Gender, Graffiti, and the City

In all of the discussions we have held in the classroom so far, I found myself drawn mostly towards the topic of graffiti. This particular art form is something that has always held great interest for me simply because I admire those who have the skills in order to create such magnificent pieces of art and expression. While researching this particular topic I stumbled upon an aspect that piqued my interest, which included women in graffiti. Gender studies has always been a particular topic of interest to me simply because I love learning about gender roles throughout history, and I also enjoy seeing how men and women are seen differently when related to particular subjects. Once I stumbled upon this topic I found myself realizing that when i typically think about graffiti, in my mind I automatically associate it with males. 


The first site I stumbled upon dealt specifically with New York graffiti artists. According to the site, women as graffiti artists began to acquire attention in the early 1970s. This struck another interest of mine because once again, when I think of graffiti I think about it in more of a modern setting such as the 90s. This just shows the lack of knowledge I have on this particular subject. Moving on, while women artists began to gain attention in the early 70s, it seems that there were still not a lot of women were not active writers. That was until an artist by the name of LADY PINK came along. She became one of the most accomplished female writer in 1979 to date.


As a woman, I find myself constantly admiring the boldness of other women when it comes to making a name for themselves. I think this admiration started in a class that I took about a year back. It was a 19th century British Lit class with a focus on “the New Woman”. While I have always been aware that women have had to overcome a lot more obstacles than men throughout history, I don’t think I ever really appreciated their efforts until after that class. For a female graffiti artist to become as well recognized as this LADY PINK did, especially during a time when men primarily ruled the art is quite extraordinary to me. It takes a very strong woman to stand up, rise above the stereotypes, and do what she really wants to accomplish.




Female graffiti artists are much more typical in today’s time, and according to the site, the commitment of these artists is much more than those artists before them. In fact, according to another site I found, these women graffiti artists like LADY PINK are some of the most well known artists across the world. This site also says that men have a multitude of attributes that can be associated with their graffiti, but for women it is mostly based upon their sex. Therefore, women typically have written in places such as restrooms because they feel safer here. Graffiti seems to be an exceptionally difficult area for women to feel comfortable excelling in; however despite these challenges there are thousands of women contesting the odds and rising up as amazing artists.


Women Graffiti Artists: Changing the Landscape Worldwide





Filed under City Cultures

4 responses to “Gender, Graffiti, and the City

  1. cmb0030

    Very awesome post. I have always been interested in graffiti myself. I think this would be a very interesting approach to a potential final paper. I would like to see more pictures in your actual post, maybe even videos. I know the link shows it, but I would also like to be able to see a picture of the LANDY PINK and her work as I am reading about it. Can you relate this to Auburn and Auburn University in any way? Would you consider the sidewalk chalk that pops up on the concourse at times as graffiti? Thanks again, keep posting!

  2. saltysnail27

    In my women’s studies class last fall, we talked about this concept. Through research we found out that a lot of things that have been discovered, created, and assumed to be male dominated were actually products of the female mind. Penicillin for example was an old folk remedy that the wives of female loggers used on their husbands. Elvis Presley stole the song “you ain’t nothin but a hound dog” from a woman as well. I think that any revolution or new thing or trend that arises is almost always credited as a man thing. It is common for us to associate things in terms of gender. I think that this is completely wrong and often creates an untrue or skewed view of culture and art. GREAT POST!!

  3. You’ve gotten some good feedback already, and I’d love to see you work on this in a longer paper. One thing you’ll really want to think about as we do the readings and screenings in class this week: how do women experience urban space differently? That might give some critical grounding to your (correct) gut feeling that graffiti is mostly associated with men. I think there’s a movie you might want to check out too. It’s called Wild Style, and it stars Lady Pink.

  4. Thanks for the awesome feedback guys! I am really considering expanding this for the final because once I started reading about it I found I became more and more interested, so it would potentially be my final paper. It also help to know that there are a few of you interested in women graffiti. Saltysnail27, thanks for your input as well! I wasn’t aware of a few of those things so you definitely helped me see that I can research a lot deeper into things I had no idea women were involved in.

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s