SNEAK A PEAK AT SOME OF THE THOUSANDS OF EMAILS WE'VE RECEIVED
From: Exploding Mother
Date: 21 January 2009
Subject: Adjunct Motherhood
I teach photography adjunct (of course), teaching more than full time. Last year I had my second baby via emergency c-section. Of course I missed classes, the day after I came home from the hospital my department chair called to tell me I needed to come in and meet a student who had to take a written exam. I believe his exact words were, "Well I have to go home, and if you'd give us some advanced notice I could arrange a substitute." Then he suggested that it was unacceptable to cancel more than a week of class, for any reason. The following quarter one of my classes went to the old (retired) male professor.
Between the male professors sleeping with their students and the extreme bias towards the very notion of a woman as mother/artist, I think I might explode.
From: 17 year old artist in the UK
Date: 20 December 2008
I came across your name in a contribution to "Letters to a Young Artist". I am myself am a budding artist, and newbie feminist, fumbling through a-level art with increasing nervousness. That's exactly why i got the book. The big questions about art were niggling at me and i needed someone to tell me that the art world isnt gonna screw me over first chance i got. I needed answers, at least. So I sat down, and started reading.
So far, its worked out at about 20% intelligent, thoughtful, genuine advice and 80% tiresome bullshit i didn't understand. Stuff about competing. And finance. And utterly demoralizing statements about artistic integrity, or the lack thereof. Sometimes it felt like i was reading the words of an art auctioneer, not an artist. Most of what i read felt cold and passionless and distant. Over intellectualized, over rated, over thought, over hyped.
And then i read the letter from guerrilla girls. It was like turning on a light bulb. Suddenly you've opened up this alternate dimension of art that i had forgotten even existed. And i suddenly remember that great art starts small and make big changes. That artists aren't all reclusive bastards. That feminism still exists. That protest works. And maybe humanity isn't screwed after all. I cannot tell you how happy that letter makes me. I feel enlightened. Now i've done a little more research, and i just want to say what fucking brilliant art your making. You've got a cause, and you bear it without a trace of pretension. The world needs more artists like that. It's accessible, and i LOVE it. Socio/political purposes aside - your art makes me laugh. OUT FUCKING LOUD.
Date: 27 June 2008
Subject: Louise Bourgeois in New York Times
I am continually disappointed by the way women do NOT support women. Witness the way Roberta Smith chose to squash the review of the Louise Bourgeois retrospective with the huge coverage on Olafur Elliason waterfalls. She certainly could have made a reference to Pat Steir's longtime involvement with Waterfalls both in painting and outdoor installation! But rather the Times COMPLETELY ignored her last exhibition on this subject When Richard Prince and Anish Kapoor and Matthew Barney had their retrospectives Roberta gave them pages of text and pictures. And why did she completely ignore Joan Mitchell's inclusion in the Jewish Museum show of Abstract Expressionism? Bizarre and pointed !
From: Non-sexist in England
Date: 3 April 2008
Subject: Maybe Men Just Paint Better
I was just wondering why you were so upset that most of the work in museums were by males? Perhaps those ones were better than some of those that were painted by females? Would you expect great works by males to be taken down so that some possibly less great ones were put up?
I don't harbour any sexist views at all, infact I find the whole stereotype of women "belonging" in the kitchen, and other similar views very stupid to the point it's humorous. Everyone's equal.
Any reply would be greatfully recieved, i just wanted some information.
**Here's the reply…..**
Thanks so much for writing to us. You couldn't be more wrong in stating that if women's art was good, it would be in museums. We have found that most people do think that art is a meritocracy even if they understand that other fields -- law, medicine -- have discriminated against women in the past.
We do not say there should be 50% women artists in museums, but we do think that when a major museums' contemporary art collection has only 17% or so women artists there is discrimination, conscious or unconscious, at work.
And museums agree with us. The Tate Modern, The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery in Washington DC -- among others -- have all vowed to do better.
Best, Kathe Kollwitz for the Guerrilla Girls
From: High School Activist
Date: 16 November 2007
Subject: thank you
Upon being prompted by my art teacher in response to my general frustration at how ineffectual I felt, I began to read the Guerrilla Girls website. Thank you. Thank you for doing this. Thank you for showing me that I can make a difference. I have felt so utterly stagnant and useless for a few years now, since I was harrassed and assaulted in the worst possible way by several classmates at the beginning of my high school years, and my mother suggested I change schools and never speak of it again.
I did change schools, but instead of being silenced, I found an environment where I am free to state my beliefs, opinions, ideas and have intelligent discussions with my classmates, though I believe the best possible result of my transfer was the introduction of my amazing liberal/fine arts teacher. I cannot begin to describe what a phenomenal influence she has been in my life, but suffice it to say that she helped me grow from a scared, angry girl into a woman, if not a feminist, and I use this term with pride although I know we all have different interpretations as to its true definition. One of the major things she has taught me is that people like you exist.
You have encouraged me to be active instead of waiting. I am hopeful and I can change the world.
I offer my sincere gratitude. While I wish I had some other ideas on how to get involved, all I can think to do at this time is say that I have been strategically placing signs such as the Women's Terror Alert and Stereotype Sticker throughout my school and in bus stops in my city. I have seen even these actions sparking discussion around my school and to my happiness, even the decision of my classmates to learn more about the world around them.
I am excited to see what will happen next and I am excited to be a part of it.
From: Artist/painter in South Carolina
Date: 30 April 2007
Subject: No nudes in the park
Recently, my husband and I did a show at the "Art In The Park" show in Chapin Park, Myrtle Beach, SC. We were asked to leave because the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild who was running the show, did not feel that our paintings of nudes was appropriate for the art show. My husband had several landscape paintings with nudes in them. I have done several paintings of nude statue paintings also. The head of the guild, Jo Ann Utterback told me that I should get another artist husband who does not paint nudes and be the business manager of his artwork like herself if I want to succeed in making money in this business.
From: Artist and mother in D.C.
Date: 29 April 2007
Subject: Baby strollers at the Women's Museum
I enjoyed your article the Washington Post ran on Feminism,
and the large protest on the museums in Washington DC. I found another issue
to be frustrating and worth mentioning if you ever run another article on
Washington's museums. The Women's Museum is the only Museum in Washington
D.C. that doesn't allow strollers in the building. As a mother and artist;
I found it very frustrating to visit the Women's Museum with my young children.
**We forwarded this letter to the Women’s Museum and they responded…..**
We do allow strollers in the museum. We began a policy to offer mothers with larger strollers the option to use a small one provided by the museum. They are free of charge, and mothers check them out with a driver's license, leave their larger strollers with security, and use the smaller ones that are easier to navigate in our tight spaces. If there is a reason a mother does not feel comfortable with this arrangement, we let them use their own. If this particular mother was told that no strollers are allowed, and was not offered this alternative, then she was misinformed by a staff member, and I do apologize for that mistake on our part. She should have been offered this instead of being told that we do not allow strollers.
From: Artist and teacher in Paris
Date: 16 April 2007
Subject: GGs at MOMA- youtube posting
A few years ago (not too long ago), the GUERRILLA GIRLS would never have made any sort of appearance (let alone impact) at MoMA. So to see you included in this fashion and here at le tube leaves me profoundly impressed.... I was able to involve a group of 16-year-old adolescent boys who in a thousand million years would never ever ever ever have given feminism and the issues of female artists a passing thought. I was able to involve them and in that process get them to articulate their ideas in the language (their language) of video. It took them to a place they had never been. Instead of turning off a group of artistic 16-year-olds, who regard almost every institution with extraordinary suspicion, you turned them on. You got them to think and work. I often wish I could do that. I struggle with them to do that. But you made my job a zillion times easier. Thank you.
From: Flabbergasted anonymous
Date: 15 April 2007
Turning men into women...Lord Have mercy on your souls (if you have 1)
From: Mass MoCA member
Date: 6 April 2007
Subject: Letter to Mass MoCA
I've been a Mass MoCA member for several years, and I'm getting fairly fed up with seeing a disproportionate number of men and male artists featured in your installations, shows and discussions. So here's my challenge to Mass Moca: Count up the number of artists Mass Moca has featured over the past 3 years and sort them by gender. Report publicly, at least at the museum and in a press release, what is the number of women artists you have featured compared to men. An art school intern could do this in less than a month.
Date: 17 March 2007
Hi, I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading through your website and I wanted to share my own thoughts about femenism. I find it contradicting that in your efforts to be FEMINIST that you actually seem to be LESS FEMININE and MORE MASCULINE. In my opinion, we don't need any girls in society to pretend to be men and do manly things. Leave that to us worthless men:) I think a woman should stay feminine and continue to play their own proper part in society in order to keep it balanced. Besides, men are generally not attracted to masculine women:)
From: Female military veteran
Date: 18 February 2007
Subject: Banned sites
I am a female military veteran. I was honorably discharged from the Navy. I am now in temporary housing, here in Vancouver, WA. I really enjoy your website, however, I have been unable to access your site from the veterans computer lab. I received a message that your site was inaccessible due to content. I would like to receive emails and news letters from Guerrilla Girls. Please send me both your newsletter and any pertinent emails. Thank you.
From: Mistress of Light
Date: 3 January 2007
Subject: Canon's sexist ads
Hi, Guerrillas'-- thought you'd be interested in this correspondence I had with Canon about a recent postcard ad depicting a dozen or so "Masters of Light"-- all white guys, of course. It was an insert in one of the professional magazines I get and it clearly excluded women from consideration as top-notch photographers. Canon's response was SO lame and implicitly supported what the postcard widely suggested: women who cut the mustard as Canon photographers and have the technological expertise to push a shutter release button are so few, they merit zero notice.
From: Teacher at womens' prison
Date: 13 December 2006
Subject: GGs in prison
I'm teaching a course on women artists since 1970 in the college program at Bedford Hills Women's Prison - this semester my students each have to write a five page response paper to Linda Nochlin's article ' Why have there been no great women artists?' I'm grading the papers then sending each one to a woman artist, asking her to read and write a comment about the paper and send it back to me. I will then give the paper back to the student. They have really been taken with the GG's- made a poster and everything- which is a great thing to think of in a maximum security prison.
From: It's not my fault
Date: 29 November 2006
Subject: Stop being obnoxious
I went to look for your site online because I'm doing a project on posters in my art class. I have to say I'm really disappointed. I don't doubt that women aren't represented enough in museums and maybe the public isn't as willing to buy paintings from a woman artist as they are a male artist. I'm a guy and I think you have really good points but when you act obnoxious it turns people away. I think setting up your own gallery with exclusively female artists would work better. I don't know that many women artists. That's not really my fault. Its more of the peoples’ fault to hire the artists and the people who advertise for them. Don't be mad at the public for not knowing these artists. The best way to get people to know who woman artists are is to show them.
From: Casting Associate Producer
Date: 20 November 2006
Subject: Wife Swap
I am a casting associate producer for the ABC television series Wife Swap. I am typing this letter in regards to a casting we are currently doing for wives and mothers who believe that women and men should be treated equally. I was conducting some online research and came across your webpage. I think what you ladies are doing is fantastic. I am definitely intrigued by your methods and believe your idea is truly one of a kind and affective. I was wondering if perhaps there was anyone associated with your organization or any of you that might be interested in an experience such as this. Wife Swap is definitely a unique opportunity and a great way to put a message out into the public and to help other women experience another’s values and way of life.
From: Utterly ridiculous
Date: 15 November 2006
Subject: Senators are elected!!
I ran across a page from your website showing a billboard comparing the percentage of women in the US Senate to the percentage of women Hollywood directors. Last I checked, US Senators are elected. How can the US Senate do anything about the % of women Senators? The American people elect the Senators. Your comparison is utterly ridiculous.
From: Art Student at Tate Modern
Date: 25 October 2006
Subject: Thanks for re-awakening my warrior instinct!
Hello! I am an art student at Parsons School of Design in New York and on a recent visit to London, I came across several Guerrilla Girls' posters at the Tate Modern. No other work in the museum got me more excited and inspired than your posters! Though they reveal the daunting statistics that women and non-white artists are up against, they really made me feel driven to go forth and conquer! I have always considered myself a feminist, but I am thinking that Iwould like to pursue feminism more actively in my life. Thanks so much for re-awakening my warrior instinct!
From: Upset in Utrecht
Date: 3 October 2006
Subject: Guerrilla Girls vandalize Utrecht
I would like to complain about the fact that the entire historic
inner city of Utrecht (Museum Kwartier) has been plastered with
stickers and posters regarding some Guerrilla Girls related content. It seems to be related to the "This is America" exhibition in the Utrecht Centraal Museum, but putting stickers on houses, lamp posts and garbage bins is just vandalism. I assume you will send a team to remove the (illegally) posted stickers and flyers?
From: 14 yr old girl in New Mexico
Date: 8 September 2006
Subject: Bitches, Bimbos and Ballbreakers
Hey, I'm a 14 year old girl from New Mexico, I discovered you guys when I was 11 when I picked up Bitches, Bimbos, and Ballbreakers. Life went on. I came out as a lesbian, and inspired my gay friend to do the same. I smolder over the abortion topic with my mother, who is delighted that her daughter is old enough to discuss feminism. I moon over Willow from Buffy. I relate to the character because not only are we both Jewish and gay, but both nerdy and suffer from similar insecurities during the high school school portion of the show. The fact that she ultimitly becomes a strong, confident person who people could love really got to me. My main interest is filmaking, and I've got a nice glass ceiling ahead. But I'll never forget my first peice of feminist writting, nor the book that sparked my interest in a book store while waitng for my brother to finish fencing, one rainy summer day. I guess I want to say thank you!
From: 14 yr old boy in London
Date: 25 August 2006
Subject: Imagine sexisim as a thing of the past
I'm a 14 yr boy who lives in South London. My friend introduced me to this site and I think what you're doing is absolutely wonderful. I hate the whole old fashioned "women should be in the hearth" and all that. Just there for a cook and a shag. Women have accomplished so much over the past century, not only with movements in feminism, but small things. I can only speak from what I've seen, but girls I know aren't treated badly because they're girls... it's no longer a stereotype. However, that said, there is still the subculture of old england, which still has this annoying stereotypical view of girls. Especially the view that that men are better at this or that, and that girls should just study and not really go out and that girls can't take care of themselves, as if they NEED a man around. That's just rubbish. The country where I come from (Chile) has a female president and she appears to be doing well, especially considering that the country has a very rough recent history with the Govt. Personally, I feel very proud that females have managed to gain equal status, both legally and culturally speaking, and it's not too far fetched to imagine that maybe all the sexism thing will just be a horrible reminder of the past.
From: Female Film Student
Date: 25 August 2006
Subject: Where are the women of Hollywood?
