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Boy's Don'T Cry

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Brandon Teena loved his relationships with women. While it is hard to address Brandon as a male I think it is the respect he deserves. If he still lived he would wish to be called Brandon not Teena. I would argue that he gained most pleasure in life from making women feel great. In the beginning we see him charming a woman who then leaves him but his natural way with women shines through; he is sensitive and understanding and possesses every quality that is desired but never found in the men these women date.

Brandon’s sexuality is not clearly set in stone. We see that he refuses to admit that he is a lesbian and will not confront the issue when his cousin mentions it. He is Brandon Teena and he is a ladies’ man. When Brandon is with a girl we see him act normal. He is celebrating the conventions of teenage youth by wooing girls. When Brandon is hanging out with other guys, as viewers, we feel awkward and uncomfortable. Peirce does this intentionally because she is trying to have her audience feel the discomfort Brandon feels. Peirce also draws us in by showing us the secrecies of Brandon’s life; naturally we sympathize and root for the underdog so she displays Brandon’s abnormal ways in a positive light. She does this by showing the caring and sensitive side to Brandon while depicting others as selfish and hardhearted.

Brandon wanted to blank-out the fact that he had a female body. Brandon tells his cousin that he is going to marry Lana. His cousin asks, "Before or after your sex change operation? Before or after you tell her that you’re a girl?" Brandon tells him to shut up; while Brandon could shut out his friend, he could not hide from reality. We see him on an emotional and physical high when he is with Lana but Peirce does brings us back to reality with little things like Brandon rubbing the menstrual blood out of his jeans.

Gender stereotypes play a large role in this film. There is no middle ground where Brandon can feel comfortable as a girl acting as a boy. We see the common stereotype between the male macho figure and the female sensitive figure. Brandon puts his efforts in fitting into the stereotypical male behavior by idolizing John and Tom and doing what is expected. We see Brandon try to please John and Tom partaking in the nonsensical games these men play-running from the cops, pick-up truck skiing, and drinking at every free moment. In this area John and Tom are considered nice guys, good catches-both ex-convicts and drunks. By contrast Brandon seemed considerate, sensitive, and calm this is what made him likeable by the women and it fascinated everyone else.

The idea of a “clean slate” is prevalent in this film. We see Brandon flee from Lincoln once his secret is discovered to the small intolerable town of Falls City. In Falls City without even meeting Lana yet, he feels free to live full time as Brandon. The idea of a “clean slate” is also applicable to Lana. Lana who is living in a home where she does not feel comfortable and a life that seems all too boring she escapes into a fantasy world with Brandon. Brandon is a dream for Lana he is different from all the other boys



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