I believe that oversensitivity to gender issues is as, if not more, offensive – patronising – to women, than the lack of sensitivity.
Honestly? Try the same thing with s/gender/racial/ and s/women/blacks/. Maybe that will give you an idea of how you are sounding right about now.
I also think that men are the butt of the joke in that cartoon.
On a meta level they are, but how does that make it any less creepy?
But, in an attempt to settle the matter, I have sent the following email to 3 different Professors of Women's Studies to elicit an authoritative opinion.
And if three authorities say X, what does that change? Or seventeen of them for that matter. Does the strip get any less creepy if they said it ain’t so? This is a matter of developing some empathy, which is about as far removed from what appeals to authority can accomplish as I can imagine.
Makeshifts last the longest.