Thanks for creating such a great site. It picks me up and keeps me motivated in my goals of becoming a successful film producer. I am attending a producing class an LA university.Throughout the course I have encountered coldness and an over all feeling of 'I'm just not in the club'. Men in the class constantly talk to me like I am a child and there have been so many girl-jokes that it has really started to wear me down. In this class I have seen the answer to the question 'why are there no women in Hollywood?' The lack of women working above the line in Hollywood is not that they just aren't talented or work hard enough. The reason is that the Hollywood system is built on egos. Over inflated egos only exist when people give themselves a false status of superiority. Men stroke their own egos by comparing themselves to other men, only women have the power to damage male egos like no man can (mothers, ex-girlfriend etc). So, these ego driven film men don't want to clamber over women to get to the top of the pile and be crowned lord and master of all Hollywood, they simply cut women out of the equation through bullying, coldness and flat out excuses of why they don't want to deal with them. And thats if you still have enough self-esteem after the constant knockbacks and anti-female grooming, that happens through the education process, to even try to enter the business.I am going to ignore the phallocentric egos who don't believe I can do it simply because I have a vagina and I'm going to go home to London, set up a film company, employ some talented people, produce some great films and make a shit load of money. Who wants to be part of Hollywood anyway.
From: A Proud White Alpha Male
Date: 21 August 2006
Subject: Recent visit to the Tate
May I state that I agree with you that equality is important in our democratic society. However, the way you go about protesting at this is rather quite sad. You obviously feel bitter and have a chip on your shoulder. I'm fully aware that most of the artists at the Tate Modern and many other galleries may well be white males, but then I truly do not believe that they are picked to show their works just because of their gender and race. To launch an attack on them in an art gallery, pin some words up on a wall to make fun of them and fly back to New York so nobody can argue against it is rather stupid. You call yourselves artists, but much like a lot of the 'artists' at the Tate Modern, it's mostly B.S. isn't it? May I advise you to actually pick up a paint brush, maybe make a few 'pop art' montages on Photoshop and at least 'attempt' art, for art's sake'. If you really want to argue your point this may be the best way of doing it. You seem to have a vendetta against white men, as if they are all one big evil machine that you must defeat. It's rather quite sad that you have to lump them together and make such harsh generalisations which is blatent racism.
From: Frustrated Feminist
Date: 26 July 2006
Subject: Feminists vs. Man-ists
I am a 15 year old girl from South London, and I have considered myself a feminist for over half my life, with Emmiline Pankhurst being a personal heroine of mine since the age of 7. I attend a selective girls school on the outskirts of London, and I had imagined when I joined 3 years ago that I would find girls who were proud of their gender and not afraid to call themselves feminists, which for some reason is one of the ultimate social taboos amonst my peers. A few examples of this include a peer of mine informing us that she wanted to study art so that she could "marry an artist", and another describing herself as a "man-ist", a term she defined as being the opposite of a feminist. This girl holds the view that males are superior and that females exist only to aid them! It is this kind of view that makes me burn with rage and disgust. Until I became aware of the Guerrilla Girls I was at the point of despair. I became aware of your campaign after seeing a selction of your posters at the Tate Modern, and it is in you that I take some comfort in the knowledge that there are many others out there that know that feminism is not outdated, and that just because you're a feminist doesn't mean you have to conform to the typical stereotpes that are so frequently assigned to feminism. Your organisation has inspired me and given me strengh, and as a woman and a human, I thank you.
Date: 17 July May 2006
Subject: Fix ur selves up!
iv been kicked out of 3 jobs just for saying why r u being a fatbitch? why is it some 1s time u know wut i dont care. u have no rite 2 think ur better u fuking dikes learn ur god damn place! + im sik of u all comming 2 my schools. fuk u and the reason y guys wont go out with u becaus u bash them. we dont want a bitchy hormonal girl that dosnt take care of herselflike brushing your hair and spending time am making yourself look nice im not saying spend a hour. im saying agleast spen 20 min's thats not alot.
From: Bored at the Tate
Date: 17 July 2006
Subject: Guerrilla Girls' at the Tate Modern
I confess to feeling a little bored while at the Tate Modern recently until I walked into the room and saw the Guerrilla Girls' exhibition. It made me smile, feel angry, passionate and above all, very happy to see something political. I have since checked out your website and ordered some of your books. I think I may just take your advice about claiming the toilet as an exhibition space next time I go to the Tate! Thank you for awakening my feminist conscience and giving me something with some substance to think about!
From: Stunned College Student
Date: 21 May 2006
Subject: Feminists being Stereotyped
I am doing a research paper on the Guerrilla Girls for my
Women Studies class. While discussing feminism in my Sociology class I came
to an appalling realization. The conversation went something like this:
TEACHER- "Does anyone here consider themselves a feminist?" CLASS- One hand flies up (my hand) TEACHER-"Wonderful, you and I and one other girl in one of my classes are the only people on this campus that consider ourselves feminists! Why do you think that is?" ME-"They aren't informed." MALE STUDENT-"Exactly."(he is informed :) )OTHER FEMALE STUDENT-"Have you seen PCU(movie)? Thats how I picture feminsts, I dont want to be that."ANOTHER FEMALE STUDENT-"Yeah, I picture this big burly, lesbian type women-I'm not that." ME- I SIT THERE STUNNED. I was completely shocked-here they are STEREOTYPING FEMINISTS! Is that possible? Then it made me think that you guys should have included that in your Bitches, Bimbos, and Ballbreakers book. Mind you I know its OHIO and not everyone is fully aware of the facts-but they should be! Ive considered making fact sheets and handing them out to the women in the class.
From: Sick and Tired
Date: 19 May 2006
Subject: A&E Tribecca Film Festival Television Special
I sent a letter to A&E after watching the last 45 minutes of the A&E TV special on the Tribeca Film Festival. First, and foremost, it is great that they document such events. Television-in general-can sorely use more lively and imaginative programming. However, in the 45 minutes that I viewed of the special, I realized that there were no women filmmakers-or person's of color-presented at the Tribeca Film Festival. So, I went on Tribeca's website. No, plenty of women made media;like the truly innovative film by Deborah Scranton,The War Tapes, where she empowers National Guardsmen in Iraq supplying them digital cameras to record their own experiences (She won Best Documentary!) Frankly, I am sick and tired of this kind of repeatedly miserable accounting and the thoroughly limited view of women.
Date: 24 April 2006
Subject: Men Only at the Pompidou
Here are some quotes taken from a conversation published
in France last yearamong artists Jean-Marc Bustamante and Xavier Veilan, and
a curator from Centre Pompidou—Christine Macel. She curated a show called
"Dyonisiac", where all the artists were men. Everyeone should read
Jean-Marc Bustamante: "A man needs to conquer territories; a woman finds her territory and stays there. Whereas women seek a man, a man wants all women. A woman, as soon as she’s found her territory, remains there, from Agnes Martin to Tracey Emin. Men are always on a search for virgin territories."
Christine Macel: "Today, I’m doing an exhibition without a single woman for that very reason. I didn’t find one woman who could be compared with the other artists, and I prefer not to include them rather than respect the quotas."
Xavier Veilan: "I’d like to see a female Carl Andre. By constituting a more authoritative artistic figure, by imposing radical forms, she’d offer an interesting alternative to those women artists who retrench to their preassigned social box."
Jean-Marc Bustamante: "Men take far greater risks, like being hated, being polemical, spending a long stretch in the wilderness."
Date: 21 April 2006
Subject: The New Yorker is just like Playboy
We're (mostly) MFA students in a program (like most MFA programs,) largely composed of women. Women consume most of the "serious" literature in this country, and our experience of this MFA program leads us to believe that there are great women writers out there. Yet, the canonical literary publication of our age, The New Yorker, appears to print mostly men's writing. On average, we've found that out of 12 author names, 2-3 are female. That's about the same as Playboy. What gives? Anyway, we love your site. You've helped inspire us to start our own magazine.
Date: 13 February 2006
Subject: Not wearing Eurotrash designers
Recently I went to a party at the Met for college students. I noticed that most people there were NYU or Columbia students, all looking very chic. I found out that there was a college planning committee I could join. I thought I was a shoo-in because I held 2 art internships, was an art major, etc....Well, I had the interview and they didnt take me. I realize now that I had several things going against me: I am 23, chubby, I dont wear the latest Eurotrash designers, and I have not mortgaged my soul out to go to NYU or Columbia. I go to a community college. I guess it would have also helped if I were Mary Boone's neice or something.
I guess I was just not their type. I had to be tall and pretty with gleaming white teeth and a killer wardrobe. I also had to go to NYU or Columbia. We cant have "The Help— Read: CUNY students— at this party or on their council. I'm mad as hell, and I am not going to take it anymore! Also, I think your work is brilliant.
From: JIA in the Military
Date: 20 January 2006
Subject: Keep Up The Good Work!
Wow! I just checked out your website for the first time. I heard about it in "Cunt" by Inga Muscio. As a member of the U.S. military I'd like to apologize first, and congratulate you on an awsome movement. Keep up the kick ass work. People like you give me the fuel I need to get out of this military once and for all! Peace!
Date: 1 January 2006
Subject: No Women Illustrators in The NY Times
First I should say that I like the illustrations in the Book Review. They are always visually arresting, thoughtful, and artistically excellent. But I wonder, are there no women illustrators of equal quality? I have noticed for years that a high percentage of your illustrators have male names, and finally decided to quantify it. From the middle of August, 2005 until December 18, 2005, I counted the use of 97 male names and 2 female names. The Times as a whole and the Book Review in its mission as reviewer has been quite appropriate in its choices of reviewers and authors, but I ask, can the Art Department be encouraged to open its doors to women, too?
Date: 11 December 2005
Subject: Academy Awards
Minorities are represented in the media. They are represented proportionate to the population in movies and TV, and greatly overrepresented in music and sports.As far as the statistics you quoted go, they are averaged over the entire Academy history. As such, they represent the past, and not current conditions. If you were really concerned about getting more female winners, you'd concentrate on making good movies. Instead, you spew more gratuitous white male bashing to justify your organizations' existances. This is shown especially by the vicious cariacature of a white man you put on your ad, it's worthy of Der Sturmer. It's this sort of racism and sexism on the left and much of liberalhood that most of the American public rightly despises, and why you have so much trouble winning elections.
Date: 8 December 2005
Subject: "Books for Girls" , "Books for Boys"
I recently was stunned to see that the children's section at a Borders Book Store near us has distinct shelves labeled "Books for Girls" and "Books for Boys". Talk about stereotypes! Upon complaining, I learned that the national Borders organization provides the signage for these shelves. Perhaps someone at the national level also feels competent to determine what girls "should" read and what boys "should" read.
Date: 5 December 2005
You are inspirational. I live in a society where the government is allowed to censor internet sites and on one occasion cease paper deliveries to the country because they wanted to keep an incident on the down low. My boyfriend and I broke up this morning and I had been feeling, to put it simply, like shit. I found your site on a quest for resources for a college application essay. During a previous break up, where I had also been feeling like shit, one of my friends mentioned something to the effect of, 'what happened to the feminist inside you?' Stupidly, I dismissed the question and said, 'she died'. Your site has made me want to spread the word that feminism is not dead, there is still more that can be done. Even though I am 17, I feel the true desire to make the women of today and the women of the future roar.
From: Art Student in Florence
Date: 13 November 2005
Subject: The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist
I am an art student in Florence, Italy. I just bought your book on women stereotypes and love it!! I think what you're doing is great! I just finished checking out your website and I have made 'The advantages of being a woman artist' the background on my computer screen. After finishing this email, I think I will do so on all 20 public computers in the classroom.
Date: 20 September 2005
Subject: Inspired in Bombay
You probably never thought you'd have fans in India. I've been watching your site for over seven years now and I have been so inspired by what GG is all about. My work is squarely within rights, feminism, gender, and sexuality. When I struggled with my politics, felt excluded, didnt get invited to parties, or was told I was "too philosophical" (the advice: loosen up a little, dont be so hardcore) it was your wit and intelligence that made me feel that another way is possible..
I am plotting and planning to get the Guerrilla Girls to visit the city of Bombay. I would love to see you run around this city spilling attitude and shaking things up. Maybe you should plan an Asia tour for next year. We need you!!!!!
From: Graduate Student in New Zealand
Date: 7 September 2005
I am a graphic design student studying in New Zealand, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My home university is UW-Milwaukee, which has a surprisingly educated Art History faculty. I became supremely interested in art of a public realm, deconstruction and activism throughout my years as a student/designer. I am now facing an interesting predicament--I have been given an assignment to choose one realm of American graphic design and place it in the context of American history. Seemingly a quick no-brainer for a grad-student correct?? Not so much, see the problem lies in the fact that my professor, with an overly traditional style of teaching, was very turned off by my proposal for this assignment. I chose to focus on activism through graphic design specifically from the '80's to the present. This naturally lead my train of thought to the likes of the Guerrilla Girls, Gran Fury, LeVant etc... Her retort consisted of questioning the potential of the male mind (me) to grasp the concept of feminism, in respect to your group. I thought I would throw you this question: I am looking for a way not only to graciously complete the assignment proving a deep knowledge of the material (this onus lies on my lap I know), but to undeniably prove that not only women have the potential understand feminism. As a male deeply intrigued by such topics, this conflict has been in the past and will be in the future a roadblock to my education and practice, any suggestion would be greatly accepted. Thank you for your time. I love what you do.
Date: August 9 2005
Subject: Wake Up, Man-haters!
What a bunch of sad, intolerant, narrowminded, self righteous man- haters you all are. Gender is not an issue in the world, when millions still face hunger and poverty. Feminism is the dead refuge for middle class -out dated post hippie drop outs. You don't use facts, just prejudice opinions to propagate your twisted views. Wake up and do something usefull with your lives, which is a gift, not to be squandered.
Date: 5 May 2005
Subject: Cheerleaders Censured in Texas
A few days ago I heard about the Texas state legislature wanting to pass a law to censure school cheerleaders from doing sexual suggestive routines. I find this really stupid, very sexist and another way to degrade l females. Nothing was said about male cheerleaders (Bush was a cheerleader when he was in college). I saw this interview on Fox news, the O'Rielley show. The representative from Houston that was interviewed was Al Edwards.
Date: 19 April 2005
Subject: God Still Loves You
Sorry......God still loves you...even though you don't have a penis...why are you so interested in a penis... you spend all your time trying to find out why you aren't like men... well,that is why.....you don't have a penis! Why not just be a women..there is great power in a women..........try it .
Date: 18 April 2005
Subject: Gamer Girls
I would like to flaunt one of the new stereotypes on the market--the Gamer Girl. The Gamer Girl is characterized by her technological skills, her natural ability in subjects like Math and Science, and her ability to do well at games like Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Halo. She is the only girl in Advanced Computer Science, and she doesn't care. On the surface, it looks like a positive stereotype. She usually gets respect from the men around her. However, there are a number of problems with even this. Of course, the usual remarks about my lack of femininity: the way I dress, the way I act, the way I look. May the Goddess forbid that I not look like Lara Croft. And, of course, at conventions I'm the only girl in a room of two hundred gamers. On a good day, the female population might peak at 1%. What really annoys me is the reactions on people's faces when I sit across the table from them in a tournament. The most popular reaction is shock, distraction, and usually he loses because of it. One guy tried to avoid eye contact so he wouldn't get "distracted". There's a lot of really cool gamers, though, who think I'm the coolest little thing they've ever seen.
Date: 11 April 2005
Subject: If Soldiers Were Cuter
In your Fall/Winter 2004 newsletter you asked for ideas for your campaign to embarass the US media. I was thinking maybe you could paste pictures of Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, etc. on soldiers bodies and write something about how if I soldiers looked like that, maybe the media would report more about the war since they seem to only focus on "entertainment" related news.
