Artifact Investigative Paper on the Movie: Just One of the Guys (1985)

Artifact Investigative Paper on the Movie: Just One of the Guys (1985)


“Just one of the Guys” is a comedy film, which was released in the year 1985. Its title depicts a person trying to fit in as one of the ‘guys,’ in a social scenario. The film takes readers through the life of Terri Griffith (the character of Joyce Hyser) who is an aspiring journalist and article writer, living in Phoenix, Arizona. Terri feels that her gender and charmingly good looks are the prime reasons as to why her teachers do not take her articles and ideas seriously. The film was critically appraised upon release by grossing a total of 11 million dollars in the United States alone. According to the IMDB rating, it scored an overall of 6.5 out of the 10, which qualifies for a five-star rating. In essence, the film was a 3 star based on the ratings. The cast, which comprised of award-winning actors in the likes of, Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jacoby and Toni Hudson, were the prime reasons behind this marvel of a success story.

When Terry Griffith (Joyce Hyser) fails to secure a job as a newspaper intern, she immediately concludes that it is because of her feminine nature. She sets out to prove that women are undermined in the corporate world and that men overall have a better chance. Her adventures and misadventures are all merged into a fun action comedy with an overall message to the public on the importance of gender equality to the overall society. The film also grosses over the lengths a person may go through to be recognized for their efforts. This kind of determination is what everyone should be characterized by, to reap fruits. The discussion will first gross over the film’s plot and the overall conflict. It will then move over to discuss why the film is an important artifact for gender communication and peruse over the text’s principle characters. The next segment follows a review of gender concepts definition whilst at the same time relating them to the events of the movie hence further proving the overall relevance of the film to this particular discussion. The gender concepts will be further discussed as per the plot of the film and other factors such as character development. The overall evolution of the artifact’s storyline will also be discussed and a conclusion made based on the insights gathered based on the discussions.

Who, What, When, Where, Why and How

The following is a thorough overview of the movie itself and its tie to gender inequality. It covers aspects of the movie such as characters plot etc.

Who: Terri Griffith is the film’s main character. She is depicted as a young person with dreams of becoming a journalist and successful article writer in future. The entire story revolves around her state of being heartbroken due to the belief that her collection of newspapers and articles was declined following her feminist nature. She sets out to prove that the administration system is biased. Her little brother Buddy (Billy Jacoby) is the embodiment of laughter and adds to the comical/comedy genre of the entire film. Buddy helps Terri to disguise herself as a man so that she could submit the report and prove that the administration is gender biased. This disguising act is undertaken with the help of Denise (Toni Hudson) who is Terri’s best friend. The act also features Terri’s love interest Rick Morehouse (Clayton Rohner) who Terri helps to overcome her fear of talking to girls. Bullies form the order of the day at school led by Greg Tolan who is an obsessive bodybuilder. Other significant and notable characters include Kevin who is Terri’s college boyfriend and Sandy who becomes her potential new boyfriend prior to being set up on a blind date.

What: This segment characterizes the plot and the happenings of the movie. Terri Griffith feels defeated after notable numbers of her newspaper articles are rejected. She immediately concludes that the happening is due to her feminist nature and nothing else. With the help of her best friend, younger brother and some makeovers, she is transformed completely to look like a boy. She believes that if she were not female, more of her articles would be accepted. She dreams of becoming a successful journalist. Such is the example of willful determination. Her plan works out since she is recognized as a male based on her disguises leading to creation of the title “Just One of the Guys.” She eventually develops feelings for Rick the boy who she encouraged to start talking to girls and gave a transforming makeover.

