petting Sen. Kelly Ayotte and saying “good girl” (Monitor Opinion page, April 24):
This is a sexist cartoon, and it should not have been printed. I am no fan of Ayotte, nor do I support the cowards in the Senate who refuse to stand up to the powerful gun lobby, but this cartoon distracts from meaningful discussion of the issue. To depict Ayotte as a lap-dog is offensive. Marland drew her head positioned in the crotch of this pinstriped caricature sitting in his NRA throne and stroking her head and she paws at his thigh and eagerly wags her tail. This suggests a combination of subservience, sexuality and gender roles that is highly offensive. Would Marland have ever drawn this cartoon replacing Ayotte’s head with the head of a male senator? I don’t think so.
This cartoon taps into hostility toward Ayotte’s gender and attempts to tie that hostility to the issue of her political position on gun control. Ayotte is a public figure and I am all for challenging her for a vote that is against safety and for corporate gun sales, but this is not the way to do it.