Three Generations Film Analysis

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Gender is a powerful construct in our lives. As something that's learned from a young age, gender stems from interactions that teach people what to do or not to do based on their physical sex, creating certain stereotypes and expectations that one must adhere to. In 3 Generations, directed by Gaby Dellal, a movie which tells the story of a teenage transgender male who struggles to transition due to conflict with his family, the constant pressure to stop deviating from gendered norms is a prominent theme. Raised by his lesbian grandmothers Dolly and Frances, along with his mother Maggie, Ray (formerly Ramona) has grown up solely around women for much of his life, as his father left when he was young. Because of this, he has been at odds with …show more content…
Throughout the film, the interactions between characters demonstrate how gender is "done" in people's lives. As Judith Lorber says in "'Night to His Day': the Social Construction of Gender," early childhood is when humans begin to develop gendered personalities and sexual orientations through interactions with parents, and by the time they're adolescents, they conduct their behavior through "gendered scripts" as they get further pushed into gendered roles. Once they're adults, they have assimilated into this gendered system, and gender is cemented as a prominent fixture in people's lives (22). Thus, by adulthood, it seems like gender is an ingrained facet of life that can't be changed or resisted. Ray actually subverts this notion that gender is learned from those around him, in the sense that he has to follow those teachings. Despite being raised by women, he has resisted the idea that he should grow up to become one. He never wanted …show more content…
One night, at the dinner table, she says, "they say you turn into your mother." This, of course, angers Ray, and he leaves. Dolly simply couldn't comprehend his need to become male, asking Maggie why "she" couldn't just be a normal lesbian like her. At this point in her life, she's grown up with gendered expectations ingrained into her and doesn't know why he wouldn't want to be a woman, continually referring to him as "she." She's never considered why anyone would want to step out of the boundaries that society has constructed, ironically enough; for a lesbian, she's quite judgemental of those who don't conform to society's expectations. Maggie, on the other hand, is doing her best to support her son, although she's apprehensive. With a poor understanding of men along with the fact that he's so young, she's not sure if she wants him to transition. She wants him to take it slow, as it's a process for both him and herself. To try to understand him better, she's even asked a one night stand what it was like to have a penis and if he enjoys it. In spite of her fear, she still tries to be there for

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