Terri’s transformation of Rick was in fact extensively intense that he managed to get a date with one of the most beautiful girls in school to a prom. She is baffled when she submits her articles (as a boy) and still gets criticism for the writing. She immediately realizes that gender was not the factor behind her article’s rejection. On the night of the prom, Torri does the unexpected and tries to convince Rick that she loves him and that she is a girl. Rick denounces her angrily even after Terri proves to him more by revealing her breasts to him. Terri moves on to kiss him and prove her love for him. However, he ends up disowning her more. Terri retires back to her home and gives a detailed account on what it is like to be a woman in a man’s clothing. She details her whole experiences, and the article ends up being appraised. Terry realizes that her articles were being rejected solely because they lacked the creativity, which she had shown in that particular article.

When: The film was released during the year 1985. This was a time when most movies dealt with romance and matters of life. The coming decade dealt exclusively with blockbuster action titles including the Matrix and Men in Black. Therefore, it can be concluded that the film was released at a time most relevant to its standards. Songs also depicted this sense of romanticism and profound messages. A movie, which talks about gender inequality, was a welcome addition at that time. It paved the way for more such works of art to be written.

Where: The film was pre-set in Phoenix Arizona where the protagonist (Terri Grieffith) and her cast of friends and allies live. This was, in fact, the major filming location according to IMDB’s shared insight. Sub-locations that are more detailed include the Scottsdale, which is found in Arizona U.S.A. The location mainly showcased Terry and Buddy’s house. Bigsurf-1500 and McClintock Drive were also viable sites. In conclusion, the film widely takes place in Phoenix Arizona and does not deviate from the location.

Why: The film is a suitable artifact for showcasing the implications of gender inequality and the lengths people may go through to be socially accepted even if they are part of the undermined gender. It depicts a young girl with big dreams going to great lengths to be recognized in the rather male-dominated world. The movie hugely represents the society of today, which is riddled with gender inequality such that when one is denied the chance or freedom to do something, they immediately conclude that it is due to their genders and nothing else.

How: The film has effectively depicted the today’s society by showcasing a young woman in a male-dominated society trying hard to achieve her dreams. The society is so gender-biased that in the end she is forced to believe that her projects were rejected due to her being a girl. The plot itself goes to great lengths to show what people are willing to do gain some recognition.

Definition of Specific Terms and Phrases

As per the movie, there are a number of definitions, which gross over gender stereotypes, gender roles gender inequality, society’s take on the said issues and finally gender and its relation to friendship and love.

Gender roles

The term refer to what the society expects from both men and women (Koch et al., 2015). Today’s society is different since there are no specific roles for men and women. Each person is expected to perform an act, which his or her cross-gendered counterpart can also execute with ease. To put this into context, if a man wants to be a Kindergarten teacher, so be it, similarly if a woman also wants to be construction worker no one can hinder her aspirations (Koch et al., 2015). The fact that the today’s society expects the same from one regardless of their gender is shown in the movie when Terri gets her articles rejected twice while at both genders. The movie is hence a sheer definition of the said fact.

Gender Stereotype

The concept defines existing non-changing ideas about different genders over a period of time (Steffens et al., 2010). They form the basis of putting individuals into different categories regardless of the situation at hand. Gender stereotypes are harmful since they mainly instill some beliefs, which shape the norms of everyday society. The traditional belief that a woman’s place is in the Kitchen while a man’s place is at the battlegrounds showcase the argument (Steffens et al., 2010). It is not particularly written anywhere that such should be the role of men and women. Gender stereotypes are responsible for fueling this belief.

Gender Inequality

It refers to the belief that one sex is more superior to the other. This is a common belief. Therefore, it can be concluded to be a part of gender stereotypes. This knowledge has is responsible for making some women and men to simply give up on their dreams based on the belief that they are not the right gender meant for such fields (Heilman, 2012). Gender inequality also spurs means for discrimination in some professions on the basis that some jobs are more suited to men and women and vice versa. It is important to note, however, that some jobs are exclusively tied to different genders. For instance, being a male prison guard in a male prison and vice versa.