From: Art History Student in Mexico
Date: 25 March 2005
Subject: Devouring Frida
I recently read your Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art and very much enjoyed it! There was one small detail that suprised me -- and that I would like to draw your attention to. In the "Further Reading" section, you recommend the Hayden Herrera book Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo . While it is the most popular book on Frida and it has had a great influence on all the books about Kahlo that have been written since its publication, I think it has a great deal of anti-feminist feeling as it belittles Frida's work -- seeing in it only biography-- as so many critics do with womens work.
Margaret A. Lindauer's book, Devouring Frida , offers a different way to see Frida Kahlo's art. Lindauer shows the importance of understanding political and historical influences on her art. For example in many of her paintings, Frida uses long dresses, from the Tehuantepec region in the south of Mexico. In her book Herrera writes that Frida used these dresses to please her husband and to make a statement about pride in her Mexican heritage. Lindauer explains in Devouring Frida that in the 1920s, women in Mexico City used Tehuana dresses because they were associated with women of this region who: dominated their small social group, were not financially dependent on men, and maintained their cultural traditions, never succumbing to European domination. Frida continued to wear these dresses even after they went out of style in the 1930s...
From: Deeply offended
Date: 5 March 2005
Subject: Connecticut's Civil Union Bill
I have been deeply offended by Connecticut's recent opportunity to legislate an equal marriage bill, but changing this to a civil union bill and being somewhat 'praised' by the gay rights organizations in our state (although even this has not passed yet). Clearly, there is nothing equal about this.
I realize that this seems a matter of both prejudice and ignorance. People do not seem to understand that there is any difference in Civil Union vs Civil Marriage legislation--how discriminatory the treatment of gays/lesbians has been, and what the facts are. I carry a lot of frustration and anger at the lack of attention and the blatant creation of social hierarchies. In my opinion, the gay movement praising our state government for the 'opportunity' in possibly legislating second-class citizenship is absurd.
From: Frustrated in L.A.
Date: 20 February 2005
Subject: Hollywood -- if she could.
I am a film maker. I was nominated for a major film award a couple of years ago and life looked promising. I signed with a top agency, read lots of scripts, went on tons of interviews, but didn't book one job. I figured, hey, I've just got to keep going. I wrote another script, found a couple of lady producers who agreed to spend 5 million dollars on my next film because they loved my other film so much. So I went to shoot my next pic in Europe. I came back, the film is a huge success with audiences, all over the world distributors went into bidding wars, except here. All the US distributors passed.
My agency has been screening the film for all the studio executives, who all praise my work and send me scripts. I go in to interview on those projects, I prepare like mad, write an average of 15 pages of notes per script. The executives love me, love my notes, invite me back 3 or 4 more times and then they give the job to a 25-year-old, white, male video director, who has never directed a scene with dialogue before.
This has not happened once, but several times. I can't book a job for the life of me and nobody around me understands it. I have even gone so far to tell executives that I'm against marriage and plan on never having kids, just so that they won't be afraid to hire me.
Now I have to go into episodical TV directing, like all the other women directors who can't make a living in feature films. I feel so sad and defeated. I know a lot of my friends had hoped for me to break through the glass ceiling, but f*?k, it's not glass, it's iron. I tried to break through, I am as good, if not better than any of my male director colleagues, but they won't let me in the club.
I have promised myself not to give up. Who knows, maybe a miracle will happen.
Date: 16 February 2005
Subject: Promise we won't bite south of the Mason-Dixon line!!
I just wanted to let you know that you do have fans in Texas. I'm 14 and have been a feminist for about six months now, and it's been hard. People are constantly adding snide remarks to the ends of sentences when I'm around just to piss me off. Even at church people still criticize my questioning of certain bible verses that say a woman must not speak in service or that she is the "glory of man." It would be wonderful to be able to bring my sexist friends to one of your presentations!
Date: 7 February 2005
I often read interviews with female fronted bands when the interviewer is only focusing on the female vocalist's looks and the fact that shes supposed to be a 'bitch'. This lead me on to think about the stereotypes that come with being a female music fan. If I had a penny for everytime I've been called a 'groupie' at a gig because im a teenage girl interested in the music!!
Date: 3 February 2005
Subject: Bitches, Bimbos and Ballbreakers unfair to bisexuals
Some odd months ago a friend introduced me to your book,
Bitches, Bimbos and Ballbreakers: The Guerrilla Girls' Illustrated Guide
to Female Stereotypes. To my dismay and surprise your argument for
the lack of bi-sexual stereotypes seemed to reflect a very bi-phobic attitude.
Just as homophobia presents barriers to gays and lesbians, the very questioning
of the legitimacy of bisexuality as a sexual orientation is what will lead
many bisexuals to hesitate coming out and instead hide behind the labels "straight"
Here are a few bi-sexual stereotypes that a friend and I came up with from personal experience:
1. The Bisexual as a Myth
2. The "ARTSY" Fem Bisexual
3. The "Greedy" Bi, unable to committ
4. The Indiscriminate Slut
6. The "Drunken" Bisexual
7. The "Trendy" Bisexual
8. The "Elitist" Bisexual
Date: 20 January 2005
Subject: Women in museums
I recently ordered The Guerrilla Girls' Art Museum Activity Book and was particularly excited that you at least mentioned art museum educators, marketing staff, and guards in your "brief history of art museums," but was very disappointed that the rest of the book focused solely on the plights of curators and artists. In my view, this book ignores a long tradition of sexism that affects museum workers in non-curatorial positions despite the fact that women have been present in these positions, volunteer or otherwise, since the late 1800s.
Date: 21 November 2004
Subject: The one and only: Female Sound Engineer
I am a Freshman at Priarie High School in Washington State, and am the lead sound engineer at the school. I am also a female. I have worked in many places running sound... and my crews are all male! If they aren't male, they're lesbians. I'm not exactly feminine myself, but I get called "lesbian" because my love for working sound. I think this needs to be fixed. Everywhere I go, all of the sound engineers are men, and they do a horrible job at what they do. You should see the sound system after I leave it off to the male techies at the school for one night. The drama teacher even has the sound equipment storage room be the Men's dressing room because she says that all of her past sound engineers were male. So, it's not just politics and TV that have this problem. Technical jobs are in need of serious diversity!
Date: 11 November 2004
Subject: Victoria Secret's new commercial
Victoria Secret is planning to unveil a new tv commercial to be aired for the holidays. The commercial is geared toward male customers and shows supermodels walking around in bras and panties. Towards the end of the ad, the model looks directly into the camera and says, "Bring me to my knees." I feel that this is one of the most degrading things I have ever heard for a national ad. 'Buy me something from Victoria's Secret and I'll get down on my knees for you.' I feel this says a lot about where our society and media is headed and I hope to not have to see this taken to even further levels. What will they say next year? Help stop it now.
Date: 7 November 2004
Subject: Mormons are not polygamists!
I wanted to let you all know that I do agree that there is a big problem out there with the acknowledgement and recognition of women, and I like how you poke fun at it with facts. But something that made me upset is when I read this comment in your Fall 2003 Hot Flashes- "So what’s a guy to do today? No problem. Join a fundamentalist Mormon sect." I am a Mormon and there is a definite problem with polygamy in some areas, but those people are not, in any way shape or form, Mormon. They claim to be Mormons, but they are not.. just wanted to make that clear. Thank you.
Date: 10 October 2004
I've noticed lately more and more ads in magazines showing women of Asian descent dressed like stereotypical Japanese schoolgirls or geishas (and half the time they're not even Japanese, like Lucy Liu in "Kill Bill Vol.1"). More and more people are stating their "love forJapanese women" when in reality it's more like being obsessed with racially motivated stereotypes about people that seem "foreign" to them.
Date: 1 October 2004
Subject: PINK CHAPS PROTEST!
A friend and I are organizing a protest Novemebr 6, 2004 at the Phoenix Art Museum's Cowboy Artists of America show because the group (the CAA) does not allow women members. This is a draft of the press release we plan to send to the media, gallery owners and museum curators:
PINK CHAPS PROTEST
Saddle up, Tenderfoots! Come on down to the Phoenix Art Museum's annual Cowgirl Artists of America Sale and Show!
Whoops! Sorry, there -- we meant Cowboy Artists of America. Turns out there ain't no womenfolk allowed to make art and display it in the Phoenix Art Museum's 39th annual fundraiser. The only women in the whole dadgum group are apparently the ones makin' the grub and warshin' the paint off them cowboy-artists' shirts!
Doesn't sound right for the state's most la-di-da museum to host a group that discriminates against half the country? We don't think it's right, either. That's why a bunch of other cowpersons will be saying so in front of the Phoenix Art Museum on Saturday, November 6, from 1 to 3 p.m. We'll be easy to spot: We'll be the other group in chaps and Stetsons in which women are actually allowed to participate.
The state's premiere museum should not play host to a group that discriminates against women artists. The same museum that counts work by Georgia O'Keeffe, Helen Frankenthaler, Marie Vigee Le Brun, Frida Kahlo, Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Faith Ringgold, Narcissa Niblack Thorne, Elena Climent, Cornelia Parker, Florine Stettheimer, Alice Trumbull Mason, Lee Bontecou, Louise Nevelson, Joan Brown, Barbara Hepworth, and Deborah Butterfield as highlights of its permanent collection plays annual host to an organization that claims no woman artist's talents have measured up to their standards as Western artists.
We cowfolk call that "horse puckey."
What's more, each year, the museum purchases a piece from the Cowboy Artists Show for its collection. This denies women Western artists the chance not only to earn a not-inconsiderable buck, but to gain a berth in one of the most prominent Western Art collections in the country.
"I volunteer 100 hours a year at the Phoenix Art Museum," says five-year docent Melissa Morrison, a.k.a. Cowboy Mel. "The museum and its art have enriched my life immeasurably. That's why it chaps my hide to see them kowtow to a group that claims women artists aren't good enough to be in their group."
Date: September 29 2004
Subject: Urgent need of guerrilla action here in Pakistan!
Hello. I am 18 years old and I am studying at a British established school here in Karachi, Pakistan. I have just created my own society in school for the discussion of women's issues 'The Women's Platform.' I am an artist and my portfolio is based on female stereotypes in my own country. Here people are obsessed with women being fair, blue-eyed and demure. In the marriage sections of local newspapers it is often printed -- "Required - wife. Must be fair, very beautiful, tall, educated, domestic, demure, religious and well groomed." Such 'advertisments' enrage me and my friends and so we have begun the society to educate women about the ways in which our society has stereotyped women, raise awareness through poster campaigns and discuss the rise of eating disorders among young women.
We have received much support and in our discussions have brought up the Guerrilla Girls campaign which has received an enthusiastic response. We have received much opposition claiming us to be "sexist" (!) , men believing that 'women's issues' would be about discussing that "time of the month" or our sex lives.
I would like all of you to know that we fully support the cause. We will be showing your slides at a discussion scheduled for next month. Good luck!!
Date: August 6 2004
Subject: Girl Child Art Foundation, Nigeria
It is still a man's world in Nigeria. All I have fought for Nigerian girls has seemed to be a one girl show, like "she does not understand life". You cannot get a job in Nigeria without men wanting to sleep with the lady involved. The worst is that married women are included or they can forget it. The greatest now is the 'Sugar Daddy Syndrome.' Our girls are fed up. Some members of Girl Child Art Foundation (girls of 8-18yrs) have decided to wage a war against the 'daddies' that are spoiling their daughters through a wild art exhibition for January 2005. The exhibition includes TV programs, shows etc..
"Girl Child Art Foundation" is an NGO that promotes the education of young girls, and other developmental issues that concern them by enhancing
their creative and imaginative abilities through continuous training classes by professionals on different fields ranging from counselors etc.
We handle visual, performing,literary arts. CGAF gives Nigerian girls a voice through their works of arts and gives them a sense of importance through
art exhibitions, shows and seminars on issues concerning their entire development. As we all know that the girls of today are women of tomorrow . If we have a voice today then tomorrow will not be difficult..
From: Church Girl
Date: 15 July 2004
Subject: Feminist theologian fighting the good fight
I am a painter and an activist, and your work has made a difference in my life. I am writing because I am also a graduate student in theology. I am studying to become a feminist theologian. I have endured horrendous sexism and misogyny in both the academy and in the church. I want to start a guerrilla-girls-inspired anonymous activist posse to combat sexism and misogyny in churches.
Date: 8 June 2004
Subject: Smithsonian American Art Museum
I recently received a press release from the Smithsonian American Art Museum listing the first 11 exhibits the museum plans to host after its re-opening in July 2005. Not one of them, you may not be surprised to hear, features a female artist. Solo shows, however, will be devoted to: William Wegman, William H. Johnson, William Christenberry, Joseph Cornell, Sean Scully, Muybridge, Saul Steinberg, and Earl Cunningham. The three additional shows are: American ABC: Childhood in 19th Century America, History of the Patent Office Building, and Masterworks from American Art Forum Collections.
I am appalled that the "brand new" American Art Museum is sending this type of message about female American artists. Apparently, none were worthy of being included in the museum's first year of exhibits?! I've put in a call to the Washington Post, but for professional reasons, I can't take this too far...
Date: 19 May 2004
Subject: Guerrilla Sevilla!
Hi!! I'm from Barcelona and am learning art in Sevilla. Now I have to make my final work, and it is FREE! I can do that I want! I have an idea about a big problem that we have here: the "botellón". This is the typical way of life of the young people here: To drink at night in the streets... and by morning lots of parts of the city will be full of "shit". I want to motivate people to clean our "shit" and do something original with this: to build some new place to enjoy the art!
Date: 27 April 2004
Subject: Sex based discrimination at Ford Motor Co.
I was a victim of sex based discrimination at Ford Motor Co. The EEOC is currently handling the charge. But it doesn't seem like they are taking it serious either. My life has been left in shambles because of what they have done to me. Ford's only response to me has been, "you're a pretty girl and you have to expect it." Which really pisses me off. They keep telling me in order to work there I have to put up with it. The straw that broke the camel's back was when a man masturbated infront of me. Ford completely excused this behavior. Everyone tells me to suck it up and deal with it. I don't understand how a company this large, can get away with treating women this way.
Date: 5 April 2004
Subject: Space Cadets
Looking at your newsletter title, "Space Cadets," I wondered if you knew about the dozen or so women who trained right along with the pale males in the 60's. A few of these women are still alive, and a couple of them (one a flying missionary in South America) petitioned to fly the geezer flight ---- but it went to the senator, again.
The hope was that they'd wash out of the training program. When they didn't, they passed a law that all astronauts had to be military pilots. Since women weren't allowed to be military pilots (except in WWII when they got to tow the targets, ferry the planes, and do the experimental test pilot flights (as men were too valuable overseas to risk in these dangerous jobs) as part of an "auxiliary corps," no benefits, no pensions, no GI bill) the trainees never got into space.
From: Art student
Date: 26 March 2004
Subject: Censorship at the Lincoln Center
I am an artist who has received a Merit Scholarship from the Art Student's League of NY. Each year the recipients of this scholarship are invited to show their work at Lincoln Center. Yesterday the show was installed in the Cork Gallery in Avery Fisher Hall. There are four male nude sculptures (one of them is mine) and one female nude sculpture. Yesterday Lincoln Center asked that all of the MALE sculptures be moved to a recessed corner of the gallery because a "major donor" (a man) complained about male nudes being in the gallery. However, they stated, the female nude could stay in it's prominant position. I appreciate any suggestions you have.
