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An Ideological Analysis of the Guerilla Girls' Satirical Poster of a Movie Parody Entitled:
Unformatted Document Text:  Guerilla Girls’ "Birth of Feminism" Poster 13 in the entertainment industry providing an equitable representation of a social movement that has changed the landscape of our lives, but has not succeeded in its goals to achieve equality and parity. The Guerilla Girls cement the cast of media characters that lean toward an insensitive treatment of the Women’s Rights Movement when they suggest that the white rap musician, Eminem, will provide the movie soundtrack. Eminem is a lewd, angry, singer whose misogyny is legendary. His song lyrics include telling a story wherein he tortures his girlfriend, kills her, and throws her in the trunk of a car (directeminem.com, 2001). There is nothing subtle or implied in the Guerilla Girls’ choice. Eminem is a hard-core, trash-talking woman-maligning rapper. Demo (2000) reinforces the Guerilla Girls since of irony, "By casting the failure to live up to communal ideals in a comic light, the Guerilla Girls are able to restructure the master’s house without leveling it first" (p. 153). Interpretations: How is Parody Effective? Comedy promotes persuasion (Gruner, 1997). Charles Gruner’s superiority theory of humor describes humor as a participatory game with clear winners, losers, and spectators. Gruner (1997) asserts that incongruity and surprise are keys to his model of successful humor and through their use audiences are persuaded to think and/or feel differently about a given subject or idea. The Guerilla Girls incorporate both aspects of Gruner’s model to illustrate their politics and ideology. Using surprise and incongruity may be effective tools to persuade those who feel that they are spectators and not participants in the injustice being depicted in the movie poster. Young men, particularly those of color, may not identify with either the white, male power structure or the objectification of women. When seeing the described artifact, the humor

Authors: grisso, Ashley.
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background image
Guerilla Girls’ "Birth of Feminism" Poster 13
in the entertainment industry providing an equitable representation of a social movement that has
changed the landscape of our lives, but has not succeeded in its goals to achieve equality and
parity.
The Guerilla Girls cement the cast of media characters that lean toward an insensitive
treatment of the Women’s Rights Movement when they suggest that the white rap musician,
Eminem, will provide the movie soundtrack. Eminem is a lewd, angry, singer whose misogyny is
legendary. His song lyrics include telling a story wherein he tortures his girlfriend, kills her, and
throws her in the trunk of a car (directeminem.com, 2001). There is nothing subtle or implied in
the Guerilla Girls’ choice. Eminem is a hard-core, trash-talking woman-maligning rapper. Demo
(2000) reinforces the Guerilla Girls since of irony, "By casting the failure to live up to communal
ideals in a comic light, the Guerilla Girls are able to restructure the master’s house without
leveling it first" (p. 153).
Interpretations: How is Parody Effective?
Comedy promotes persuasion (Gruner, 1997). Charles Gruner’s superiority theory of
humor
describes humor as a participatory game with clear winners, losers, and spectators.
Gruner (1997) asserts that incongruity and surprise are keys to his model of successful humor
and through their use audiences are persuaded to think and/or feel differently about a given
subject or idea. The Guerilla Girls incorporate both aspects of Gruner’s model to illustrate their
politics and ideology. Using surprise and incongruity may be effective tools to persuade those
who feel that they are spectators and not participants in the injustice being depicted in the movie
poster. Young men, particularly those of color, may not identify with either the white, male
power structure or the objectification of women. When seeing the described artifact, the humor


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