UNIT 7: Suffragettes to She-Devils (Bib)

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Intro

- Modern feminists have analysed and interrogated patriarchy in all its forms - religion, education, language, history, the arts and culture - resulting in a shift in our definition of politics, and indeed our expectations of society itself.

- As an evolving movement, the struggle for women's rights has involved not one philosophy, but many. Methods have varied tremendously, but all could be drawn togther by a common bond: the will to change and improve the lives of women, and in doing so, to transform the lives of all. 

- This book is a design-source book.

 

From first wave feminism to 1960s

- womens struggle can be understood as part of a continuum, in league with each other , women connecting across countries

- lots of feminist propeganda

 

Women's Social and Political Union

- wanted to chieve vote by any means necessary

- lead by Pankhursts

- fashioned itself after an army, Emmeline Pankhurst as autocratic ruler

- the cause was a crusade

- postcards/leaflets/speakers/posters/newspapre 'Votes For Women' etc

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Below are the posters from campaigns against the suffragettes, mocking them and creating a stereotype that all the women who were part of the movement were neglecting their families. Lots also made out as if the suffragettes were just the lonely women who hadn't get been able to find a man, and so this desperation has lead them to put all their energy into the movement.

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Here are some sufragette campaign posters.

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Next, we move into WW2 where the women were then desperately need in the factorys, and the many other positions that now needed to be filled due to the men leaving for the army. This was a step in the right direction, as the women proved to the men that they were fully capable of working in the industries previously only considered male ocupations. However, the negatives of this was that it was not particularly a choice of government, or a sign of social change, it was out of necessity and the working conditions were brutal, the women were effectively exploited. In addition, the campaigns still belittled the women in "even a little can help a lot", suggesting "a little" is all women could give.

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Barbara Kruger was an artist who featured feminist ideas a lot in her work, she was known for her bold, sarcastic comments used in her work, using block colours, very bold and graphic. Her work will have helped to spread ideas as she is well known, even to this day, and her pieces were almost like campaigns by themselves.

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Linder Sterling was a radical feminist and a well-known figure of the Manchester punk and post-punk scene, Sterling was known for her montages, which often combined images taken from pornographic magazines with images from women's fashion and domestic magazines, particularly those of domestic appliances, making a point about the cultural expectations of women and the treatment of female body as a commodity.

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The about is a photo of a collection 'Friends of Anita' matchbooks to be given out at US newsstands (where it was quite common to be given free matchbooks) to spread the message. By Laura Cottingham and Marlene McCarty.

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Below and above are designs for conferences on the topic of "The Politics of the Body', concerning women in the media. The 1990s witnessed the ongoing battle against oppressive representations of women in the media, as well as new examples of women using their bodies to create their own power-messages for political causes. This pamphlet was distributed at the conference and used to encourage debate via workshop discussion, and later it generated even more discussion through the design press. It called all designers to look more critically at the image-making process, while also delivering a strong reminder of the need to be responsible and sensitive to the various communities being addressed. 

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After the war, the post-cosumerism "happy housewife" phase started, a leap back, in a sense, encouraging women to stay in the kitchen, speak when spoken to, an accessory of the husband.

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1990s

- about breaking down the security of gender barriers and the exploration of new roles and identities - crossdressing, androfyny, role reversal, non-gender, transgender

- the grundge style created a defiant form of self-expression through sexual confrontation, aggression and hard-driving energy

- Riot Girl movement wrote slut on themselves to claim back the word, created their own underground music culture 

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Fighting back: targeting stereotypes and langauge

- 1990s saw artists and designers everywhere targeting all forms of stereotyping and laguage use and abuse

- this exploratory process applied a magnifier to the everyday 'little' irritations that women constantly endure

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Above is a postcard names 'Just Like Tina Turner' by Claudette Dunkley 1995 which I find very relevant to oppression, as a general, not specific to women, and it reminds me of sarcastic work by the other feminist artists in this book. It has a wittiness and a humourous side, which I feel catches more people's attention than if she were to state simply "I hate it when white people think all black people look the same.", having a point people can relate to, is much more inspiring. 

Below are tshirts designed by Karen Savage 1992, to show the duality of stereotying to which women are subjected to, similar to the phase the Pussy Riot started of drawing words such as 'slut' on themselves, to reclaim the word.

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