Society’s take on

The term described matters pertaining to the various counts of gender inequality and gender imbalance depending on the current view of the issues by the majority population. For instance, at a time when men were being seen as being inferior to men in every possible way, the society extensively emulated this belief. It became the most widespread and accepted idea. The today’s society is obsessed with acting to heal the scars left by this widespread belief and convince the female child that they actually count in a male-dominated world (Heilman, 2012). More employment opportunities are hence surfacing to women by today’s standards. In conclusion, the society will look at women as capable individuals of society and afford them the respect and recognition they so deserve.

Gender, Love, and Friendship

The three are also important factors worth taking into account as per the discussion. Gender, as depicted in the movie, does not in any way influence the affection one feels for another person (Cvencek et al., 2011). Terri, for instance, has love for her brother, her best friend and even Rick regardless of their different genders. The gender, however, influences the type of affection felt since the love Torri feels for her brother and friend are extensively dissimilar to the one she feels for Rick or her college boyfriend at one time.


The artifact chosen is basically that of a romantic or comedy genre with some important insight on the subject of gender inequality and the implications which arise from the issue. Terri is a well fleshed out fictional representation of an ambitious woman who is trapped in a world, which works to demean herself as a woman. The later however showcases that the society is changing to that which offers women and men equal chances in a given scenario. The cliché “if you can not beat them, join them, plays out well as per this artifact since the main protagonist is obsessed with the fact that if she was sporting a different gender, she might have had some gains, predefined favors and recognition from the society around her. She then proceeds to have a complete makeover, which ultimately transforms her into a guy. The disguise turns out more successful than predicted and she ends up being accepted as “One of the guys.” The artifact is hence a very well-crafted representation of the overall struggles faced by the leading female character as per this film. Such an act is most likely incapable of working in the real world due to the distinct morphological differences between men and women. It is hence a representation of the great lengths a person can go to acquire the much-desired recognition from the people in the society (Cvencek et al., 2011). The presentation brings light to the next subject of discussion.

Determination is another characteristic of the human being when confronted with a situation where their gender-related characteristics play a huge role in determining who they are as per societal standards (Koch et al., 2015). The artifact hugely represents the subject of determination by having the main protagonist perform an unprecedented act in order to gain recognition for her work. In a real sense, as already discussed above, the action would not have worked due to the easily noticeable difference between a girl and a boy. It is hence a representation of the fact that a person who is determined to achieve his or her dreams may go to great lengths just to make it a reality. Such are the actions of the protagonist.

Gender stereotypes in the film are depicted when Terri jumps to the conclusion that her articles were rejected owing to the fact that she is a woman in a male-dominated society. Such are the stereotypes and fundamental beliefs, which characterized the society at that time. If the stereotypes were any different, Terri would have had the right idea that her articles were mainly rejected due to the fact that they lacked creativity and the appropriate standards but not because of her good looks and her obvious allusion to the blonde class of women (characterized with good looks and no brains). The general belief and gender stereotypes are hence well depicted in the film.

The artifact is also subject to a crucial lesson, which teaches that love is strong to an extent that it surpasses matters such as the difference in gender (Koch et al., 2015). For instance, as already stated above, Terry feels an intense form of bond and connection toward the people around her, which include her brother Buddy, her best friend and her newfound friend as a boy, Rick. This generally shows that human beings are likely to form bonds of affection with people close to them regardless of their gender. A person, for instance, may find it worthwhile to spend an enormous amount of time with men compared to women merely because they are much closer and share a lot in common. Notably, such are the characteristics of today’s world.

Gender inequality is also a major factor, which is discussed as per the artifact. It is worthwhile to note that the subject of gender inequality is substantially tied to of gender stereotype. The stereotype that men are overall characterized with favors and benefits is well linked to the belief that men are generally more superior to women in all aspects (Macnell et al., 2015). Such is the principal of gender inequality. The discussions made above have however showcased the fact that the society is changing to give women and men equal opportunities in many fields and instances. Terri’s eventual realization that her articles were being discarded, not because she is female but due to the fact that they lacked the relevant factors such as creativity and originality showcases what the society is evolving to (Macnell et al., 2015). The scenario hammers in the fact that men and women are now being given equal choices and equal opportunities.