Date: 19 March 2004
Subject: Wake up call
While bored at work I picked up a book called, "Essential History of American Art." I found it to be neither essential nor accurate. Once I looked through the whole book, I did some counting. Out of 81 artists only 10 of them were women. 10! And the book was authored by a woman. I decided to send a letter to the publishing company to point out this obvious mistake. I will let you know what they reply...if they reply.
Date: 17 March 2004
Subject: The perils of being a young female in corporate America...
I live in the tiny city called Providence in Rhode Island.
My company is run by pompous ivy-leaguers, who are so insecure that they have
to constantly and openly make rude and lewd comments about women. It makes
me sick because I've realized that the only way to get ahead in this place
is to think and act like a man!! That is to kiss ass, be brutally deceitful
and rude at any cost, and to treat women and anyone without an MBA or PHD
as inferiors! I'm barely twenty-something and I'm already pissed off!! If
this is what it's like in the business world then I think I've picked the
wrong career. I hate that I have to lower myself to get ahead! I will NEVER
succumb to that! I read a great quote recently that I swear is my new mantra:
"Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a pot belly and think they're hot stuff!"
From: 12 Female Artists from St. Olaf College
Date: 15 March 2004
Subject: Censored at St. Olaf College
I am a senior art major at St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota. Recently a group of women artists including myself put up a group show in our student center, where there is a bulletin board dedicated to student art work. We are now being censored because our show has been deemed 'pornographic.' There are specifically two bodies of work that were given this label. One woman shot photos of her mother's and aunt's breast. Women in her family have a long history of breast cancer and her photos highlighted the scaring. Another woman has digital photography of her own body labeled with slang words that she has been called. Instead of using 'breasts' she used 'tits.' This morning the work was taken down by the center office. We were able to recover the work and put it back up with 'censored' bars over the 'pornographic' photos.
We have no idea what will happen but we will stand behind our work and our plan is to do another piece after our senior shows are up and done.
Date: 23 February 2004
Subject: Body politics: An artist's journey in a patriarchal society.
Two years ago I took a nude self portrait into the Art Access Gallery in Salt Lake City and asked for an exhibit. March 19th will be the opening reception for my first solo exhibit. I am in my fifties, I was raised a mormon, I am a lesbian. It has been a very long, hard journey. I have tried to stay true to myself and my experience.
The Guerrilla Girls came to Salt Lake while I was painting for this exhibit.
You helped me stay focused and motivated. Thank you. You do effect change.
Date: 19 February 2004
Subject: Pixie discrimination and the monstrosities of being a mother
I'm a tiny little thing with big eyes that had the audacity to be born that way. It's an interesting mix of loathing I receive, and my particular form seems to piss off a whole range of societal demographics. I'm treated like a cute child who's too young and precious to both comprehend or even need to comprehend anything at all. If I'm not being disregarded for the cursed youthful face that runs in my mother's line, I'm being openly shunned for being thin no matter how much I eat, scoffed at by men and lesbians alike for my "lack of rack," or being ridiculed for not wearing make-up ("not trying,") or being patted on the head or picked up, because for god's sake I'm just so damn cute, and on and on and on. "Porcelain doll," "cupie," "pixie," but never woman, human, person. I can't speak in favor of October's Love Your Body Day because "how would [I] know??!" I can't be considered for this or that job (I'm a tech designer for theater) because I'm too feminine, too delicate, too young-looking, how could someone like me ever have learned electronics, power tools?
And then I became a mother. My assumed IQ took a fifty point plummet the day I began
walking around with my son, and coupled with my young young young face, most sneer disgusted at the
"stupid teenager" who "got herself in trouble." Every single day of my life is an exercise in constant
justification of my own intellectual validity, and I am thoroughly sick of it.
Let us just be, please. Let us just be.
Date: 17 February 2004
Subject: Help!!! 70+ year old male art student hijacks lectures!
I am 35, and a second year BA Fine Art Student in the UK. My degree class is made up of mostly girls, with four males, one of which is 70+ and a typical product of his era, with the attitude that we girls should be at home waiting for our husbands to return from work having cleaned the entire house, done his laundry etc. He also has a habit of 'hijacking' our lectures to vent his own contempt of anything to do with modern art, considering it a total waste of time, and then proceeds to extol the virtues of his generation! The University is reluctant to do anything about him, when we have tried to make our point about his behaviour, we have been penalised. Help!!!
From: California Artist
Date: 14 February 2004
Subject: Oh those art critics!
Recently we received a letter from several artists involved in the exhibition Envisioning the Future, curated by Judy Chicago. They wanted to make people aware of the dismissive response from L.A. Times art critic Christopher Knight. Below is an excerpt from their original letter to Christopher Knight and his response. Obviously he has a right to review whatever he wants, but it’s sad that he refused to look at the work of 60 artists because he didn’t like one of them.
Dear Mr. Knight:
Recently an important exhibit was launched in Los Angeles County and you made no mention of it in your column. Nearly 60 visual and performance artists, 9 facilitators, numerous community members, a network of hosts, a renown curator, a noted photographer and 1 art icon, successfully raised a significant amount of consciousness and, we feel, an impressive art exhibit in 8 venues in Pomona and Claremont, California. The opening reception and internet simulcast lecture of welcome, took place January 10, 2004. We would like to extend a personal invitation to you to visit our exhibit.
I am aware of "Envisioning the Future."
Unfortunately, I have no interest in Judy Chicago's
work. Best wishes for the project.
Times art critic
Date: 8 February 2004
Subject: A world of art with no women
I am studying history of art and was very happy to get the book "What I Loved" from Siri Hustvedt, because it is a
story about artists and art galleries in N.Y. But I found out that she mentions many important people of science,
fine arts... about 150 people! But only men, no women (with one exception). So I wrote a letter to her and asked her:
"Why did you ignore women in art, art-science, history-science, literature, queer-theories and gender-theories? Is your book an experiment? Were you trying to test whether anyone would notice the missing women?" But she never answered.
Date: 5 February 2004
Subject: The most dangerous drug
I am an avid fan of and have been an avid fan of women's sports for about 15 years now. The reasons are many. The players and fans are far less obnoxious and dangerous than players and fans of men's sports.
When I go to a local women's college sporting event I am always asked if my daughter is playing. She is not and when I respond with that answer I always get very strange looks or am then asked, "Then why are you here?" I have also been asked, ad nauseum, "Why don't you watch the men's team?" There is far too much testosterone there. Road rage, fan fights, many car accidents, player fights, and domestic violence are just a few of the things that can be attributed to too much testosterone. It's our most dangerous drug.
Date: 12 January 2004
Subject: Latin Feminist Immigrant
I was born in Chile, I was a single mother at 17, I graduated from college, I came to the USA, I became part of the fastest growing minority, I have been a feminist since high school, rebelling against the Catholic Patriarcal Education in my country. It has been hard.
But I will not quit, I'll keep on spreading the Feminist word, I just read your latest book: "Bitch, bimbos...." with my daughter. I found it funny and inspiring and why not say it: I felt guilty of stereotyping myself. Shame on me!!!! (but it is so fun to look at those dolls and relate to a bunch of people!!!) In the meantime I'll speak my mind every time somebody asks, or even if they don't ask. The F word is a powerful one.
Date: 12 January 2004
Subject: HELP....my sisters are drowning in BEER!
I would like to share with you one of the issues that irks me the most about the alcohol industry. Besides the objectification of womyn, they also blatantly market towards the LGBTQQ community. How would you like a big rainbow can of beer? How about some naked gay man vodka? The objectification of gay males is just as bad. Why is every large LGBTQQ event sponsored by a alcohol company? This is true especially with pride parades.
I can't escape it! HELP... my sisters are drowning in BEER!
From: RH a.k.a. Regina (my female pseudonym)
Date: 9 January 2004
Subject: Aspiring aritst with the feminist cause (w/ questions)
I am a Britney Spears fan. Don't take me wrong, my interest in her is artistic; I get inspired by her work, and she helps me discover androgynous feelings within me. Now, does this discredit me as a supporter of the feminist movement?
I've recently been working on a satire work...It's an outrageous tale of a modern American revolution, spearheaded by Britney fans and feminists. Tired of the current regime, fans and women rise to overthrow the misogynist men of America. I did show this to my women's studies professor, and she told me that I can make it more outrageous, so I've been refining it.
Regardless of how I, my work, or Britney is interpreted by you and feminists, I do feel women and their supporters are being oppressed by the current American system. Can't WE, at least, embrace Britney as a comrade sister struggling under this misogynist regime?
Date: 8 January 2004
Subject: Ageism in the art world?
How about ageism in the art world, especially towards women? For most artists mid-career means no gallery is interested in showing your work, unless you have a long history with them (and maybe not then). I once asked a gallerist what would happen if a 50-something artist came to you with good work, would you show them? The answer was that it was very unlikely. What to do?
Date: 5 January 2004
Subject: Great stuff from a conservative non-Republican
I've only peeked at what you have on your site and am already impressed with the serious intent mixed, thank you, with humor. I am a conservative male feminist -- a category I just made up to describe someone who feels that we lost our way after Jefferson, has XY chromosomes (and is happy about it), and agrees with most of the feminist agenda.
Date: 2 January 2004
Subject: Sweden calling!
Hello Girls! I am a Swedish artist and a great fan of yours. Three years ago another Swedish artist and I made an action against the 'Miss Sweden Contest,' where we jumped up on stage in the middle of the coronation with a banderoll saying 'GUBBSLEM' meaning approximately 'MALE SLIME'. A later work is the unmasking of a club named "The Artist Club"- a 150 year old club for male artists, which exclude women because of tradition. I secretly taped phonecalls between me and the members of the club where I ask them why women are not allowed, what they were doing at their meetings, and if there was any possibility that I could come there and hold a lecture. I exhibit the taped phonecalls in different contexts and it has been a hugh fuzz about it in swedish artlife. I just want to thank you girls for being such a great inspiration and such wonderful role models for me and so many of my friends.
Date: 17 December 2003
Subject: Staying strong in the car industry
I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I go to mechanic school (I'm one of three girls in the huge school) and found your web site a great dose of comic relief. Thanks so much. Some days I think I can't go on with my dream to work in the car industry and then I seem to come across inspiring women like yourselves that give me that extra faith in myself to be strong too.
From: A loyal supporter
Date: 11 December 2003
Subject: You are needed here in Alaska!
Your group has really inspired me in my own artwork- for my BFA thesis project, I am going to be doing a series of posters as well as installation work on the sterotypes and racist attitudes of whites in Anchorage towards Native Alaskans. The racism here is so pronounced! Coming from the Bay Area in California to Anchorage a few years ago really opened my eyes to how lucky I have been to grow up in such a diverse area (the Bay Area). In my posters I am going to be using statistics I have found related to Native issues here in Alaska.
When I presented my idea for approval to the BFA committee, I was met with pure adversity from a few of the teachers.They called me an "outsider" and it wasn't until I told them that my boyfriend was half Inupiat Eskimo, that they backed down and allowed me to move forward. They figured that I had more "validity" by having an Eskimo boyfriend. I was disgusted, outraged and dissappointed that they would have such ignorant views of the artwold and how I felt about expressing my own views. Anchorage is very closeminded, including the museum here... I guess it is because there is only a "conservative" type of art supported here.
Date: 8 December 2003
Subject: Achieving Exposure and the Proliferation of Memes
As a young male (20), I've found your group exceedingly inspirational for a number of things, perhaps chiefly among them for being a feminist minded group with no contradictory discrimination against males without sexist paradigms or agendas. I've experienced a great deal of stigmatizing, some women reacting in suspicion or disbelief in my genuine passion for the issue and believing that I can't possibly understand as well as they do because of the organ born between my legs. Because of this, your group has been an envigorating and refreshing departure from this and I thank you. I'm an aspiring artist myself, and I'm trying to spread the positive memes of social equality among other issues as well.
Date: 28 November 2003
Subject: Feminist in Portugal
Hi! I'm from Portugal. I just want to show my sadness when I see on TV that 5 women die per month here in Portugal because of violence. I'm a student of arts, and for the first time in my school there is a discipline called " Art and Feminism", I am very glad to see some diferences, I just don't know why there isn't more!
Date: 19 November 2003
Subject: Art therapy is like the art world
The statistics of successful female visual artists you clearly know, but did you know that in art therapy, where 85% of practicing art therapists are female, the majority of the writers, psychologists, and people who legitimatize the field are male? Even the psychological diagnoses that clients come into therapy with are diagnoses that were created in a male model (The diagnosis for a healthy independent adult woman is staggeringly similar to a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder.) Anyway, please visit Lesley/AIB to give all of us female artists some more inspiration, determination, and vigor to continue to fight and be seen as the artists we are and the women we are.
Date: 16 November 2003
Subject: Glass ceiling still not shattered
Earlier today, I was paging through the latest Fortune when I came across an ad for the upcoming "World Business Forum 2004: Leadership Speaks" event to be held in NYC next May. I was reviewing the speaker line-up and thinking it looked all right* until--DOH!--it dawned on me that the list included zero, count 'em zero, women. Never one to shy away from voicing my thoughts, I sent this message to my pals at the World Business Forum:
Hello, I just saw an ad for the World Business Forum event in Fortune. After reviewing the list of speakers, and perusing the speaker photos on your site, I'd like to thank you for your thoughtfulness and careful selection process. Seeing a line-up of NINE WHITE MALES really encourages me, as a young professional woman, to believe that the glass ceiling is a thing of the past. I'll just head back to the kitchen now where I belong.
Did anyone think about including Hillary Clinton, Carly Fiorina, Tina Brown, Katie Couric, Meg Whitman, Madeleine Albright, Condoleeza Rice, Shelly Lazarus, or Cathleen Black?
I'd like to ask that you keep perpetuating the stereotype that there are no women out there who know diddly-squat about leadership or "topics of the utmost importance to the business community" (as your web site describes the forum's focus). It will only make it that much better when women succeed despite you.
Only two of the Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs: Meg Whitman of eBay and Carly Fiorina of HP). Two out of five hundred. TWO!!!!!! And there are no women--NONE--listed in the top 100 highest paid CEOs in America. Zero!!!!!! So if I'm a little bitter when a modern business leadership series includes no women, that's why.
Date: 3 November 2003
Subject: Mormon Feminist
I'm a second-year fine art student who has just recently been exposed to the work of the Guerrilla Girls, and I've been really impressed. It's great to see fact mixed with humour. It's inspiring - thank you. I do have one criticism, however. I was browsing through the Hot Flashes section on your website and came across the "When sex is your religion" bit. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and this degrading commentary really offended me. I wish you would read a little more about Joseph Smith and the history of my church before you fire off hurtful comments. I wouldn't be active in this church if I believed that the polygamy in our history was the result of a bunch of sex-hungry men, neither would I remain active if I felt that the LDS church undervalued or disrespected women in any way. The "fundementalist Mormon sects" that you mention are in no way affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, rather they are condemned by the LDS church, as is all abuse of any human being.
