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Writer must be able to get movie.

Assignment questions for film Boys dont Cry
Sexuality and Violence
Discuss Any Criminal justice theories that apply.

The discussion question should help you to formulate your ideas, hypothesis and reflections. In other words, you need to write two three paragraphs of reaction to a specific theme, topic, or characterization common amongst assigned film and readings.  DO NOT summarize or critic the film. Your focus should be on the major themes in the film. By using the discussion questions, it is expected that you will be able to identify main themes that connect assigned film to the readings. The assignment will illustrate your understanding of the material.

1.    Many people fantasize about being somehow different than who they are (e.g., thinner, more glamorous, more appealing, more rich).  When is difference dangerous? When might the price be worth it?

2.    Discuss the social implications of how departure from the norm can inspire fear and revulsion. Are there circumstances in which such departures are admired? What accounts for the difference in responses? Look at both the film Boys Dont Cry and also the reading by Spelman & Minow (Thelma and Louise) to answer this question.

3.    What kind of community is Falls City? Is it one that tolerates violations of gender roles and expectations?

4.    The character, Brandon Teena, seems desperate for acceptance in a world typically hostile to what s/he represents.  What accounts for the lack of acceptance?

5.    Not all people in Brandons world were unwelcoming. What differentiated the people who were loyal to Brandon from those who were not?

6.    Was Hilary Swank able to create a character for whom the audiences had great empathy and likeability?

7.    How did the criminal justice system respond to the events? What role does homophobia play? How does the paramilitary, macho nature of policing contribute to homophobia?

8.    What do the characters John and Tom have in common? Are their characteristics reminiscent of other kinds of offenders?

9.    Why is violence motivated by homophobia and heterosexism often considered to be the only culturally legitimated from of hate crime in the U.S.?

10.    What is the homosexual panic defense? Does it fit with John and Toms motivations for their rape and murders? How is this defense an extension of traditional blaming the victim judgments?

11.    Do you think there are other places or people who would be more accepting of Brandon Teena? If so, what accounts for the difference in responses?

Boys Don’t Cry” (1999) feature film directed by Kimberly Peirce
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