Blowback_toon

Blowback

A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

THERE
Maggie | Bisbee, AZ | March 15, 2012

You went there. Thank you.

THE SANCTITY OF LIFE
Andrea | Bay Area, CA | March 15, 2012

Thank you for taking on the issue of forced transvaginal ultrasounds. This series of comics touched me because it clearly illustrates that this is about controlling and shaming women, pure and simple. I'm a doctor working in gynecology in San Francisco, and when I was in med school, I worked at a summer camp for at-risk kids. I saw children at that camp who literally had never had an adult to love them, having spent their lives in foster care or group homes after been given up at birth by parents who had no wish to raise them -- not to mention the kids who were gay and had been thrown out of their homes by their "Christian" families.

What plans do politicians such as Mr. Santorum or Gov. Perry have to restore the dignity of these children? They devote a great deal of campaign and legislative time ranting about the sanctity of the embryo or fetus whilst berating gay kids (whither John 13:34? 1 John 3:17?) and vetoing bills that would fund school lunches and health care for children (fun fact: lacking health insurance is a major risk factor for death in children who become very ill). If these comic strips make people angry, they should. Thank you for having the courage to show that these are real women whose lives and privacy are being invaded. Anyone who cares about the sanctity of life should be angry; politicians such as Santorum, Perry, Brownback et. al. hatefully demean women while ignoring the very real needs of children who are no longer politically important because they are out of the womb.

PUNCHLINE
Alice Walker | Boston, MA | March 15, 2012

I was enjoying the strips that deal the Texas law requiring transvaginal ultrasound for pregnancy termination -- until today. No matter how well intentioned you are, rape should never be a punchline.

LOST ITS MIND
Susan Harris | NEW YORK | March 15, 2012

The Republican Party has lost its mind, and I think I found it in my uterus.

RICK PERRY'S CAMP
Tim Hamm | Spokane, WA | March 15, 2012

I thought the response from Rick Perry's camp was just fundamentalist grandstanding until I remembered that he has overseen the execution (aka extremely-late-term abortion) of 234 people. So much for fostering life.

BEFORE ROE VS WADE
P.K. | Chicago, IL | March 15, 2012

I am quite elderly. I became a pregnant woman decades before Roe vs Wade. My husband and I had very much money and we paid for a safe abortion from a doctor. Our choice was not any children ever, and contraception had failed for us. My good fortune to have so much money was not shared by all who wanted to not give birth to an undesired child. My second good fortune was we were able to help other women in our family in this same disaster. Now the good fortune for all women is to have a safe abortion. If you believe abortion is not to happen, put your energy and your money to reliable contraception for anyone who wants it and they pay only what they are able. If you are against abortion and against contraception also, it is true that you are for unwanted children, for dangers possible to a woman's health in the pregnancy, and for life if it is in the womb only. This is making you a most uncharitable person with a unkind spirit.

LITURGICAL TONE
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | March 15, 2012

The liturgical tone that you gave the doctor's words today is inappropriate and insulting to people of the Christian faith. The tone of Doonesbury often skates the line between satire and poor taste, but this time you're over the edge and in freefall.

COMIC SURGEON
Doug Bowker | Salem, MA | March 15, 2012

Like a comic surgeon, you know exactly when to show depth and compassion (as in the stories of our vets) and just when to go after the cancer of the hard Right with caustic chemotherapy. This week's strips show just why words (and some well-drawn pictures) have always been at the core of what made us a democracy, even before we were one!

INTENSE
Barbara Sauvage | Park Forest, IL | March 15, 2012

Wow. The last time we saw graphic literature this intense, it was called Maus. Thank you, Mr. Trudeau. Thank you.

THE POINT
Bryan Lavender | Sturgis, SD | March 15, 2012

Re today's SAY WHAT? quote: Ms. Frazier thinks "There is nothing comic about this..."? Well, as I see it, that is exactly the point. There most certainly is not anything the least bit funny about what is going on in Texas and elsewhere. But trust the current elected government in Texas (and evidently a few readers) to totally miss the point. Keep up the good work, Doonesbury!

CHRONIC ILLNESS
Elizabeth Clark | Nashua, NH | March 15, 2012

When I got unexpectedly pregnant, I was scared. I have a chronic illness that makes pregnancy not only risky for the baby, but also potentially life-threatening for me. However, the very thought of aborting that fetus felt so wrong it made me ill. So, I chose to carry it through. But the thing is, it was my choice. I looked at my circumstances and knew, even though it was scary, that as long as I survived I could love and support that child. However, not all girls and women have as fortunate circumstances as me. I'd guess most don't. And while it would be ideal if we didn't have to take wordly situations into consideration when talking about the miracle of life, it's unrealistic and cruel to deny their existence and the impact they have on both the women and the children-to-be.

