Doonesbury, the Tampa Bay Times and the GOP’s ‘war on women’

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The Tampa Bay Times has determined that today’s Gary Trudeau comic strip Doonesbury is too graphic for the delicate sensibilities of its readers.

The Times explains, “[this strip] contains language that fails to meet Times’ standards for taste and appropriateness. Because Universal, the syndicate that distributes Doonesbury, does not allow us to delete or edit any wording — in the same way we may choose to edit our own writers and other syndicated columnists — we made the decision not to publish the March 15 installment in print.”

After viewing the strip in question, it’s understandable to think that it isn’t necessarily appropriate for the comics section, but it still should have been published. The Times should have moved today’s Doonesbury to the editorial page perhaps, but to reiterate, it should have been published because the message is relevant to political decisions being made in our country today.

Texas has legalized rape, and other states are working to do the same. In the past rape has been considered to be a crime deserving of severe punishment to the rapist. The Republican “War on Women” wants to redefine rape, and allow the State to inflict an invasive procedure on women.

The World Health Organization defined rape in 2002 as “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object (my emphasis)”. The political party that blathers ad nauseum about removing government from people’s lives has no qualms about inserting an object into a woman’s body against her will.

It is not Doonesbury that is offensive. It is the GOP’s war on women that is offensive.

The preceding was cross-posted at SOG City Oracle and re-printed with permission.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.