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Letter to Editor: Hagar the Horrible is contributing to rape culture

A recent Hagar the Horrible offended one Washington Post reader after reading this strip below:

She writes:

I was stunned to see a rape joke in the Sept. 13 ?Hagar the Horrible.? This strip stopped being funny years ago and, even though aimed at kids, consistently relies on sexist humor and jokes about drunkenness. This installment, however, was a new low: Helga, Hagar?s wife, says they met when ?he stormed my father?s castle and carried me off,? and he responds, ?She wouldn?t let go of the baked ham.?

It?s hard to see how this joke about rape and forced marriage is funny ? especially given that the next day The Post published the searing story of a 14-year-old Yazidi girl who was given to an Islamic State commander to be his ?wife? [?I was given to an Iraqi militant. This is how I escaped.? Outlook, Sept. 14]. It is beyond time for ?Hagar? to go and for The Post to be mindful of the ways rape culture can show up everywhere ? even the comics.

I’m struggling with this complaint. The punchline is that Hagar was trying to carry away the baked ham and she wouldn’t let go – not that he carried her away and raped her or forced her to marry him. To take it to that level requires reading waaay more into the strip than what is being presented.

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