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The Other Guy

Media Masculinity Within the Margins


Derek A. Burrill and Toby Miller

Suffering from «manopause» and «Low T», underemployed and unwilling to grow up, «the other guy» has emerged as an important figure in modern media masculinity. From the films of Judd Apatow to sitcoms and popular music, this new breed of man is desperately attempting to change with the times, but is often unable (or unwilling) to understand the new landscape. Avoiding rhetorics of victimization, Derek A. Burrill charts and analyzes the other guy in order to understand how men see themselves, in media and in culture at large.
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Conclusion: passing the test


In a 1985 installment of Dykes to Watch Out For, a comic strip about the day-to-day lives of lesbians in and around pop culture, Alison Bechdel playfully and insightfully drew up a set of rules that could be applied to works of fiction, particularly movies, so that gender bias could be easily identified. The rules are: 1) it has to have at least two women characters, 2) they have to talk to each other, and 3) their conversation must be about something other than a man. These rules have officially been adopted by film critics, audiences and scholars as the Bechdel Test, and have been applied to a wide range of films, including by a large group of feminist film scholars. Arguably, the real utility of the Bechdel Test is its ability to not simply identify the quantity of females on screen, but the quality of those representations and the relative depth of those characterizations. Since its widespread adoption, the test has been adjusted for depth (that there must be at least 60 seconds of conversation between women, for instance1), for race (it has to have two POC [people of color] in it, that talk to each other, about something other than a white person2) and applied to other media, including TV and videogames.3 There is also, a wiki-database that has tested over 4,000 films with the added requirement that women who appear in the films must be named characters. But, is there a Bechdel Test...

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