Outline - Boys Don't Cry Presentation
1. THESIS: Boys Don't Cry presents a remarkably gender-binary worldview for its subject matter, as Brandon (and the film) refuses to accept the possibility of a transgender or intersex view of his sexuality, preferring to paint him as a straight male in a crossdressing woman's body.
2. FEMINIST THEORY -
3. Relevant scenes: Brandon's bar fight in the beginning, showing her masculine drive to fight; Brandon's desire to joyride with Tom and John; Brandon's love scene with Lana showing her ability to please as much (if not more) than a man.
4. Brandon's assuming of a strictly male identity speaks to issues of female empowerment, as well as female masculinity. Heteromasculinity is potrayed as problematic throughout the film, while Brandon's attempts at being a strong masculine women are lauded.
5. BLACK CRITICISM -
6. Relevant scenes: The whites-only bar scene; any scene in the town and between the families of the main characters; the final scene missing the black figure from the real incident
7. Boys Don't Cry is a white-leaning film, given the large prevalence of white characters to the exclusion of all black characters. In the real event, there was a black handicapped victim along with Brandon Teena, but he was excised in the film in order to simplify the thrust of the movie towards queer subjectivity.
8. QUEER THEORY -
9. Relevant scenes: Brandon's assertion to Lana that he is a hermaphrodite who will receive a sex change; numerous references to potential medical procedures.
10. Boys Don't Cry is not a true transgender film; instead, it is a crossdressing film. This makes Brandon effectively a transvestite instead of transgendered. The 'otherness' of Brandon is not between different types of people, but merely Brandon and the rest of the film's characters. Brandon's transgenderism is painted in the film as straightforward lesbianism. Brandon's body is presented as a 'true' woman, and so there is no genderqueer ambiguity anymore; it supports a gender binary of male OR female, nothing in between.
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