In response to the Oct. 28 letter that invited the BYU women to unite in feminist solidarity, I would like to point out a few things about sexism, feminism and the role of a newspaper cartoonist in general.
“Sure Signs That She’s Taken,” the cartoon that appeared on Oct. 26, was the female equivalent of a cartoon from the previous week titled “Sure Signs That He’s Taken.” This cartoon included such “signs” as the screwy haircut his wife gave him and the fat roll above his belt line.
If Ben Sowards is a sexist then he is an equal opportunity sexist. Cartoonists are not, and never have been, responsible for portraying the entire spectrum of experiences in their cartoons. They target a part of their society and respond to it. The stereotype of female BYU students as marriage-oriented family science majors has not died yet because it still represents part of the BYU experience.
At worst, Sowards can be accused of not being politically correct. The author accused Sowards of insinuating that LDS women are “disinterested in education.” Did not the cartoon portray a BYU STUDENT? Why does the sight of a pregnant behavioral science major make people think her education is meaningless to her? As a non-feminist, I thank the author for providing my view with an example of sexism and stereotypes as equally damaging as Sowards.
I agree that the cartoons, both male and female depictions, were tasteless, but I did not hear a call to demonstrative protest from the male students of our campus. Perhaps they are already aware that rational arguments supersede emotionally sensational reactions in both their success and advisability.
Hinckley, Millard County