I just wanted to set that straight. I face enough discrimination as a female, I really don't need to face any additional slander as a Mormon.
Date: 28 October 2003
Subject: the problem isn't women not working- it's not paying them!
I just read one of your news tidbits for Oct citing the World Bank study which said that women in Africa and the Middle East are an untapped resource that could help bring countries in these regions out of poverty. Unfortunately, the WB and most of the world's economies are missing the boat. WOMEN ARE WORKING - in fact much more than men. It's just that they don't get paid for their labor (i.e. caretaking, cooking, cleaning, etc) Unfortunately, in countries where the earned income gender ration is closer to equal, gender equity still doesn't exist because men aren't picking up the slack in unpaid labor. Just wanted to clarify the stats...
By the way, I was at your workshop at the Univ of Michigan last year - it's still inspiring me. We weren't able to carry off our project then but a new group of us trying to get it off the ground. Grrr.
Date: 27 October 2003
Subject: Hi there! from Indonesia
I'm your biggest fan from Indonesia. I'm a male art critic/art teacher. When are the GG's coming to Indonesia to make art? Keep passion, work and success.
Date: 20 October 2003
Subject: Stop trashing women because of their body size!
Not being a slave to body image should apply women of all sizes whether you're a 24 or a 2. Is there truly anything inherently wrong with a size zero? Any more than a 12 or 36 or whatever number is on the label?
Date: 13 October 2003
Subject: Today's Executive Wardrobe?!?
Fortunately I got to attend the 92nd St. Y event you hosted a couple weeks ago and thought it was AMAZING.
I have a subscription, albeit sent to me via my conservative father, to Forbes magazine. I've been cutting out pieces/ads that are intensely sexist for months. Recently there was an entire advertising section paid for by Saks Fifth Avenue that was titled "Today's Executive Wardrobe". Which, apparently, does not assume there are ANY women executives in the world as every single piece in the ad were for men. Not even a lovely young thing hanging on his arm, as they are wont to do. I wrote Forbes and Saks, but want to get this information to more people as well.
Date: 12 October 2003
Subject: Love, Peace and Sm:)e
Hi, I’m a Japanese woman who has been checking your web site for almost 4 years. Whenever I get depressed by absurdity, I come to your site and receive your energy. I really really appreciate what you are doing.
Date: 6 October 2003
Subject: Cleanly plucked, smiling Frida!
Today I was in a waiting room and picked up from the selection of reading material a copy of Oprah's magazine. While flipping through, my attention was grabbed by two full pages side by side of the same self-portrait by Frida Kahlo. The caption said something about eyebrow plucking. The picture on the left side was the original. On the page to its right the painting had been manipulated to show a cleanly plucked Frida. They even changed her mouth ever so slightly into a bit more of a smile. Horrifying. For so many reasons.
Date: 3 October 2003
Subject: ...all girls out there, book your own concerts!
I want to encourage all girls out there to book your own concerts! There's plenty of talented female musicians out there that would be more than willing to play an "all chick rock" show. Of course, the numbers of female musicians compared to males is still grossly dispoportionate, but try to highlight the female talent you can find. Put on a girl rock concert and raise awareness about these issues. Encourage female friends to make music and start bands. All you need is a venue, some friends to help with promotion, set-up, sound, etc. and some rockin girls.
Date: 17 September 2003
Subject: Helping keep the F word alive in New York
Thank you so much for such an inspiring and empowering evening last night at the 92nd St. Y panel discussion. I adore the pin with an X across a mirror...PLEASE make them , i will be proud to wear one. However, while i love the idea of “ugly day” i think that you should maintain the premise of the day (i.e no makeup, no heels, etc.) only call it Beautiful Day.....won't our real beauty be most apparent on a day such as this? thank you so much for everything and i look forward to reading your new book!!
Note: At the panel, sponsored by Mind on the Media and featuring Janeane Garafolo, Rachel Simmons and Naomi Wolf,along with us, we suggested a yearly Be Ugly Day, and created a special symbol for females to wear to show that they don't buy into the media's idea of beauty: a miniature mirror with an X through it.
Date: 17 September 2003
Subject: Great Lady Musicians of All Time
Just recently Rolling Stone Magazine put out a very pathetic list of the 100 Greatest guitarists of all time, which was ridiculous because of course just 2 were female, when there have been plenty of female guitarists who have been influencial over the years in every genre of music! My site, www.femaledrummer.com, and othersites have lists that are more devoted to the all time ladys who this magazine has forgotten.
From: Rocker Angel
Date: 12 September 2003
Subject: Talking about body image...
Please do a poster with the caption “Even Betty, the biology class skeleton, was disheartened when she learned she couldn't become a model. The size 0 samples for the runway were just to small...” by a picture of an anatomical skeleton trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans.
Literally, we tried this in bio class, they don't fit.
Date: 11 September 2003
Subject: Ageism in the art world
A Philadelphia-based national artists' website, is having their Art Auction/Performance Night on 9/25/03. Even though I'm in the auction, I'll be attending your lecture at The Free Library of Philadelphia first. I'm the 2002 Pollock-Krasner Recipient who wrote you last year about my ageist run-in with Mr. Lee, one of the three owners of the Gorney (as in Jay, not Jerk) Bravin and Lee Gallery (Lee would not review my slides because I was 50 years of age; He only views work "by artists under twenty-eight". He actually said this at a lecture sponsored by Creative Artists Network, which was videotaped.)
So I shall spend the last night of my 50th year at your lecture!
From: PURE NAUGHTY in Brighton, England
Date: 8 September 2003
Subject: Female Punk Musicians
i got into punk music about 2 years ago cozits more or less the only music scene where women are not discriminated against, i.e. in music videos you do not see women dancing around half naked like with every other genre (hip hop, dance, pop etc.) and i feel right at home at gigs because its more or less a 50 50 split with the audience. HOWEVER the people on the stage are ALWAYS male. i would love to know why this is, because i dont see what difference it makes between a girl and a boy, they both have the same ability to play, and in the only music scene where women aren't oppressed, there is the smallest percentage of female musicians in punk than any other genre. i dont know the stats exactly, but i would love to find out. basically, ive seen a lot of punk bands (bordering 250) only about 3 ive seen have an all female line up, and less than that have mixed. This doesnt include just vocalists.
P.S. have you heard the song "fuckmachine" by propagandhi? its the only feminist anthem ive heard written by blokes, which proves there are some good ones out there.
Date: 16 August 2003
Subject: Encouraged and inspired in Mexico
I am a mexican 16-year-old girl and I found your website only today. I love the posters! I really wish I could have heard about you before, but only a few years ago I began to realize what's going on in the world. I hadn't thought about female artists being discriminated, but I've known for a long time about the violence that is inflicted upon women, not only here in Mexico, but all over the world. I'm not sure if you know about the murdering of women (320 up until now) in Ciudad Juarez, here in Mexico, and it's just awful because the homicide rate doesn't go down even when the government tries to do something about it. But politicians are real crooks (or at least a great deal of them), so who knows if they're really trying to do something about the problem.
It is good to know there is a group of women like you in this world. I am in high school, studying graphic design, and I would love to become an artist. I have always liked the idea of fighting for a cause through the use of art. but in many cases people need to be at least 18 years old to participate in artistic demonstrations.You have managed to encourage me to want to do something that favours discriminated people.
Date: 3 August 2003
Subject: If you like white males, you'll love architecture!
If you like white males, you'll love architecture! It's one of the last strongholds of the white male and is fiercely resisting change. I recently graduated with a master's degree in architecture and found that 85% of the staff were male, 90% of the visiting lecturers were male, and there was a 1950s retro atmosphere that dismissed and marginalized the female students as well as female staff and visiting profs. Gay males are managing to thrive in architecture, but females are still discouraged at every point.
Thanks for all the great work over the years - I'm grateful.
Date: 17 June 2003
Subject: Female Science Fiction Writers
I really like your website and the things you do. Out of curiosity I looked some statistics up for Science Fiction writing, and this is what I found. It's very long and boring, but the statistics show more male writers than female writers. He says it's a statistical freak. You judge. http://www.sff.net/people/torhyth/tangent/others/dave02.htm
Date: 3 June 2003
Subject: Female candidate for President
..please...please find a female candidate for president of the united states. I will vote for her. While I am white and male I too am ready for a change. Good luck to all of you...
Date: 21 May 2003
Subject: White Male Supremacy and “Tour Tipping” at The Philadelphia Museum Of Art
You all inspire me to continue to speak out against discrimination, whatever the cost. I am at the end of the two year training commitment required for the Weekday Guides Program at The Philadelphia Museum of Art's volunteer docent program. The tour guide program participants continue to be almost all white, yet the PMA claims to value diversity. Thank God for Guerilla Girls. I feel like I always have internet psychological support.
Not once has any work created by a woman or person of color been required by Museum Educators to be put on a tour created for the general public, even when the tours theoretically encompass the entire museum (for example a Highlights of the Museum Tour). Supposedly we can create our own tours and within certain guidelines, everyone can pick and choose what they like to put on their tours thereby ensuring enthusiasm and difference. There are “suggestions” to include certain categories in certain areas of the museum (for example in putting together a tour for American Art the suggestion was made to include work created by African Americans...but it was a suggestion, not a requirement--I explicitly asked), but in fact there are often works created by white men which we are told not to walk by while giving a public tour. These pieces are “important”. To mention these pieces is required.
I have never heard in almost two years of training that any work by an African American artist or a female artist is a necessity on a general public tour or “too important to walk by” without acknowledgement or comment. Maybe I will stick with the program. Or maybe I'll be thrown out of it, but regardless of me as an individual ...there is apparently a de facto “tipping point” for public tours at the PMA. What a treat for the museum going-public !!! Spared the horror of viewing too much art created by people of color and women.
In 2003 there is not one piece of art owned by the PMA created by an African American which is considered by the PMA as important enough to always be in the permanent Modern/Contemp Galleries. Like African American culture and African Americans, the work is marginalized and subordinated in importance to art created by white men....art created by white men is of course “the real art”. The art created by women and people of color is always optional at the PMA.
I've asked several different educators what I should say to the public if asked—as I have been in the past—“Where is the Black art in this section?” I was told to tell the public, among other things, that the PMA doesn't discriminate and that many pieces at the PMA rotate—not just African American art, and that the PMA has a committee to acquire more African American art (there's not a committee to the best of my knowledge of course to make sure that art created by African Americans once acquired is seen or even required to be put on a public general tour if it makes actually makes its way to the light of day in the galleries).
Yet....some Museum Educators seem to wonder why there are so few people of color (except white) who are Volunteer Tour Guides ?
Go Guerilla Girls go!!! ...and thank you so much for existing.
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003
Subject: Help get more girls into science and engineering
I love your site! I was wondering if you could get more girls into science and engineering. I mean Hollywood directors are good an all but most people are not Hollywood directors. Most people are just your average person going to work. I am a male and am studying computer science at the University of Arizona and am very disappointed to see only about 10 girls in a class of about 100 people. I know engineering is not as romantic as Hollywood and art but I think it would be much more important if you could just get girls interested in science and engineering.
P.S. I learned about the Guerrilla Girls in my Art History Class
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003
Subject: How women are treated at the Met
Hello, Girlz: I recently visited the Manet/Velazquez exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum, and was annoyed by a few things in their informational placards.
1) Artist Berthe Morisot is referred to in two different placards as Edouard Manet's “pupil”. Eva Gonzalez was Manet's only official student. Morisot seems to have considered Manet in the light of an adviser—sometimes an infuriating one—but she did not have formal lessons with him. Am I right to be annoyed? It could be that whoever wrote the placard has a different conception of the term "pupil" than I do, but I think the effect is to belittle Morisot's status as an artist.
2) In one gallery, several artists' names are inscribed decoratively on the wall. A Mary Cassatt painting is included in this room, but her name was not used in the wall decoration. One might think that is because only one work of hers was shown. However, only one Renoir work is up, but his name IS used on the wall.
3) In another gallery, two Mary Cassatt paintings are shown, and the placard describes them as having been done before Cassatt “came under the sway of Manet and Degas”. In the same room, a William Merritt Chase work, which seems to have been done in imitation of John Singer Sargent, is described as “a response” to Sargent's work, giving the idea that Chase was a more independent thinker than Cassatt.
4) I can't remember the exact wording of the placard describing a work by Eva Gonzalez that is in the show, but my impression is that its tone is quite condescending, and basically describes Gonzalez as nothing more than a slavish imitator of Manet's. It also mentions Morisot's jealousy of Gonzalez. While anyone reading her letters can interpret Morisot's attitude toward Manet's relationship with Gonzalez as jealous, the inclusion of that story on a tiny museum placard increases its ostensible importance, and reinforces the idea of women as “catfighters” who are more trivial than men.
The Met is still making women artists out to be slightly inferior, perhaps unwittingly.Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003
From: S in Sunny Liverpool
Subject: Force-fed skinny, anorexic models
I'm just writing to say how great it is that you guys are still up there for us fighting the good fight. I've been a feminist for a long time but have found very few women's sites on the net. As a Psychology student I have been researching eating disorders and negative bodily esteem, and found that so much of it is down to how the media portrays us. We are force-fed skinny, anorexic models and simpering ineffectual actresses on a daily basis. It makes me wonder when we will actually see any real women at all. Every time a woman looks at herself in the mirror and despairs that she doesn't look like Kate Moss we lose another battle. For a long time I thought I was alone in these misgivings. I thought that feminism was dead when women needed it most. But thanks to your website I can see now that it isn't so. Thank you for helping me believe again.
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003
From: guy teacher
Subject: Thank you for your website
Just wanted to thank you for your site and actions. My year 12 art class is studying Gender Issues in Art and all my students found your site invaluable for their research. Many of my students (boys included!) have become quite passionate about the issues surrounding Women in art. We (Australians) are nowhere near equity yet but hopefully, with these students' help, we are heading in the right direction.
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003
Subject: The Educated Indian
I am a Native woman art student and you have inspired a few of us to use your kind of activism here in Canada. There are too many occasions where Native rights, issues and representations have been defined for us by “OTHERS” and we feel the need to speak for ourselves!! I don't want to have to give a mini history lesson to my uninformed peers, about Native Culture, every time I complete an art piece it is unbelievable how ignorant people are. It is also unfortunate to know that people in the mainstream establishment still romanticize and marginalize Native people. Come on people! We don't live in wigwams, we don't all have alcohol addictions and yes we are educated! We appreciate your interest in our culture but we don't need your guilt! I think most people are paranoid about THE EDUCATED INDIAN and what intentions we have with this new found weapon! Thanks again for the inspiration.
Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2003
Subject: patriarchal education
I'm taking a vocal technique class and our class textbook, Foundations in Singing (copyright 1997 and 2002), published by the popular McGraw-Hill company is written by a man, includes an index and sheet music for approximately-seventy songs, about 10% composed and/or written by women and the approximate 90% composed and/or written by the dick-dangling humans. Educational resources that marginalize women's influence and works are totally an aspect to educational curriculum that can't be tolerated. I only sing songs from that book in class and I only sing them when my grade depends on. It really sucks. Are the Guerrilla Girls or any other Feminist groups having success in changing the nation's public education curriculum?!?Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003
From: Suzie Kidnap
Subject: Guerrillas, Girls, and Videotape...and adoption rights
Like you, I am fighting gender discrimination, albeit in a somewhat different domain. After I earned my MFA, I became involved in the fight to demand justice for women like myself, whose children were kidnapped by the closed, patriarchal, exploitative adoption system in the 1960s. It is a steep uphill battle, because the people responsible for these atrocities have suppressed those aspects of adoption that are exploitative and destructive to women. There is also an enormous amount of adoption mythology in American culture. Because adoption records are closed, it is impossible to do any unbiased research on the lifelong carnage adoption can cause in a woman's life. The system has money. (Adoption is a $1.8 Billion per annum industry.) The system has power. They have had our children for decades. Because the forced loss of our children was so damaging, it has taken us decades to recover. We don't have advocates and champions, lawyers and judges, psychologists and ad agencies. We do have ourselves, and something more powerful than all of these. We have the truth. The websites www.suziekidnap.com/fog, www.originsusa.org and www.exiledmothers.com are all packed with the facts, the figures, and the data. We do ask you to consider our claims.Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003
From: Sports Producer
Subject: Just because I have breasts doesn't mean I don't know my hoops
Have you ever thought of taking on the world of sports? From experience and from talking to female co-workers, it is a univerally unwritten rule in the sports world that if a woman is in sports, she falls into one of two categories: a slut or a lesbian. One of my friends actually had a client ask her which type she was. From ESPN.com hosting a “Hottest Female Athlete” contest to coworkers asking if I used to be a cheerleader, it borders on the insulting. I think that guys are actually offended when I know more about sports than they do, as if it makes them less masculine although one of my coworkers continually tells me that I will make someone a “good wife” since I like football.
In terms of media coverage, there is the nickname issue... Many, many schools use “lady” or “-ettes” to distinguish their women's teams. At my high school, the boys' teams were the Bulldogs, but we were the Lady Bulldogs. What's up with that? Why don't you just go ahead and call us bitches? Last year, only three women were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated (out of 53 issues). The first was the swimsuit issue and another was the top sports colleges issue, which showed men and women college athletes. Sarah Hughes, Olympic figure skating gold medalist, was the only cover female athlete to have a featured article. Of the 20 “Outstanding Sports Personality” nominees for the 2001 Sports Emmy Awards, none were women. There is so much more...Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003
Subject: Your Trent L'Ottscar billboard in LA
As a woman filmmaker I'm so surprised that I'd never heard of you until I saw that GREAT billboard near my house around La Brea and Beverly. I think that's where I saw it. Brilliant!
I was thinking, every new tv season, the DGA has these network “mixers” where exex and showrunners are supposed to meet and greet directors of diversity, ie ethnic and woman directors. Of course, it's great that they are trying SOMETHING but nothing ever changes and nobody ever gets a job from these. It might be really great if you guys showed up next time.
Anyway, thanks for the wonderful billboard. I actually quoted it in a meeting the other day when a showrunner told me he'd already hired a woman this season so I'd have to come back next year. Great work!
Mon, 10 Mar 2003
Subject: Protest Girls Gone Wild
Some of us were gagging recently on a feminist bulletin board about the Girls Gone Wild video's and upcoming pay-per-view event. I mentioned that if it happened to be live, it would be very cool if the original Wild Girls (you Guerrilla's) happened to crash the party... perhaps with strategically glued fake fur pelts covering your chests which you could flash to the cameras (something like Austin power's manly pelt..) Or alternatively, undershirts with feminist slogans printed across the chests.
I know you focus on the world of high art... but we really need a good shocking voice raised against low art/sexist media, too! Any way you could expand your focus??? Someone really needs to make life a little uncomfortable for those Madison Ave. asshats. Maybe some parodies of sexist beer commercials scheduled during Monday Night Football?
Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2003
Subject: St Louis Art Museum High School Art
I was thrilled to attend your performance last night at UMSL. Very inspiring. I like the humorous approach. Today as I was looking at the St. Louis Art Museum web site, I decided to look at their recent High School Art project. Instead of listing the student artists' names, only their teacher's names are given. I typed the museum a quick note via email, having been inspired by your presentation last night and deciding that they were discriminating against young artists. They wrote back that they would include the students' names in the future. Thanks again.
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003
Subject: Doulas vs. Hospitals
I am a Doula in New York City and quite interested in beginning some subversive campaign to inform women about the misconception of childbirth being “safer” in the hospital. I am wondering if you will be in NYC any time soon or whether you have any information on where I (and others) can get started, or whether you would be willing to come and speak to a small group of us and what that would entail.
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2003 17
Subject: Report Card on Art History texts, 2003
As a professorr of non-Western art and culture, I can assure you that the representation of non-Western cultures, and in particular women's art in non-Western cultures, is even worse than for women and minorities in Western culture. Here is fifteen minutes' worth of research:
Marilyn Stokstad's Art History, first published in 1995, is among the most progressive of art history textbooks on “world art.” Of 29 chapters, 17 are dedicated to the art history of Western cultures, and 12 are dedicated to non-Western cultures -- a great improvement over previous “world art” textbooks. Lest this sound too positive, however, it should be noted the non-Western sections are substantially shorter and much more superficial than the Western sections; taken as a whole, the Western sections take up 1,150 pages, while the non-Western sections as a whole make up 246 pages, or less than 22%. Clearly, there is Western culture, and then there is the rest of the world.
Jansen, 6th edition, 2001: I found only one paragraph and one photo of non-Western art in Jansen, in Ch. 1, Prehistoric Art -- and this one paragraph used questionable language. The photo is of the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, and the paragraph is entitled “Neolithic America.” (The categories of Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age are now being strongly questioned when applied as measures of development to cultures outside of Europe -- as it should be, for North American natives did not have easy access to the materials needed to make bronze, and the only iron in North America consists of small nuggets of meteoric iron around the Great Lakes...!).
Also, in the introduction, Jansen explains: “...Feminism is related to the larger shift toward multiculturalism, which addresses the gap in our understanding of the art of nontraditional and non-Western cultures. Why should we not include artists who express very different sensibilities from that of the European and American mainstream? Indeed, there is no reason whatsoever not to. However, this book is limited to Western art for both practical and philosophical reasons. ... In the process I have taken a stand about what art is most important that not all readers will agree with, since it favors universalism over ethnocentrism.” (Yeah, right... it's so very un-ethnocentric to say that Western art encompasses the real, universal language of art...!)
Gardner's Art Through the Ages, 11th edition, 2001: Gardner has improved greatly, but it still needs to be more even-handed. 61% of the chapters are devoted to Western art, while less than 39% of the chapters are devoted to non-Western art. The actual page count is even worse, with a total of 230 out of 1137 pages, or less than 21%, devoted to non-Western art.
Date: 23 March 03
Subject: Give Neanderthals a break...
“Since 1999, the Guerrilla Girls, joined by an anonymous group of women directors called the Alice Locas, have been putting up stickers, posters and billboards criticizing and satirizing the Neanderthal film industry.”
Neanderthals have often been miscast as under-evolved, backward and brutish, which we now know not to be the case at all. Most scientific evidence seems to suggest that they were a tightly knit society with a strong social heritage for nurturing and kindness (hunting and gathering societies tend to be a bit more balanced when it comes to gender roles, being that they're far too worried about day to day survival than to argue about who's better at what). Anyway, that particular descriptor is hardly indicative of the slack-jawed thick-skulled throwbacks that make the decisions about what goes in Hollywood. So, let's try and be nice to the Neanderthal, since most modern accounts seem to agree that they were at least as highly evolved a society (if not, in fact, more so) than we.
By the by, I've taken quite a shine to your approach, interesting idea it is to make a comic book out of feminist philosophy and anecdote rather than the usual boring and complex essays on the subject that often leave the average person overwhelmed if not completely flabbergasted. I am white, I am male, I know, but hey, anyone can seek enlightenment, it's just a matter of choosing to do so. :) Anyway, kudos, girls! Keep up the good fight.
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003
Subject: We needed Guerrilla Girls present the Trent L'Ottscar years ago
In the dark ages, (1970) I came out of UCLA's MFA Theater Program with a degree in writing/directing. I was turned down at every studio in town because I was a bad risk compared to my male classmates, (In interviews, Studio bosses were able to ask if I was married and planned to start a family in the future) who wouldn't have to take pregnancy leave. I wish you girls had been around then! Who knows how this story would have ended.
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003
Subject: We're the same age
Hi, my name is Stacy, and I live in Kentucky. The reason for this email is to thank you. Guerrilla Girls was founded the year I was born, and since then has worked to make the world a better place for myself, my sisters, and my future daughters. I thank God everyday that I was born a woman, and that all these opportunities are opening up to me. While I know that women's rights aren't yet what they should be, I am confident that we and our future generations will fix that.Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Subject: Art History in Greece
My dear Girls, I always feel better when I visit your web-site! I am an Art History student from Greece and I have to admit that I am very concerned about my future in the field of art, not only because it is a problematic area, especially for women, but also because things do not look good in Greece either. When I tell people that I study Art History they look at me as if I am an alien and they say: “Wow, that must be very interesting, I didn' t realize that art has a history, but what are you gonna do for a living?” This is the point when I tell them that my dream is to become a truck driver! You see, I too prefer to face this issue with humor. The Art History department consists of 45 students and only four of them are males! All our professors are women. However, the vast majority of our courses are concentrated on male artists: the wonders of paradox! Please consider visiting Greece!
Date: 4 Jan 2003
Subject: Miller Lite Ad
Hey! I'm a free-thinking, fun-loving person, but the latest Miller Lite ad, featuring buxom beauties mud-wrestling over “tastes better, less filling” takes ads to a new, Man Show low! Even my guy-pal is taken aback, and he's no saint! A former Navy guy, he and his bar pals saw the ad and only two approved (both sophomoric morons). Girls, these are all former service men with a love of the raunchy, and even they think the ad is demeaning to women. How have we sunk so low as to tolerate this crap and to be inundated with it, being told we have no sense of humor if we are offended by this tasteless s**t?
Date: 01 Jan 2003
Last winter I left my job as a supervisor at Tower Records after FIVE years. This followed a conflict between myself and a male coworker. He was sitting on my brand new book display tables, and I asked him to get off. He pretended not to hear me. I told him to get the f%#@ off the table. He called me a cunt. I am reasonably sure that he has never heard of the reclaiming movement. I went to my manager. Two days later I was demoted. Tower Human Resources said, “We feel that a supervisor should be able to direct her staff with out the use of derogatory language.” Nothing happened to my coworker. While my manager was telling me this, he used the F word Four times. He also informed me that he had saved my job, that Tower wanted to fire us both. I quit. Over the next two weeks (as in two weeks notice) I kept track of my coworkers use of the lovely and eloquent word fuck. I averaged it out to about 4 encounters an hour. Management included.
As one of two female supervisors out of seven when I arrived at my store, I made it a point to be vocal about my opinions. Eventually, we managed to equal out the supervisor porportions, but I was passed over everytime for promotion, although all the staff expected it.
While I admit that leaving Tower is the best thing I could have done for myself, I am now in school and planning to double major in marketing and political science, it still breaks my heart to think of all that wasted energy. In the record industry, not just at Tower, sexism is still as accepted as in the fifties. I once recieved a christmas card from my manager, it was a poloroid of him with his zipper undone pulling down his pants, I am assuming it was a banana shoved in there. I laughed it off. What a joke.
Date: 28 Dec 2002
Subject: Sterotyping in the IT industry
I am in the IT industry, and I work at an ISP. I am the first and only woman working here, though the owner's wife does bookkeeping and billing. On the good side, this is a minority owned small business, and it is actually owned by an Asian. All of us, from the newest to the most experienced pick up the phone and help our customers. While I occasionally hear “it's so nice to have a woman there”, more often I am sterotyped as THE SECRETARY. I had a guy call today because he didn't understand how we configure our DSL product. I understand that since he works for a large company he may not know that in my company the people who answer the phone can actually do something other than put him on hold. But when he said he needed tech support, and I said “;Ok” (to encourage him to tell me what he needed) he just sat there like he was on hold or something. When I asked him directly what he needed, he said “technical support”. Arrrgh! I am technical support, is that so difficult to understand? In most cases I'm willing to write such things off as people being used to having to plow through several layers of bueraucracy before anything gets done. But this one seemed like he didn't believe I could actually be tech support. I just love stretching little minds a bit.
Date: 26 Dec 2002
Subject: Art World Gets Another Bad Report Card
Today when I got my January 2003 issue of Art in America, I could not help but notice that ALL SEVEN ARTICLES INCLUDING THE COVER!!!!! are all about white male artists. I thought those days were over, but I think that such discrimination really has not gone away, and that its now OK again to have group show lists and articles of consisting again of all men. Check it out!!!!
Date: 18 Dec 2002
Subject: Hello from a friendly Republican
I found your website to be very well done and insightful. I am a staunch Republican but you'll be glad to know that I am in no way a sexist or racist. I am not white, but I am male (sorry, nobody's perfect ). I'm sorry to tell you that I am anti-abortion; I changed my views on that about 10 years ago. I'm pro-NRA, pro-war (when it comes to defending our freedoms), and anti-affirmative action. I'm sure you've heard more than your share of arguments when it comes to these issues so I won't bore you with mine.
However, I am anti-capital punishment, anti-fur and leather (though I am carnivorous), and a fan of many Hollywood stars in spite of their hatred for my political party. I just want to say that I appreciate your website; your sharing your views with a variety of people. As a former liberal, I understand why you think the way you do. For me, however, it was just a matter of growing out of that stage (please, don't take that negatively). I finally found the real me inside and I am a pretty darn conservative man. But if you met me, I know that we'd get along and find many things we have in common. I married a liberal woman two years ago, and it's been the best two years of my life, election 2000 included. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
Date: 15 Dec 2002
Subject: freshgirl with feminist spirit
I just want to say that that when I was a youthful, suburbanite-high school freshgirl with feminist spirit, discovering Guerrilla Girls via internet and all GG's effective, witty posters and blatant fact-sharings really helped fuel my fire and gave me hope :) May the group always live on and stay true to no-bullshit feminism for generations to come, so that the young girls of tomorrow may find hope, too, and learn to give it.
Date: 7 Dec 02
Subject: Ithaca College and Bay Buchanan
I am writing out of desperation. I am a 27 year old, feminist, lesbian, Navy veteran college student. I amstarting up a feminist org. on campus because we need it. Recently the Ithaca College Republicans brought Bay Buchanan to our campus, where she persisted to call us feminazis and accuse feminism of causing abortion (etc.). She made made a ruckus on campus. I need supporters, I need women, I need feminists, I need to make noise, I need to get the word out, I need speakers, I need the Guerrilla Girls. Ithaca College is 3 minutes from Cornell University. By the way It was great to see you there this past October! HELP!!
