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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 3 "The Birth of Feminism" US mainstream ideology is patriarchal. In the 1970s, second wave feminists forced the ideals of equality and fairness into the public eye and challenged the dominant hegemony. The effort has resulted in an irreversible shift in consciousness. To quell the tide and to normalize the mores that maintain the power structure of white, straight, men at the helm, feminism and its tenets have been mocked and ridiculed (Kaplan, 1997). The backlash has been systematic and ubiquitous. One aspect of the derision includes accusing feminism and feminists of having no sense of humor (Kaplan, 1997). The Guerilla Girls, anonymous feminist art activists, have changed that perception by using satire and parody to make fun of patriarchal arrogance. In the mid-1980s, the Guerilla Girls began their work as social activists by effectively protesting the lack of women represented in galleries and museums in New York City. They wore gorilla masks and designed incisive, critical, posters that were distributed in places that embarrassed the art establishment. Since the groups inception in 1985 the Guerilla Girls have produced over 80 posters, graphic works and guerilla actions targeting sexism and racism both inside and outside of the art world (Demos, 2000). With an estimated two to three dozen members, they began to ask themselves questions: Why did women and artists of color do better in the 1970s than in the ’80s? Was there a backlash? Who was responsible (Demos, 2000)? In 2001, the Guerilla Girls have turned their fury to Hollywood. Through the use of parody, the Guerilla Girls have created a movie poster that directs attention to how the institution of Hollywood patronizes and demeans women by exploiting their physical looks and diminishing their accomplishments. By examining this movie poster, I ask how parody functions to exaggerate injustices that are normalized in the entertainment industry as it represents our patriarchal society as a whole? This essay seeks to

Authors: grisso, Ashley.
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Guerilla Girls’ "Birth of Feminism" Poster 3
"The Birth of Feminism"
US mainstream ideology is patriarchal. In the 1970s, second wave feminists forced the
ideals of equality and fairness into the public eye and challenged the dominant hegemony. The
effort has resulted in an irreversible shift in consciousness. To quell the tide and to normalize the
mores that maintain the power structure of white, straight, men at the helm, feminism and its
tenets have been mocked and ridiculed (Kaplan, 1997). The backlash has been systematic and
ubiquitous. One aspect of the derision includes accusing feminism and feminists of having no
sense of humor (Kaplan, 1997).
The Guerilla Girls, anonymous feminist art activists, have changed that perception by
using satire and parody to make fun of patriarchal arrogance. In the mid-1980s, the Guerilla Girls
began their work as social activists by effectively protesting the lack of women represented in
galleries and museums in New York City. They wore gorilla masks and designed incisive,
critical, posters that were distributed in places that embarrassed the art establishment. Since the
groups inception in 1985 the Guerilla Girls have produced over 80 posters, graphic works and
guerilla actions targeting sexism and racism both inside and outside of the art world (Demos,
2000). With an estimated two to three dozen members, they began to ask themselves questions:
Why did women and artists of color do better in the 1970s than in the ’80s? Was there a
backlash? Who was responsible (Demos, 2000)? In 2001, the Guerilla Girls have turned their
fury to Hollywood. Through the use of parody, the Guerilla Girls have created a movie poster
that directs attention to how the institution of Hollywood patronizes and demeans women by
exploiting their physical looks and diminishing their accomplishments. By examining this movie
poster, I ask how parody functions to exaggerate injustices that are normalized in the
entertainment industry as it represents our patriarchal society as a whole? This essay seeks to


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