Lastly, the film is a sheer representation of how different genders should treat each other. Ricks behavior toward Terri, when she professes her love to him, was downright unacceptable. He literary humiliated her in front of the entire prom and such acts are the ones that leave a scar. It is good-knowing that he in the end apologized and retracted to being close friends. Different genders should treat each other with some degree of respect and should not undermine their counterparts.


It is worthwhile noting that although most movies of the comedy genre are mainly linked toward entertainment, a great deal of the items chose to talk about some of the factors which affect the society as a whole and collectively. “Just one of the Guys,” is a proper example of such films. Not only does it make the audience enjoy a healthy dose of laughter, but it also touches on some of the factors which today’s society can well relate to. Gender-related stereotypes, which work to demean a person’s spirit, are extensively discussed. Such include the standard and conventional belief that men are more superior to women in everything. This idea sets the stone rolling for other beliefs such as the fact that men are afforded key benefits in important professions. It is important to note that such is the means of poisoning the society hence such gender-related stereotypes should immediately be discarded or tossed aside in favor of more gender-balanced beliefs and ideas. The artifact also relates to the community by grossing on the unrealistic lengths one should go through to achieve their dreams and be influential people of society. The unrealistic extent that the protagonist (Terry) goes through to be heard is a prime example. As already stated above, such an act would be the subject of failure in a real-world environment. The act hence pushes forward the idea that if one have a dream, nothing can create a hindrance to achievement of that dream, only the person himself or herself.

The concepts of love and overall friendship are also matters, which pertain to the society. Such are vividly mentioned as per the film. For example, the leading protagonist Terry shows an undying love for her friend and younger brother. Such are the perils of friendship and family-based affection. Terri’s love for Rick continues even after he openly mocked her in front of the entire prom. Rick eventually learns his mistake and asks Terri for forgiveness which she promptly does. The artifact is hence a call to society beckoning them always to be willing to forgive and forget. If one experiences love and affection toward a particular person or a certain group of people, one should be prepared to forgive unconditionally. It can be coherently concluded that the artifact represents the mirror of today’s society and how people are expected to live. People should offer all genders equal opportunities at different tasks the same way the lecturers at Terri’s institution did by criticizing bad article pieces as regardless of the writer. The society should also dream and go to great lengths to achieve the goals in a similar way. Terri dressed up as a boy and assumed the personality of one just to get her article accepted and make her dream come true. The love people feel for others should be unconditional. People should have willingness to forgive them the same way Terri forgave Rick in spite the embarrassment towards her in front of the prom. Finally, individuals should not give up on their dream. Aspirations would come to fruition ultimately as depicted in the Terrie’s article regarding her life as a girl in a boy’s body, which was accepted and critically appraised.


Cvencek, D., Meltzoff, A. N., & Greenwald, A. G. (2011). Math–gender stereotypes in elementary school children. Child development82(3), 766-779.

Gottileb, Lisa (1985) “Just one of the Guys” Columbia

Heilman, M. E. (2012). Gender stereotypes and workplace bias. Research in organizational Behavior32, 113-135.

Koch, A. J., D’Mello, S. D., & Sackett, P. R. (2015). A meta-analysis of gender stereotypes and bias in experimental simulations of employment decision making. Journal of Applied Psychology100(1), 128.

MacNell, L., Driscoll, A., & Hunt, A. N. (2015). What is in a name: exposing gender bias in student ratings of teaching. Innovative Higher Education40(4), 291-303.

Steffens, M. C., Jelenec, P., & Noack, P. (2010). On the leaky math pipeline: Comparing implicit math-gender stereotypes and math withdrawal in female and male children and adolescents. Journal of Educational Psychology102(4), 947.

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