‘no means yes’

Naked Children Explaining that ‘No’ Means ‘Yes’

You know, the “naked kids” cartoon, otherwise known as Love Is, has always been at least a little creepy.

And then there’s … this.

Love Is ... knowing that 'no' means 'maybe' and 'maybe' means yes.Kim Bellware of Huffington Post, explains:

A long-running cartoon described as “heart-warming” received a cold reception after a panel published Tuesday appeared to send the wrong message about consent.

Tuesday’s syndicated “Love Is…” panel featured male and female cartoons above the caption, “Love is… knowing that ‘no’ means ‘maybe’ and ‘maybe’ means ‘yes.'”

In defense of Bill Asprey, the cartoonist responsible for this panel, we mightα point out that it’s silly to drag the rape question into this since neither of the kids has any genitals.

Still, though, Tribune Content Agency, the one-panel comic strip’s distribution syndicate, pulled the frame from its content system and issued an apology.

Yeah. That was the right move. Well, right. But we can also acknowledge the “breakdown in [TCA’s] editing procedures” that resulted in the distribution of a cartoon that “does not reflect the high editorial standards we have in place and work vigilantly to maintain”. To the one, it would be nice if they didn’t try to thump their chests in the middle of an apology; to the other, it’s more of a pat than a thump, and at least they didn’t pretend to be some sort of victim of unjust criticism.


α But we also might wish to acknowledge that this probably isn’t the best time for the joke about the naked children having no genitals.

Bellware, Kim. “‘Love Is…’ Newspaper Cartoon Sends Misguided Message About Rape Culture”. The Huffington Post. 15 October 2014.

Image note: Detail of image provided by L.K., via Facebook.