Date: 4 Dec 2002 From: S
Subject: It's Still Even Worse in Europe
I attend a class in Art History at Sorbonne University in Paris.The teacher tends to very much emphasize the sexual symbols and connotations in the paintings, and he usually ends up focusing on the female body parts that he -admittedly- finds particularly attractive, asses, breasts, skins... to the points that it feels uneasy. Not that I am a prude, far from it! No, what bothers me is the total oblivion of this teacher to the “traditional” depiction of women in these paintings, his complete oblivion to his androcentered point of view, his male-oriented interpretation of the intentions of the (male) artist, his silence on the condition of woman in the contemporary context, in art, in life, in marriage...etc. Anyway, I approached the teacher with my thoughts at the end of the lecture and we had a somewhat heated talk. He said he doesn't have to have a feminist viewpoint, and that feminism is an Americanism that didn't take in France, and blah blah blah. How do I convince him that he has a pedagogical duty to teach another way to look at paintings—since he mentions all the different interpretations that exist of the different paintings, except a feminist viewpoint? I asked the permission to bring some flyers from the Guerrilla Girls next time to at least show that there are others ways to look at things.
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002
From: An art historian
Subject: Masked Mentors
I wanted to take a moment away from my research to thank
you for your public actions. I am an art historian (in training) and look
forward to the day when all art history books give a fair story of the artistic
canon. I have written three papers (currently working on the third) concerning
different aspects of feminism in the art world. I am glad to report your tireless
efforts have helped strengthen my points in each of these papers. You've made
the art world a better place for ALL people.
From: Dutch girl
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002
Subject: Where are the female teachers?
here a serious concern of a dutch art school student!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO FEMALE TEACHERS!!!!!!!
From: Female physicist
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002
Discrimination is alive and well in physics. I only recently earned my PhD and I am a woman. In my experience the field is about 97% women, and 3% men. Statistics can be found at http://www.aps.org/educ/cswp/women-links.html. Women (and men) of color, it's even worse. Some colleagues say it's better overseas, but it doesn't seem to be.
I've been asked by a German technician whose lab I worked in (in Switzerland), “Why are you a Physicist? Women can be doctors, lawyers, but not Physicists.” I've been told by my undergraduate Electronics professor that women shouldn't vote.To me, Physics is worth the struggle, and many colleagues, women and men, are supportive, understanding, and aware of the problem.
Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2002
Subject: smoking action
In upstate NY, High School student groups protested cigarette advertising in teen magazines by taking the subscription cards out of those magazines, putting a sticker on them with appropriate message and mailed them on June 1st. I thought it was a brilliant strategy, particularly as each student had at least a six month supply of these postage paid cards!
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002
Subject: Thanks from LA writer, actor and director
You made me laugh today when I need it. I am in LA and was pondering whether to continue to pursue my calling as a writer, actor and director. Being mutli-talented and Black has been, in many ways, a drag. The 'you're so articulate' comments; the surprise when it's seen you have a fucking brain; the so-called friend who told me to put on my application to film school “I'M BLACK” (guess she thought that was the only way i'd get in); the bullshit, bullshit bullshit encountered daily. Somehow I remembered you today and checked to see if you have a website, and I've just finished reading the interview. Now with the good reminder that I am not alone, I am going back to my various drawing boards to kick more ass than I ever have (older more powerful). Thanks for the inspiration.
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002
Subject: Bomb From: Mohammed in Cairo
Your SPIRITUS MUNDI card is da bomb! Kudos, girls.
Date: Wed 30 Oct, 2002
Subject: Rape at the Air Force Academy
Since I have been here at the air force academy I know of many females who have been sexually assaulted (including myself)...and the academy has done close to nothing to provide recourse, assistance or aid to the victims....the program they do have is inadequate, and fact is most girls who are raped end up leaving on their own after being pushed out by the system, or if they choose to stay endure so much political garbage that most of the time it deters them from reporting at all. The office of special investigations here has been known to purposely and negligently foil necessary evidence for rape victims...all in the name of protecting the academy's reputation. Is there anything that can be done? Can your office help some how?
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002
Subject: Gorilla is not Guerilla
I fully support your movement.The act of anonymous protest is great, the message does get through, but I do have a concern about the misrepresentation that your group possesses. The animal Gorilla, is an ape, while South American Military Soldiers are Guerilla, pronounced “Ger-reeeya” for all those phenetic spanish speaking people. The association that Guerilla, or Guerilla Warfare is somehow misused and mispronounced “Gorilla” is also a sad truth about human nature and society, similar to the overlooking of talented women artists throughout the centuries. Now I understand that it is done in a tongue and cheek delivery, but regardless of a “humor meets truth” campaign, it pains me to see such an important organization as yourselves downgraded by inconsistencies and social stereotypes, from which we are all fighting to break free.
Date: 15 Oct 2002
Subject: Call her mister?
Thank you for coming to Cornell University last Friday. My friends and I were moved and encouraged by your words. We are all seniors, and hope to pursue careers in creative writing, fine arts, and medicine.
My mother is a Japanese professional painter in Atlanta, GA. She agrees with you: in Atlanta, she says, men tend to get the vast majority of one-person shows and awards. Also, when my mother's work is published in a collection, the article usually calls her “Mr.” She laughs (and asks them to change it in their next edition).
Date: 10 Oct 2002
Subject: Sexist prof
i am writing to inform you of an oppressive art professor at wells college. here's the story- said professor, lets call him A.W.(asswipe) has made it impossible for me to graduate from the art program at wells college..i came here to complete my studies as an artist and came up against a man who couldnt say the word lesbian when i conferred with him on my independent study..he looked at a Kathe Kollowitz photocopy i had hanging in my studio and asked if it was a Picasso!!!!!!!!!!!NO JUSTICE YET!!!!!! HELPHELPHELP!!!
From: Women Unprinted
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002
Subject: The discriminating New Yorker magazine
In pitching stories as a freelance writer I've become aware, really aware, of how very bad things are out there for women who want to write for “intellectual” magazines. I could go on and on--but hopefully you'll hear about it. If you haven't already seen it http://mobylives.com keeps an ongoing tally of how few women the New Yorker publishes--it's on the right hand column of the page, scroll down.
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002
Subject: NIGERIAN STONING
now im sure you've heard, nigeria is hosting the 2002 miss world universe blah blah pageant. as we know, they still have instituted deeply, horrific laws punishing women for various crimes. at the moment a woman is awaiting her sentence to be stoned to death for bearing a son outside of wedlock. several countries, such as france, have already pulled out of the pageant as a political statement. now im an 18 yr old student in new zealand, and much domestic debate is going on regarding the issue of our own contestant to withdraw. our female prime-minister has publically announced it would be a 'bad look' for new zealand, and much discussion is occuring on the media front as to whether a beauty pageant should be mixed with poltics. 1981 in new zealand saw a very testing time for ourselves. an event occured which closely parallels the dilemma we are facing now. the south african springbok rugby team was touring and huge protests occured as we felt we shouldnt have been supporting a country in sport, that supported a political system such as appartheid. the same principle has been laid once more on the new zealand bbq table. so GUERRILLA GIRLS!! perhaps u r able to sway either the nigerian government, or indeed new zealands? this is a dismay to myself first of all, that young woman still compete in such events, but more so that they dont have the guts to use it in a selfless fashion. your faithful supporter.
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002
Subject: right on!!!girl mechanic
I am a girl mechanic. I had the WORST time trying to get someone to hire me even though I was one of the best students to come out of my diesel program at school. My teacher (bless his heart) was tearing his hair out trying to get all those male supervisors to give me a chance, but to no avail. Poor Mr. Lowe even had to bust some chops when I came back from an interview saying the foreman had asked if I was going to get “knocked-up” by the other male mechanics. (The foreman lost his job for that). So right on with your crusade!!! And I totally agree with you. If women would stop obsessing over the way they looked, we'd kick serious fill-in-the-blanks. Who freakin' cares what you look like?? Is it THEIR body? HELL NO!! So drop 'em like a toliet seat and do your own thing!
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002
Subject: MoMa doesn't know best
I am sure I am not the first to point this out BUT just in case it has slipped the radar...MOMA is continuing to exclude women from its canon of Modern Art History. The current exhibition at MOMA of over seventy-five of the museums most favorite works is sorely lacking in its inclusion of important women artists. I guess with the appointment of Kynastin McShine as their new director we should not expect much more and maybe less? I counted only 3 women artists, Agnes Martin, Yajora Kusuma, and Louise Bourgoise.
Date: 14 September 2002
Subject: This Offends Women— offensive music ads
I am a student at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. We have a very large communications department with Cinema, Photography, Journalism, Radio/Television, Speech Communication, IT, etc. I have recently been active in feminism and the school is in need of a feminist movement. Recently, several other feminist artists and I have been attaching stickers (inspired by your website) that read “THIS OFFENDS WOMEN” to all the offensive music ads in town. They are mostly ads for bands who use half-naked women to sell their show (i.e. $1 off for women wearing daisy dukes, etc). The woman's image has nothing to do with the band. Today, the school paper featured a column of a woman who said that the “sticker phantom” was wrong and that this imagery does not offend women and that we need to be put in our place. I was appalled. She actually said that the reason the “sticker phantom” was doing this because she was insecure and ugly herself and that feminists are a bunch of whiney brats. I almost expected a response from men, but not women. It just goes to show how far we need to reach our message. Women are constantly objectified in music from music videos to cd jackets to concert posters.
My friends and I are still putting up about 50 stickers a day on offensive ads and we hope that we get through to people. We are also thinking of posting female facts around campus.
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002
Subject: women being murdered all over the world
I just watched a documentary about the horrible murders in Juarez, Mexico where young women are being kidnapped, sexually abusded, tortured, murdered, and then set on fire. Between 350 and 400 women have been killed in the past few years. Nothing has really being done about it. Also, I am hearing more and more about the “honor killings” in places such as Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, and probably numerous other countries I can't think of at the moment. In our own country, young girls and young women are being kidnapped, sexually abused, and killed. Why are men torturing and abusing women all over the world? It seems to be on the rise. Why aren't human rights groups and women's groups outraged and screaming to high heaven about this? Why aren't we condemning the Mexican government for the corruption in the police departments (many Juarez police are suspected of being involved in the killings mentioned above and they regularly rape female inmates) and why aren't they doing more to find these killers? Why aren't we condemning governments where violent acts against women are tolerated and viewed as acceptable? I'll bet you could do something creative with this topic. I am truly outraged and disturbed. It's usually not women commiting these terrible crimes. Of all the things people decide to protest or picket, I would think this would be at the top of the list.
I appreciate your work and your creative way of presenting sensitive topics.From: Lots of Australian film makers
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002
Subject: Double Take at Third Take: Where Are the Women?
In their book Third Take: Australian Film-makers Talk, editors Raffaele Caputo and Geoff Burton seek to position Australian cinema in a globalised world. This is, of course, an interesting and important point of discussion for Australian film culture. The double take is this: the Australian filmmakers who are given the opportunity to 'talk' are all men. There are no women interviewed. Not only that, but also there is no acknowledgment of the absence of women, not in the introduction, not in the interviews, not in the introductions to the various sections, not anywhere. Not one comment on what is an extraordinary oversight. According to the AFC Get the Picture, 6th Edition, based on the 1996 Census figures, approximately 33% of people working in Audio Visual industries are women. Wake up! It's 2002 not 1972! Women are important, intelligent, interesting and invaluable contributors to Australian Screen Industry! And we are bloody sick of have to say so.
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002
Subject: GGs in Cunt by Inga Muscio
I just finished reading Cunt by Inga Muscio. I hated the
idea of buying her book I had to read for school, I opened it and never put
it down until I was done, even read the credits etc. She raves about the Guerrilla
Girls. Now I understand why. You know I was not blessed with amazing artistic
ability, but I am in school at the University of Maryland, and I have a family
(huuby and a 3 year old). ANd sometimes its so frustrating to hear, especially
from women the comment, “Oh wow you are majoring in BioChemistry, thats
very unusual for a woman.” WHY??? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY???????? What is
interesting is that over all, the majority of those who are in college are
WOMEN so why should it be strange or out of the ordinary for awomen to study
I want to walk around my college campus and not look like a giant, walking blow job.
I want my son to respect women.
I want to see a movie star who weighs more than a 100 pounds.
I want to not think of a diet as starving myself, but as a way to keep myself healthy for the years to come.
I want to see a high ranking military official have a frickin cunt.
I want.....some things I will never see.
I am right now printing out stickers of your posters and STICKERS. I am going to plaster D.C. and MD with them and make some of my own.
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002
Subject: galleries are masculine spaces
I have only recently found out about your group and totally agree with what u say, and love the way you say it!!. I think your right, the art world is still dominated by men who think that women's art is trivial and they need a wake up call. Oooh, am feeling all angry now!! :-) I am a 23 year old Museum Studies student at Leicester University, England and am currently writing my dissertation, which is focused upon the extent that Traditional and contemporary galleries are masculine spaces which serve to exclude women. Throughout this piece of writing I hope to expose the contemporary art world itself for being a male dominated and therefore traditional in its operation. Thank you for being out there and making people realise that gender difference is not a natural entity but is a social construct.
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002
Subject: MEN! THROW OFF YOUR TIES!
My name is Harry. I'm 41 years of age and, I'm a British citizen (that's 3 reasons you might have to dislike me already!) I became aware of yourselves as a result of my wife's studying for a degree in fine art.
I've been doing the same job for the last 15 years and, I'll freely admit that I am a scruffy bloke. “Hippy” is probably how most would describe my appearance. As you may or may not be aware, in the U.K., more and more large employers are adopting the strict dress codes of U.S. corporate employers. I've just fallen victim to that trend and, am no longer free to choose my own attire. I now have to wear a collar and tie, etc. “So what?”, I hear you say.
Here's what! All of us male staff have to wear a collar and tie. Female staff may merely, “dress appropriately”.
Surely a situation to the advantage of the female? Not so. Following the activism of the 1960's and '70's, many women, particularly in the U.S., started to climb the corporate ladder and, power-dressed in order to do it. Their dress mimicked that of their male colleagues - with one, important exception. Yep. The collar and tie. Although some women do wear ties, it's unusual and, in many cases, is for novelty value only. Semiotically-speaking, the collar and tie are the signifiers of a the “glass ceiling” for women, in this patriarchal civilization.
My idea, is that maybe in the “bra-burning” of the 1970's, the Women's Movement chose the wrong signifier for male oppression. Maybe, a more suitable candidate would have been the predominantly male collar and tie. Many males (myself included) are oppressed by the imposition of this signifier and, most of us don't know why. I think that I've now worked that one out. It represents subjugation. If it represents that to me, how much more might it do so for women?
A lttle global collar and tie subversion might be in order, but I'm not in a position to do much about that. That's why I'm writing to you. Best of luck with all of your future stunts.
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2002
Subject: Gorilla bashing
DO YOU WANT A CIVIL WAR!?! THINK! what you are doing is very old fashioned, whatever rights or social preferences you have now are as good as its going to get, as their are larger issues that need to be tackled, in reference to this site, you are petty foolish young girls, and you are creating irreversible problems for females everywhere, if the hammer strikes the slate, you will be crushed if need be.
Date: Fri, 17 May 2002
Subject: Howdy from a Feminist FAG
Hey Girrrls! I am a NYC feminist fag and a huge fan. I love what you girrls have done over the past 30 or so years. I also appreciate that you include us homo folks in your efforts. I wanted to share an observation. While on your site today I saw that you have chosen to refer to homosexuality as sexual preference. I kindly and humbly remind you girrrrls that while behavior is a choice (I choose to eat ice cream, I choose to cross the street on the red light, I choose to bark back at anti gay politicians) but identity and orientation is not a choice. I would NEVER refer to the sexual identity and behavior of a heterosexual as a preference. Perhaps his is something you might take into consideration. Keep up the amazing work and thank you for all your efforts!!!
