Had it not been for the furore online, I would not have seen Charlie Hebdo’s front cover this week. Anyone would think they deliberately set out to ruffle feathers. Their response to the Women’s World Cup was a cartoon depiction of a giant vagina with a football stuck in it. It took me a moment to understand the outrage because, at first sight, it looked to me like a drawing of an ear. Once I clocked the buttocks, it made a bit more sense.
Many of us first heard about the French satirical weekly after the horrific terrorist attack in 2015 when 12 staff members, including the director of publications Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, were murdered in their offices by Islamist terrorists. The world stood in shocked solidarity, the internet awash with “Je suis Charlie” hashtags and Twibbons. Charlie Hebdo was not cowed by the attacks and continues to go against the grain, as these pesky satirists are wont to do.
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