Whatever life a woman leads, from biker chick to society girl, there's a stereotype she'll have to live down. The Guerrilla Girls, notorious for their outrageous take on women's issues, now tackle the maze of stereotypes that follow women from cradle to grave. With subversive use of information-and great visuals-they explore the history and significance of stereotypes like Old Maid, Trophy Wife, and Prostitute with a Heart of Gold. They tag the Top Types, examine sexual slurs, explain the evolution of butches and femmes, and delve into the lives of real and fictional women who have become stereotypes, from Aunt Jemima to Tokyo Rose to June Cleaver. The Guerrilla Girls' latest assault on injustice towards women will make people laugh, make them mad, and maybe even make them change their minds.
The Guerrilla Girls, a group of anonymous feminists with a Web site and a taste for taking on gender discrimination, have merciless fun with the idea of female stereotypes in this campy illustrated book. From Ballbreakers and Vamps to Hags and Dumb Blondes, they outline all the archetypes that have managed to find their way into popular culture, thereby "saving the world from sexists and misogynists everywhere, and having fun along the way." By reclaiming these negative terms, and even celebrating them, the words lose their pejorative power, the authors' argue. At times, their material seems too unwieldy to be compressed into such a thin tome. The history of womankind in pop culture, from the iconic Aunt Jemima to quintessential tomboy Babe Didrickson, is obviously an encyclopedic undertaking, and the authors struggle to keep up. But readers have to admire the book's spirit and over-caffeinated pace, as well as its aggressively kitschy layout. With their philosophy-lite deconstruction of the worst slurs society has to offer, the Guerrilla Girls have turned discrimination on its head-and fashioned an entertaining read at the same time. (Aug. 26) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.