There was a chilling detail in the syndicated "Hi and Lois" comic strip on May 25. In a boys' tree fort, in the background, was a poster for a "HE-MAN WOMAN HATERS CLUB." Perhaps this was a detail few readers took notice of, which I sincerely hope since the implications of that minor detail are enormous and dangerous for over half our population.
The actual term for "woman-hating" is misogyny, and the "misogyny club" is alive and thriving in our daily lives. We all have been raised in a culture deeply (and historically) rooted in that worldview. It is so prevalent, insidious, and ingrained that many would not even flinch at an overt depiction in a comic strip.
Certainly, some would scoff at my reaction as petty and dramatic, but to provide some context: Misogyny (as hatred for all feminized identities) is the underlying factor in most violent crimes. It is what fuels sexual assault and harassment, domestic violence, kidnapping, homicide, and hate crimes against LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming populations, not to mention poverty and host of crimes against humanity.
Though it was likely an oversight, publishing such material was an act of complicity by the newspaper.
It did not go without notice that this image was published in the same edition as the story on Jake Patterson's sentencing, which was featured front and center. That story - headlined, "'EMBODIMENT OF EVIL" - revealed additional haunting details about Patterson's selection of a girl to control and torture. Though not explicitly labeled as such by the media, his was undeniably a crime rooted in gender violence, an outcome of toxic cultural values encouraging and enforcing "woman-hating" in different forms and guises.
The News Tribune can please be more mindful about adhering to any "woman-haters club" because the real-life consequences for our community are devastating.