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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 5 above the actresses’ heads (Adbusters, 2001, n. p.). The actresses hold a banner across their pelvic region that says: "equality now!"(Adbusters, 2001, n. p. ). Pamela Anderson as Gloria Steinem, Halle Berry as Flo Kennedy and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Bella Abzug serve as the credits below the actresses’ thighs. Below the credits, in bold print, it says, "They made women’s rights look good. Really good" (Adbusters, 2001, n. p.). At the bottom, in smaller print in all caps, further credits include, "A Jerry Bruckheimer Production, Catherine Zeta Jones, Halle Berry, Pamela Anderson ’The Birth of Feminism,’ Anne Heche as Kate Millet, Rosie O’Donnell as Betty Friedan, Directed by Oliver Stone, Screenplay by Joe Eszterhas, Get the Soundtrack Album Featuring Eminem, Poster by Guerilla Girls" (Adbusters, 2001, n. p.). Method of Analysis I will analyze the guerilla Girls satirical Hollywood movie poster using ideological criticism. This method of rhetorical criticism focuses on the beliefs and values that are manifest in the artifact." An ideology is a pattern or set of ideas, assumptions, beliefs, values, or interpretations of the world by which a culture or group operates" (Foss, 1996, p. 291, original italics). An ideology underlies the art and cultural products that a group creates. Though rarely articulated, moral and normative beliefs also contribute to an ideology. Patriarchy is an ideology that normalizes female oppression so that it often appears natural. The Guerilla Girls use of parody in designing a satirical movie poster reveals the method in which this oppression usually functions. A principal strategy of the Guerilla girls’ rhetoric is perspective of incongruity as outlined by Kenneth Burke (Demo, 2000). Demo (2000) notes that the growing literature on Kenneth Burke and dramatic frames establishes the potential for perspective by incongruity to function as a discursive tool that can enact social change. The use of terms, images, and ideologies that are incongruous reorders a situation or orientation in a process similar to consciousness-raising

Authors: grisso, Ashley.
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background image
Guerilla Girls’ "Birth of Feminism" Poster 5
above the actresses’ heads (Adbusters, 2001, n. p.). The actresses hold a banner across their
pelvic region that says: "equality now!"(Adbusters, 2001, n. p. ). Pamela Anderson as Gloria
Steinem, Halle Berry as Flo Kennedy and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Bella Abzug serve as the
credits below the actresses’ thighs. Below the credits, in bold print, it says, "They made women’s
rights look good. Really good" (Adbusters, 2001, n. p.). At the bottom, in smaller print in all
caps, further credits include, "A Jerry Bruckheimer Production, Catherine Zeta Jones, Halle
Berry, Pamela Anderson ’The Birth of Feminism,’ Anne Heche as Kate Millet, Rosie O’Donnell
as Betty Friedan, Directed by Oliver Stone, Screenplay by Joe Eszterhas, Get the Soundtrack
Album Featuring Eminem, Poster by Guerilla Girls" (Adbusters, 2001, n. p.).
Method of Analysis
I will analyze the guerilla Girls satirical Hollywood movie poster using ideological
criticism. This method of rhetorical criticism focuses on the beliefs and values that are manifest
in the artifact." An ideology is a pattern or set of ideas, assumptions, beliefs, values, or
interpretations of the world by which a culture or group operates" (Foss, 1996, p. 291, original
italics). An ideology underlies the art and cultural products that a group creates. Though rarely
articulated, moral and normative beliefs also contribute to an ideology. Patriarchy is an ideology
that normalizes female oppression so that it often appears natural. The Guerilla Girls use of
parody in designing a satirical movie poster reveals the method in which this oppression usually
functions.
A principal strategy of the Guerilla girls’ rhetoric is perspective of incongruity as outlined
by Kenneth Burke (Demo, 2000). Demo (2000) notes that the growing literature on Kenneth
Burke and dramatic frames establishes the potential for perspective by incongruity to function as
a discursive tool that can enact social change. The use of terms, images, and ideologies that are
incongruous reorders a situation or orientation in a process similar to consciousness-raising


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