CIVIL DISCOURSE
Deborah Shuman | Silver Spring, MD | March 15, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Trudeau, for this series on the Texas legislation. Thank you for encouraging and providing a space for civil discourse, which is so sorely lacking in today's America. Whatever one's personal stance on abortion, there can be no justification for trampling on the rights of others to hold their own personal and religious views. My religious beliefs hold that the soul enters the body with the first breath of air, and not before. And I am old enough to remember what it was like to be a young woman directly affected by anti-abortion laws, unable to safely and legally terminate a pregnancy, whether it was the result of consensual or nonconsensual sex. It was terrifying to know that people whom I would never meet, and who certainly did not know me, had the power to affect my own personal decisions concerning the most intimate aspects of my body. I wish that everyone who trumpets "the rights of the unborn" could know that fear. But as long as there are humorists like yourself, as well as the many thoughtful commentators who have posted here -- on both sides of the issue -- I feel there may be some hope of thwarting those who seem to want to turn our society into The Handmaid's Tale.

GENDER GAP IN POLITICS
Connie Schwartz | Hudson, IL | March 14, 2012

Thank you so much for these strips about the ultrasound law. The idea that men think this is not invasive proves that there is a major gender gap in politics. No woman should ever be forced to have a vaginal probe, but to ask it of a rape victim is doubling the crime. I wonder if these "men" (for lack of a better word) would feel the same if it was their loved one and if she had been raped by an al-Qaeda soldier. If you have exceptions for one then it is a choice. Until I see a guy waddling around pregnant I don't want to hear a word from them about how abortion is wrong.

WAR ON WOMEN
Robert Bernstein | Toronto, CANADA | March 14, 2012

Thank you so much for applying a brilliant satirical skewer to the Republican war on women and the outrageous tactic of discouraging women from seeking abortions by loading up the procedure with intrusive meddling by the state and medically unnecessary and invasive sonograms. Your framing of the issue is right on target, and I am glad to see your work generating so much reaction and discussion.

THE RIGHT MIX
Daisy Horning | McLean, VA | March 14, 2012

I'm just writing to say how pleased I am that Doonesbury is taking a stance against the Republicans' ridiculous threatening of women's reproductive rights. The abortion-themed strips are tasteful and have the right mix of sadness and sarcasm. They strike the right tone, which must be very hard to do with touchy subjects like abortion. I am also very pleased that my paper, the Washington Post, has agreed to run the series.

LESS GOVERNMENT
C. Turner | Yakima, WA | March 14, 2012

Republicans want less government everywhere except in citizens' bedrooms. Now they want the government in women's vaginas.

COMICS
Michael F. Hopkins | Buffalo, NY | March 14, 2012

Those who forever question the validity of comics as a literature to pose critical forums, and address questionable legal practices, are receiving a potent reason for aesthetic reconsideration in reading the current Doonesbury series. Rarely have we seen art and critical statement come together so exceptionally, with as powerful a missive for the nation, as we have in the 40-plus years of this literary series.

CAN'T BELIEVE
Gary Rowell | Elora, TN | March 14, 2012

I have been reading your strip from the very beginning, and have collected all your books. I ended up as an 18-year-old in Vietnam and also served in Desert Storm, so I very much identify with B.D. Still have my leg, but with a 42-year-old bullet in it. It crushed me when you took a break from publishing for a while. I tend to be conservative and don't personally favor abortion, but I can't believe that we as a Nation put women through what Texas does and some other states propose. How are we not saying to a woman, "You are property"? Thank you for your good work.

MATERNITY
Glenn | Racine, WI | March 14, 2012

If insurance covers maternity, is that paying women and men to have sex? Just wondering.

NOT A JOKING MATTER
Chris Matera | TEXAS | March 14, 2012

GBT, I'm so sorry you feel the way you do about abortion; however, that matter is not a joking matter, and your strip is not funny in that respect. Hopefully some day you'll realize that taking the life of an unborn is killing a human, and that is just plain wrong. In the case of rape, you are punishing an innocent child instead of the one who committed the offense. What if your mother decided she couldn't afford you and had an abortion? Would you say we are better off? You ought to be happy she made the right choice. We'll pray that you'll see the truth and change your belief before you have to answer to a higher authority.