F you, F everybody
It may occur to you that adopting aliases like Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe and Gertrude Stein in the name of overturning society’s stereotypes of women is a touch self-defeating and smacks just slightly of dorm-room activism. Well, lighten up. Besides, to invoke those names while dressed in rubber gorilla masks and cavorting publicly to the general embarrassment of government officials; arts-and-culture honchos; and various other, lower-level, misogynists is quite another matter. That takes things to a different level. That is what the Guerrilla Girls do.
They’ve been active since 1985, but goodness knows they haven’t run out of material. “We declare ourselves feminist counterparts to the mostly male tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Batman and the Lone Ranger,” they say. Often and rightly, it has been observed that they use the F-word—feminist—liberally. The good they do, as a counterforce to persistent gender and racial discrimination, is prolific. The Guerrilla Girls make books (Bitches, Bimbos, and Ballbreakers: The Guerrilla Girls’ Illustrated Guide to Female Stereotypes, for example), T-shirts, posters, stickers and goofy awareness-raising performance-art events, like the free one they’ve got planned for tonight (the 17th) at 7:30 in the University Union Ballroom at California State University, Sacramento.
Membership, in case you are wondering, is anonymous and exclusive. “A few years ago,” the Girls say, “some new members joined who were impressed by our reputation but disagreed with our sense of humor. They wanted us to start organizing seminars and writing position papers. They lived out the stereotype of feminists with no sense of humor. We had to kiss them goodbye.” Hurry up and call (916) 278-4323 for tickets, or if you don’t make it in time, visit www.guerrillagirls.com.