How to Avoid Accidentally Offending Somebody

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Reader Comments (53)

This is gold. All of it. I want to take this home with me and make it my wife.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSquareRobot

I usually like this comic but this one is even better than average. Every panel has at least one pretty good joke in it (usually better than pretty good).

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuk


November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNonsensicles

I was half-expecting another "eeew" in the final panel, honestly, haha. Another great one, Scott.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

Michelle calls all her female friends dudes, I think it can just mean 'Casual Human' now.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterray friesen

Jenkins is the standard by which offensiveness is measured. When he's not hanging around with Scott, Jenkins can be found at the International Bureau for Weights and Measures, next to the kilogram.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDean

That chick's kind of a bitch.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEman

LOL at using Jenkins to prove the point. Clever.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaestloz

THIS. This comic is my life. I thought I was the only one who worried about this.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChazz


Also, I'm partial to "gal"

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoto13

One of your best, Scott! (I have been the "lady" in this conversation more than once before...)

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnitra

it really doesn't matter who's using them or how benign the rest of their message is, casual terms for women are just, ...uncomfortable. whenever i hear one it makes me hesitate a little, they're all contaminated with ugly connotations of one kind or another. For example 'damsel' conjures up helplessness, while 'bitch' refers either to a male not suitably masculine or a female that refuses to be submissive.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHopper

Go with "goddess" and you'll never lose.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJudas Peckerwood

I've been known to direct choirs, where the lack of a normal-sounding casual word for a group of women can be particularly felt. "Upper voices" generally works, though I'll occasionally throw out something like "double-x-chromosome folks," just to embrace the awkwardness.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter1Mac

The offensiveness of what you say is sometimes linked to who you are and how you say it. Sean Connery can get away with saying "Ladiesh", but if I say "And how are you beautiful women doing today?" they just produce the restraining order again.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInnominate

My life would be sad and without any meaning, were it not for monday, wednesday and friday morning. Thanks Scott.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharles

So much funniness... I... can't... stand it...

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmarquez

Where is the random article button! Every time a new one comes out I want to see some others at random.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDark-

@Nonsensicles @Eman
Methinks the wench could use a flagon of mead!

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYeOldeCreaper

For me, the biggest problem is the word "girl." I feel weird calling women my own age (I'm in my mid-twenties) "women," it just doesn't quite sound right. So I might say "that girl in my class," much like how I'd refer to a "guy." But sometimes it doesn't come as the female equivalent of "guy," but as the equivalent of "boy," and thus a bit patronizing. I honestly haven't found a word I'm wholly comfortable with, which is probably a big reason why I always opt for "guys" when describing mixed company.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralpha5099

Yep, it's a very good strip about a real problem. I know a young woman who now refers to all groups, single-sex and mixed, as "dudes." She decided the alternatives are worse. I don't really like her solution but don't have a better one.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne


November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaddy

TWO new poses in pannel three? You obviously have been honing your art skills again. Keep up the good work!

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErikG

I wonder if Scott and Missy have tags for the standard Scott poses...

Is panel 4 'Pat head, rub stomach Scott'?

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterancient.brit

It's a bit sad that this tale is fairly realistic, isn't it.

Though USA police officers think calling them "dude" is offensive and warrants assault and arrest, so it may be a US export to be so easily offended.

(so much for free speech: "I'll fight to the death to defend what you say, but as long as I can make you feel crappy about what you say"?)

I'm reminded of a "Top ten hints for women about men" that has:

If we say something and it can be taken two ways, and one way is offensive to you, we meant the other one.

Really, sometimes it doesn't mean something bad, it's just we're not looking to see if it could possibly be offensive.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWow

Where are Jenkins's legs?

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersnuffysam




November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Carnegie

Time to bring back "Dudettes."

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCzernobog

If chicks want to be offended, they are going to be offended by whatever you say; especially when you notice the fact that they are, in fact, the female of the species and require different nouns and pronouns. Here in Jersey we use "You" for the singular, and "Youse" for the plural.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

My guy friends used to use "dudettes" and it didn't offend me, as I understood what they were going for. It did, however, make me feel a little bit like Smurfette amongst the Smurfs.

But now I really want an mp3 of Jenkins saying "Ladies."

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermoojen

Truly one of your better comics.
And that's saying a lot, considering your ordinary comics.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilla

I like feminitas, or phillies, but never use ho.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ Yeamans

"If chicks want to be offended, they are going to be offended by whatever you say"

Aye, but only IF they want to be offended.

Is there any way of telling who wants to be offended and who is willing to see if there's a non-offensive side?

Because the problem is, with a fear of being censured for being an obnoxious oaf to the distaff side means that those of the distaff side who don't act like that are being excluded now not through myscogyny but through fear of the accusation of the same.

A bit like a while back, "That's Life" (a program with documentary pretentions) set up a situation with a small child pretending to be lost and crying in the middle of a shopping centre.

No male shoppers stopped.

This, to the presenter, was abhorrent. Men were completely heartless!

And very few women shoppers stopped too.

Apparently society is becoming more heartless!

Or they were afraid of being labelled paedo.

Which programmes like "That's life" do whenever some bloke walks in the local park that is near a schoolyard...

It's not right on anyone, except those who want the world to conform to their ephemerally sourced morality.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWow

You may refer to me as a "Feminist Babe."

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah909

Lean-in Jenkins is amazing. Bring us more!

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsaac

It's a shame when people object to the word "ladies". Of course, Jenkins can make anything sound offensive.

Are the scans in panels 1 and 3 taken from the same lady as the ones in 2 and 4?

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

One more voice to the chorus - I love this one.

I especially like how Jenkins leans into panel 3 to join the party. Allllllllllmost breaking the 4th wall, there...

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

So, sexism is only offensive when men do it, not when women do it. As my wife, who grew up in South Texas, says of the play "Greater Tuna," that's not comedy. That's a documentary.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

I stick with the old fashioned terms for the gals. Dishes and chippies all have a hard time getting offended when I call them tomatoes because they're too busy trying to figure out what type of idiot I am.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwumpus

I like how Jenkins is just sort of "leaning into" the panel, making him extra creepy.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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