EXTRA CREDIT #1: Review the Guerrilla Girls

The Guerilla Girls are anonymous avengers who use extreme visuals, provocative text, facts, and humor to expose sexism, racism and corruption in politics, art, film and pop culture since 1985. They mainly focus on issues of feminism in the arts and their goal is to encourage social change. The Guerilla girls serve as model activists for an entire world of supporters who get down and dirty to challenge the conventional common consensus and call them out on unfairness.

For over 20 years, The Guerilla Girls have contributed to worldwide communities through tours, appearances, projects, exhibitions, posters, books, videos, and interviews.
One of their most recent books is The Guerrilla Girls’ Hysterical Herstory of Hysteria and How it Was Cured, from Ancient times Until Now. Within 2001- 2005 one poster that circulated was the Free Women Artists of Europe poster. An action took place in the early 1990’s called Sorry Sweetie. You won’t get a job because most art departments don’t hire women/ Way to go, dude! Men dominate almost every art department in the U.S. You’re sure to get a job! at the CAA conference in New York. One sticker that was created in the very beginning of the Guerilla Girls campaign was the Women in America earn only 2/3 of what men do. Women artists earn only 1/3 of what men artists do. sticker. Throughout the 27 years they have lectures, performances and workshops and Universities such as NYU. Guerilla Girls do actions in front of Museums, such as the BRAINSTORMERS AND GUERRILLA GIRLS “GET MAD” OUTSIDE THE BRONX MUSEUM MAY 17, 2008, where it was an anti-feminist action as well portraying their representation of sexism not only feminism. They have been featured in several books, college newspapers, international press, in print and on radio and television. They won many awards such as the 1996 “Courageous Resister Award,” Refuse and Resist in New York City.

            People should know about them because they tell the mainstream “Official” story of the arts and then reveal the “Unofficial” story, which is often over looked. Most people consider the discrimination issues that the Guerilla Girls stand up for, hopeless. No one in power takes the blame for the inequality that occurs in places such as museums as they display the works of men more often than women’s. Guerillas Girls bring out the cold hard facts into the public eye.

The campaign uses creative visuals. Gorillas are portrayed in many which is a symbol originated by an insider accident or joke and for the purpose of concealing identities of protesters for career issues in the art world.

1. This picture degrades women just by its visual and the text adds depth to it by alluding specifically to the world of the Arts. This poster reminds me of our Media Lectures when we were introduced to ideas of Adam, Eve and Lilith. This image may have been more provocative if it portrayed a missionary position. But either way it works to portray the message that female artists are being discriminated against.

2. This image has a story behind it. This is an ad for a movie portraying sex symbols of that time that play ironic roles in a film which numerous symbolic allusions. For instance, Halle Berry plays an African-American civil rights activist, who founded the Feminist Party in 1971.

3. This visual not only includes a naked woman, but a headless woman. It is perfect for the Guerilla Girls cause. But this also reminded me of lecture when we addressed the fact that women’s heads are often left out of images as to say that is isn’t more important than their bodies.

Guerilla Girl addresses the people with power in the arts industry to aim for change and equality. They do this by also addressing the public to join their cause to promote change with increasing numbers. They use various strategies since they are a campaign group of nearly 30 years in existence.  Some of the earlier strategies were posters and lectures. They have expanded to a wide array of outreach strategies such as tours, appearances, projects, exhibitions, posters, books, videos, and interviews. They appeal to emotions of inequality and discrimination. They try to be proactive, raunchy, colorful, creative, and mysterious to grab attention and they find that this strategy actually works because it is what people remember (From an interview with Guerilla Girl). Definitely visits to Universities are successful because typically, youths of the future, education hungry, opinionated, people who are concerned about their world, innovators, activists, attend higher education. By spreading the Guerilla Girl cause to such a place, they are educated and recruiting to their cause. Many students are in the arts industry at these universities and can become victims of the discrimination Guerilla Girl is fighting against in the near future and students at universities feel motivated to join the campaign with their self-interests and future in mind. The posters are also successful in terms of easily reaching a broad audience across the world. Their posters are very creative and catchy.

        Personally, I would not become a Guerilla Girl because I do not have a firm stand on any one opinion. I am indifferent about many issues that they address. I am surely not a feminist either. I do like that they have been incorporating ideas pertaining to Men as well such as the MAD exhibition. I do think if the campaign was focusing more on general inequality and discrimination without a huge focus on feminism I would probably be more intrigued to join. I do love their creativity and raunchiness, both things that I do not consider my strong point in campaigning on such a controversial topic.


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