Why is outdated and offensive Modesty Blaise still appearing?
I HAVE always been a fan of comics and cartoons, especially those with clever, satirical content. The current offerings by The Star are, however, mostly tired and boring.
Madam and Eve is local, relevant and mostly good, while Six Chix has its own quirky charm, with usually thought-provoking content. The rest are not worth reading anymore, rehashing themes they first explored decades ago. Many of them are mildly sexist as well, reinforcing boring old stereotypes that are (or should be) assigned to the dustbin of history. They are all either British or American, and not the best, most current offerings of either country.
Modesty Blaise overstepped the mark big time on Monday. I read most Modesty Blaise books a long time ago, intrigued as a boy by the stories of an empowered woman who finally prevailed against whatever odds were thrown at her. I don’t recall how the books (written by a man) reflected issues of sexism and racism, but they were written in the 1960s and my young mind probably didn’t react to dialogue that would be considered offensive and unacceptable today.
But there is no excuse for publishing a comic strip in 2018 which includes the following gem: “For a redskin girl, you aren’t half impatient, Lucy.”
For some First Nation Americans (so wrongly called Red Indians), the term “redskin” is as abhorrent as the word “k ***** ” is to South Africans. In addition, Lucy is clearly a woman, not a “girl”. Third, what stereotype of First Nation women is Willie Garvin evoking in his comment on “patience”? This is not the first example of outdated, offensive language in the series.
Modesty Blaise comic strips are not “high literature” that must be preserved in their original form, even if offensive. Therefore, if the producers of the series do not see fit to replace unacceptable terminology, the strip should not be published, certainly not in a South African newspaper.
‘Redskin’ is as abhorrent as the k ***** word