Note from the Guerrilla Girls: Hey, you're right. We thought we always used “sexual orientation,” but in our Top Ten Token poster in 1995 we did use “preference.”
Date: Fri, 17 May 2002
Subject: Size does matter
hello, i just wanted to say, in the words of Alanis, isn't it ironic that you have all this propaganda about popular culture and the media telling us what we're supposed to look like, yet your t-shirts only go up to a size “xl”. Interesting.
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002
Subject: i have a gorilla mask too.
thanks so much for coming to my school, college for creative studies. you were wonderful. my school needs to be exposed to what is really going on. your work has been a inspiration. my buddy attended the show with me and said “yeah, but what they stand for only decreases my chances of being successful.” i was kind of angry that he didnt get it. i told him, if your work is real and from the heart, you would support these issues and have nothing to worry about. i am a visionary artist, but a white male. im sure i was female in one of my past lives, besides we are eachother. keep it up and come back to michigan.
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002
Subject: A Muslim feminist who covers
I attend George Mason University and am proud to say I saw your lecture on April 11th. I had only heard of the Guerrilla Girls this spring semester and my art history professor encouraged us to attend. I want to thank you for standing up not just for us as women, but humanity in general. I have quite a number of things working against me. I am female, a Muslim who chooses to cover, and half Iranian. I have been called just about every name there is, such as terrorist, towel head, bitch, and the list could go on. I am grateful that these things have only made me stronger. I know that we Muslim women are often viewed as oppressed, and I cannot denythat the governments of certain Arab countries mispercieve Islam not only for themselves but their people and the entire world. According to the Quran it is a woman's choice if she wants to cover. Women in fact, are viewed as superior. According again to the Quran men and women are made of the same nafs(soul) the root of the word being female. The first person to convert to islam was a woman, Mohammad's wife, and one of our most powerful leaders is Mohammad's daughter, Fatimeh. Well, my reason for writing this e-mail is not just to thank you, but to ask something of you. I was hoping that the Guerrilla Girls could help and be a voice that makes it clear that it's okay for Muslim women to cover, obviously only if they themselves choose to. We Muslim women need to know that we have support for doing what we believe, just as we support others in doing what they believe. We women need to know that we are not hated by other women, not viewed as oppressed, but that we are beautiful too. I for one am an English major and minoring in film, and plan on directing. I want to be one of the women who will get a best director Oscar, maybe even the first. And how amazing would that be to not just have a woman up there, but a Muslim woman. I do not planon letting anything get in my way, or letting anything push me down. My scarf does not hold me back, rather it pushes meforward, into the open for people to see and recognize, to say what the like, think what they like. I plan on continuing to stand for my fellow women, Muslim or not.
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002
Subject: tech industry
There are still so few women that work in the IT world... and this article on techinformer.com says the numbers just got worse! According to this article, young girls would rather be undertakers than work in IT. Undertakers! Here's the article. http://www.techinformer.com/go.cgi
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002
Subject: Music industry
I saw your Oscar billboard and it is frankly just TRUE. Big Kudos for that. I wanted to point out a conference to you, called EAT'M. It is held in Las Vegas May 29, 30, 31st every year. This conference gathers all the “big“ people in the music business. Everyone who could change the music industry's view on women will be there. As far as I know there are only 2 female major label A&R (they have the power to sign bands to a record label) and neither of them were invited to this conference. Last year, there was only one all female band invited to play the conference. They are named LO-BALL. They actually did get signed to A&M records but only AFTER they replaced their “fat” female band mmebers. So the slimmed-down version of them can be seen playing around Los Angeles. Mind you this is a rock band and not a dance singing group. Second, in this year's performance line-up (one token female band) is a band called PORN ROCK. They are a band of x-porn stars that all strip naked during their performance. Wonder what they will be asked to do to get signed? Probably not replace their “fat” band members. The website for this conference is www.eat-m.com in case you need to go there and depress yourself. The sad part about this conference is that it is run by a woman. Uggghhh. Your supporter in the bowels of the music industry, Flamegrrl
Date: 21 Mar 2002
Subject: To whoever is responsible for the Oscar's billboard:
THANK YOU! I just saw the billboard on the the NBC news here in Los Angeles and I think you are brilliant. You're totally right: Oscar's are for and by white males. Thank you for bringing attention to this subject. Fight on!
Date: Tue 20 Mar 2002
Subject: The Larry Elder Show
Like lots of people I listen to Larry Elder on the radio every day on the way home from work. I can't ever remember a guest holding their own and stating their case better than Kathe did today. She did a wonderful job of representing her point of view to an audience that had been primed by Larry to disagree with her. I bet Larry goes home tonight muttering that he never faced a tougher guest. Too bad she's not on my side.
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002
You lament women's lack of Oscars and general representation in Hollywood. Have you ever worked in Hollywood? Have you ever endured the misery, backstabbing, superficiality and general nonsense that goes on at studios, agencies and on the set? You claim to uphold the world of art, but you should know full well that most what goes on in Hollywood, creative though it may be, pales in comparison to true art (regardless of which gender created it). I think it's a genuine credit to the female gender that they allow men to be the ones to act like babies in Armani suits, and I would hope that many women would forgo Hollywood for more sensible, rewarding careers.
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002
While your site is at times charming, entertaining, provocative and alluring it is quite disturbing that you promote vandalizing public/private property. These kind of hystrionic antics only serve to defeat your purpose.Please practice more discipline in the future. Plastering a film theater bathroom with hundreds of your stickers only serves to alienate the general public and the property owner. It does NOTHING to promote your cause. You need to study Agit Prop tactics that were adeptly used during the Russian Revolution and the 1930's and 1940's. Agit Prop is an abbreviation for “Agitational Propaganda”. Used deftly with humour, elan and panache it kind be incredibly effective. However, you hijinks are puerile and juvenile - there is no honor in your behavior in promoting these childish tactics. It only gives the impression that you are politically unsophisticated and lack the tactical/strategic skills to do serious social change. I am 47 and was a little girl growing up in the 1960's. I was of the pioneering feminist generation. Trust me - obnoxious, confrontational tactics will get you NOWHERE. Vandalizing public/private property is just a few notches below blowing up abortion clinics......where do you intend to draw the line ? You are blurring a line that should not be crossed. Sexism is vile, however you are stooping down to the level of the miscreants in Hollywood who discriminate against women. There are more inventive, creative ways to overthrow the system. Your stunts remind me a great deal of the nitwits at Earth First and Act Up. Neither of those organizations have any credibility with anyone of consequence. They get lots of publicity, but accomplish very little. Please understand you only get ONE chance to make a first impression with the public. Don't blow it. I am an ardent feminist. Part of what has given feminism a bad name is the hystrionic antics of undisciplined, rash, puerile people who engage in undisciplined actions that are poorly planned. Another HUGE problem within what passes for the “feminist community” is horrific infighting, back stabbing and byzantine intrigues that would make Machiavelli blush. The reason why Corporate Mafia and Merchant Prince Robber Barons rule the world is because they are focused, well organized and professional. They do not engage in childish stunts and pointless antics such as vandalizing public/private property. In a democracy people have the right to make fools out of themselves. You've done a phenomenal job of acting like jerks. That is the beautiful thing about America. Everyone has the right to act like a jackasss. Let Freedom Ring - Goddess Bless America !
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002
Subject: flea bitten, toothless dykes
The hell with you feminists groups. You are all a bunch of bent out of shape, flea bitten, toothless dykes who can't get a man even if you had a $1000.00 bill pinned to your forehead. This is a MAN'S WORLD and by golly, good or bad, always remember : God created MAN out of his own flesh and blood. So stop all your cry baby whining a complaining and stand on your own two feet and get your crap together without hiding behind the guise of The Feminist Movement. Women would not exist if men did not supply the sperm first. Cry, cry , cry, cry, cry, cry...etc.
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002
Subject: Angry Christians
I am a male art fan and collector. I am embarrassed to admit that i do have nudes of women in my collection. I am proud to admit that I am also relieved to have groups like you fighting and arguing for a change of attitude and practice in the way women are portrayed and recognized. Thank you. I read some of the mail you got from not so happy people like the guilt ridden white men and Christian men. Well, i'm a Christian man, and I thank god that there are open minded people like you who are willing to take a stand against repression and the idea I grew up with that women are objects and not people who deserve to be represented and celebrated respectfully and equally. Thank you and god bless you for your good and Christian work grrrrls. I'd rather share a pew in church with you than with the angry Christian hate ridden men who have written you. Thanks.
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002
Subject: Help report sleazy Hollywood “manager”
I found you from the Billboard on Melrose and Highland. That is great and I thought you may be able to help me.I am an actress and am so tired and discouraged by the creepy old men who pose as managers/producers/filmmakers to lure women because they are lonely and bored. We should post a board with the names of these men and our experiences with them. Sometimes their actions are not illegal, so there is no recourse to take.
Recently I was asked to meet with such a manager. He reminded me of a child molester. His hook was to call in women who have been pursuing an acting career for several years, tell them that they are getting old and they must not be doing something right. He says he has the key. He required his clients to come over and hang out with him so that he knows how to sell them. Funny but he wasn't interested in seeing my work in a current stage show. He also had a file on me with my SSN, address, DOB, places I have worked (i.e., restaurants, offices). Way too much information. Then he wanted me to “reveal my secrets,” and also offered to “pop my back” although I never mentioned any back pain. This is so disheartening and frightening. His name is David (something-he never gave me a business card). His company is Best Artists Management on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. Let me know if you can help stop other women from having to experience this puts. Thanks.
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2002
Subject: audio production
Firstly, I would like to say that I love/appreciate what you all do, and please don't stop. I am a 20 year old audio production student in seattle, and am, as a female, VERY outnumbered in this program...males to females are 4:1 if not worse. I am wondering what your opinions/ideas are on women in the music business/industry. It's great (yet disappointing) to see the facts revealed on women who aren't included in a lot of the 'boys' games such as the oscars and what not, yet I'm sure you all know it's just as bad for women in music. The Grammy's are horrible, every women has to strip like britney spears or appear on the cover of Maxim to gain some credibility. Thank you,from someone who will one day change the male music world and who is also patiently waiting for the GG's to come to seattle)
Sat, 9 Mar 2002
Subject: Vienna Philharmonic and Jazz at Lincoln Center
Hey you grrrrrrrls are great! I attended your performance this week in New Orleans. I'm a transplant here from Boston, a musician (gasp trumpet player, gawd, can girls really play trumpet???). Anyhow, I wanted to make you aware of a couple of gender flaps in the music world in NYC. First, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (funded with public money) hires no women players. A friend of mine in NYC, a trombonist/women's activist, has mounted a fight over this. Five years ago she successfully led a well publicized battle over the Vienna Philharmonic's gender and racist policies. The VPO will be performing in NYC and there will be pickets there. Hey, I know you're fighting lotsa battles, but any chance you could help with either of these fights?
Wed, 27 Feb 2002
Subject: THE ANATOMICALLY CORRECT OSCAR: A MANLY POINT OF VIEW
While sitting at home eating meaty flesh products and reading a stirring article on campaign finance in this month's Hustler forum online, I came across your campaign of the THE ANATOMICALLY CORRECT OSCAR. I feel that I must point out the fallacies that lie within your debate, which is actually the entire argument you propose, but I'll only point out a few of these to you.
We redesigned the old boy so he more closely resembles the white males who take him home each year? Now, while you do have a correct start on the Oscar statue, I thought I should bring to light the flaws in your design that should be added to heighten the impact of your campaign. The statue of the Oscar should also be standing over a whimpering woman in an apron on her hands and knees, with her back to Oscar, cleaning the kitchen floor. Oscar should have a forty once bottle of King Cobra malt liquor in his left hand and in his right, he should be wielding a rubber hose, cocking back to beat her senseless. He should have the expression of laughter or great joy on his face at all times.
Did you know that no woman has ever won the Oscar for Best Director? This is an interesting question you pose. Allow me to ask you one, good sir. Did you know that no current woman director has made a film worthy of winning an Oscar for Best Director? And please, save yourself some dignity, don't say Amy Heckerling. Her body of work, well, it speaks for itself. What's that? What about Jodie Foster you say? Nell was a real Tour de Force.
That 94% of the writing awards have gone to men? I agree somewhat with you on this point Frau Farbissina, but then again you don't see Danielle Steele writing Memento for the screen do you? Jackie Collin's Lucky character is so compelling and it's a crime she hasn't been brought to the screen! I don't understand how women haven't been nominated for a writing Oscar. Romance novels are great material for movies! No one likes sci-fi, drama, or action adventure films. Just romance novels adapted for film, with paintings of Fabio on the front of each script treatment.
No woman has ever won an Oscar for Cinematography or Sound? Correct. Next question.
Or that only 3% of all the acting awards-lead and supporting-have ever gone to people of color. Ah, the old standby, ye ole race card. The difference here is, minorities care about racial equality, whereas you don't. This is just a fallback for your group to claim victory when a minority wins this year, just so you can feel like you've achieved something, by riding someone else's coat-tails. Don't kid yourself. Minorities win because they are talented members of the industry, not because some femi-nazi group whose batteries in their vibrators have gone dead, decide to picket the Oscars instead of a fashion show.
Even 85% of the make-up awards have gone to men? Stan Winston's the MAN!
Well, I hope this has been helpful and will help your cause. I'd write more, but there is a really great porn on right now and I've gotta go re-new my subscription to Swank Magazine. Maybe later I'll go hunting.
Tue, 19 Feb 2002
Subject: Keeping out the Promise Keepers
We are a group of women who fight against sexual violence and the battering of women and children. I thought I might share with you our last guerrilla demonstration before Sept 11. Are you aware of the Christian Men's group called the Promise Keepers? Their platform is that men must take leadership in the family, promote the values of family, chastity and pro life (anti choice or no choice). The men advertised this event as 2000 men coming together to fight the hateful, destructive values of those feminist women who all hate men and are all a bunch of dykes anyway don't you know. We absolutely blew them away when we organized outside the arena they were meeting in. I have to admit 2000 men was a scary scenario (in reality it was about 600) but that was plenty. They poured out of the arena to see us. Then they got abusive. Yelling things like Come on over here girls, we'll give you a banana. Our placards were that wonderful mix of political statements and humour that your group has modeled so well. Mine read Jeepers Creepers, where did you get those Keepers? Jeepers Creepers, where do they get those lies?
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002
I'm sure you get multiple email praising all of you for the amazing work you perform, and mind is simply another. Though I haven't been privileged enough to view your work first hand I have read every book you have published and continue to yearn for more. Studying the arts I am in debt to you for making my future far more potentially successful than prior to your work. I looked deeper into the issues of sexual inequality after becoming engulfed by your work, and soon found I had a passion within me that had never before been triggered. I write for my school newspaper and although I have a difficult time gaining acceptance for my articles which address topics high schoolers ignore, I gained admiration from people who can now see the light. You have opened by eyes to the world around me and given me inspiration in fighting against the wrongs and injustices. I love you and all that you stand for.