Hegemonic Masculinity In Boys Don T Cry

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Boys don’t cry, directed by Kimberly Peirce, is an adaption of the real-life story of Brandon Teena. Brandon is a trans man who attempts to lead a new life with his girlfriend (Lana) but loses his life in a hate crime perpetrated by two male friends (John and Tom) enraged by his double identity. In the biopic, Peirce challenges the restricting binary system that forces people into either category of male or female and honors masculine privileges. In doing so, she reveals the brutal suppression of sexual transgression and applauds Brandon’s female masculinity. The narrative structure of the film aims to normalize gender fluidity and warn people of the pernicious consequences of unchecked hegemonic masculinity. The article analyzes and strengthens …show more content…
The main characteristic of hegemonic masculinity is the tendency to resort to violence in order to project dominance, and to aggression as a method to solving problems. (Grozelle). A threat to masculinity is likely to amplify such negativity and leads to hideous homophobia crimes. When discovering that their “little buddy” is not a real man, John and Tom are so flurried and inflamed by their acceptance of a transsexual that they “corrective rapes” (Grozelle) Brandon in a parking lot. Through the rape, they reinforce gender hierarchy and reaffirms gender binary by “replacing” Brandon in the submissive role of “the penetrated”. The murder scene follows, in which they mercilessly shoot Brandon and their female friend to death in retaliation for Brandon’s pressing charges against them. The brutal crime throws hegemonic masculinity into question. Though John and Tom hold sexual transgression as deviant, it is their unconstrained violent machismo that presents unnatural pathology undermining social order. Through John and Tom’s graphic anti-social image, Peirce redirects the problem to heterosexuality, which socially raises men as potential offenders to prevent subordinate femininity from crossing the gender line. Roger Ebert points out that the male characters are not “simple killers but … instruments of deep [inherited]

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