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Guerilla Girls

January 24, 2012

Recently, I read the about the Guerrilla Girls for class.  I learned who the guerrilla girls were and what they stood for, and how they used rhetoric to spread their message.

The Guerrilla Girls were a group of feminists who wore masks to protect their identity.  They called for the recognition of women artists, mainly because women were not given much attention in the past.  Because the Guerrilla Girls were active feminists in a time where women were not given equality, they had to wear masks to conceal their identities and be mindful of their critics.  They adopted the color pink as their official color because they realized that since pink was generally a more feminine color, their critics would be ready to use it against them.  By adopting pink as their color, it took away one of the insults or criticisms that people could use against them.

Women artists were unappreciated and unnoticed simply for the fact that they were women.  As a result, the Guerrilla Girls decided they needed to speak up.  They used provocative signs to draw attention and get people to think about how wrong it was that women artists were not represented in museums.  They used juxtaposing statements and images to draw attention.  Their signs appealed to people’s sense of logic, (Aristotle’s “logos”) as well as their ethics (“ethos”) to convince people that women artists were, in fact, talented and deserved to have their artwork displayed.  One of the most famous signs asks the question “Do women need to be naked it get into the Met. Museum?” while displaying a nude woman with a gorilla’s head.  This draws attention to how women are objectified by male artists as nude models and are treated as animals.  Meanwhile, their own artwork went by so unnoticed.  The Guerrilla Girls used rhetoric properly to get their audience to solve a problem, and it is a great example of a real world application of rhetoric.

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