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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 14 can provide them with an entry point to access the national dialogue surrounding media representation. Strategic juxtaposition constitutes a mainstay of both Burke’s comic corrective and feminist rhetoric (Demo, 2000). The machinery of perspective by incongruity and the comic frame engenders a form of social criticism that seeks to correct the inadequacies of the present social order through demystification rather than revolution (Burke, 1937/1984 in Demo, 2000). The Guerilla Girls’ contemporary rhetorical approach personifies humor. As one member explained in a 1991 interview: "Making demands are the tactics of the ’70s and let’s face it, they didn’t really work very well. So we decided to try another way: humor, irony, intimidation and poking fun" (Lederer, 1991, n. p. in Demo, 2000). Despite the various forms of media used by the Guerilla Girls, the group’s rhetoric is a meaningful message because each poster or action confronts sexism and racism by revealing the incongruity between social ideals and practices (Demo, 2000). Their approach seeks to embarrass and intimidate, but not overturn, the current social order (Demo, 2000). Campbell (1998) argues that women and marginalized rhetors need to use "the principle of rhetorical invention" (p. 112). Campbell suggests tactics that challenge institutionalized sexism through denaturalizing the formulation of patriarchy. In the satirical movie poster, the Guerilla Girls embody Campbell’s tactics of strategically juxtaposing incongruent ideals, values, practices, and symbols that call into question gender ideologies (Campbell, 1998; Demo, 2000). For feminists, a primary means for reaching transcendence is the appropriation and ironic repositioning of conventional patriarchal symbolic codes (Demo, 2000). The Guerilla Girls reach this transcendence by denaturalizing the patterns of discrimination institutionalized in popular culture and the mainstream media. They are able to engender social change by humorously highlighting the contradictions in the social order. The Guerilla Girls use

Authors: grisso, Ashley.
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background image
Guerilla Girls’ "Birth of Feminism" Poster 14
can provide them with an entry point to access the national dialogue surrounding media
representation.
Strategic juxtaposition constitutes a mainstay of both Burke’s comic corrective and
feminist rhetoric (Demo, 2000). The machinery of perspective by incongruity and the comic
frame engenders a form of social criticism that seeks to correct the inadequacies of the present
social order through demystification rather than revolution (Burke, 1937/1984 in Demo, 2000).
The Guerilla Girls’ contemporary rhetorical approach personifies humor. As one member
explained in a 1991 interview: "Making demands are the tactics of the ’70s and let’s face it, they
didn’t really work very well. So we decided to try another way: humor, irony, intimidation and
poking fun" (Lederer, 1991, n. p. in Demo, 2000). Despite the various forms of media used by
the Guerilla Girls, the group’s rhetoric is a meaningful message because each poster or action
confronts sexism and racism by revealing the incongruity between social ideals and practices
(Demo, 2000). Their approach seeks to embarrass and intimidate, but not overturn, the current
social order (Demo, 2000). Campbell (1998) argues that women and marginalized rhetors need
to use "the principle of rhetorical invention" (p. 112). Campbell suggests tactics that challenge
institutionalized sexism through denaturalizing the formulation of patriarchy. In the satirical
movie poster, the Guerilla Girls embody Campbell’s tactics of strategically juxtaposing
incongruent ideals, values, practices, and symbols that call into question gender ideologies
(Campbell, 1998; Demo, 2000). For feminists, a primary means for reaching transcendence is the
appropriation and ironic repositioning of conventional patriarchal symbolic codes (Demo, 2000).
The Guerilla Girls reach this transcendence by denaturalizing the patterns of discrimination
institutionalized in popular culture and the mainstream media. They are able to engender social
change by humorously highlighting the contradictions in the social order. The Guerilla Girls use


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