One of the movies that explores society, deals with the harsh reality of relationships between men and women, and misunderstandings of the concepts of gender and sex is the movie "Boys Don’t Cry". Even though Brandon Teena is the main character in the movie, other characters are equally important for the understanding of gender and sex stereotypes that exist in our culture. Gender is rarely divided from the sex in our culture, causing identity crisis and tragic endings of individuals, such as Brandon Teena.
One of the stereotypes is the assumption that sex and gender is the same thing. In sociology, the concept of gender relates to sociological, cultural, and psychological differences between men and women. Due to that, gender is not necessarily the product of someone’s biological sex. A child is born with sex, and gender is developed through the process of gender socialization. In the movie, the director tries to highlight through the life of Brandon that by being born as a female does not necessarily mean that ones gender identity is female. At the beginning of the movie, Brendon's cousin accuses him of being a lesbian when Brandon says, "I am not a dyke" ("Boys Don’t Cry"). This is him showing that he identifies differently than what people perceive him as.
All of the above characters and their understanding of gender and sex are products of the society that they have been raised in. The majority of them do not distinguish sex from gender and the definition of gender as a social product. Even though someone is born as a female or a male, it does not mean that he or she feels as woman or man. Gender is adapted through the images of role models that we see in our culture. The viewers cannot blame only John and his friend for the tragic ending of Brandon's life, because they are the products of their society and media impacts that represent man as tough and protective. According to them and their distorted image of the world, Brandon got what he deserved. They see a transgender person as a disease that can be easily spread to others.
The movie "Boys Don’t Cry" is one of the pioneer movies that deal with the issues of transgendered individuals. By adapting the true story of Brandon Teena, the director rose awareness to struggles people who differ in some way have, in small surroundings. My main interest in the field of sociology is social category of gender and the socially acceptable model of gender roles. The society teaches us how to behave, what are the things that we can and cannot do. The symbolic title of the movie points to this direction, as in reality, boys are learned not to cry because it is something that is not socially acceptable. In order for something to change, society first needs to recognize the difference between gender and sex.
"Boys Don’t Cry". Directed by Kimberly Pierce. 1999. Web. 17. January 2016. http://ffilms.org/boys-dont-cry-1999/