Boys Don¶t Cry Discussion Questions

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How do class and gender inform one another (intersect) in the film? What are the connections between class, gender, and violence? For example, what do you make of the scene where April, John¶s little girl, is asked to take a drink of beer? Draw connections between this text and any of the other readings we¶ve done this semester.Apply a critical reading to a work of fiction. Or compare and contrast two or more writers¶perspectives. Are there similar themes or issues being addressed? What are the differences inthe way each writer approaches those issues? What are the similarities or differences in their literary or critical styles? Is there a passage or recurring theme within the text that you found particularly interesting or provocative? What is the author¶s purpose here? Is it compelling or convincing? Why or whynot? What are some possible discussion questions that can be generated from a close look at thispassage or recurring theme? Is there something within the text that was confusing? Try to work out that confusion on paper. What sorts of questions does it cause you to ask? What kind of answers can you come up with to those questions? Challenge an aspect of the text. Is there anything that the author might have missed? How might the author¶s perspective on the issue change if this were taken into account? Are there contradictions within the text? If so, what are they and what consequences might those contradictions have (for the text and/or the real world)? Much has been said about the ³lies and deception´ that created a wave of anger among Brandon¶s new friends. Both John Lotter and Tom Nissen were ³angry at the lies.´ What were these lies and how could they evoke such a fury? Connect your answer to Sedwick¶s piece, ³Epistemology of the Closet.´ Where are the roots of hatred? Why was Brandon a ready target for violence in Falls City? Could the violence have been stopped and how?

Have students work in groups to compile a list of every violent act they have seen depicted in media over the past week. (Movies, video games, television, news, sports, etc.) Discuss the lists as a class, and draw out any patterns that are revealed regarding gender. 2. Have students work in groups to compile a list of ways that kids are exposed to violence ± both overt and subtle forms of violence ± outside of media. Discuss the lists as a class. If No. 1 above precedes this assignment, explore the connections between the two lists. 1. What is the relationship between a man¶s gender ideology (his definition of what it means to be a man)

and his likelihood of using violence? Do images of men as powerful because they¶re in control ± of women as well as other men ± contribute to men¶s violence against women? Discuss examples from media where boys/men are shown as being in control of or abusive toward girls/women. What are some of the emotional and psychological reasons why boys and men are so much more likely than girls and women to act out violently? 4. What are some of the emotional and psychological reasons why boys and men are so much less likely to seek help with emotional problems? What are the consequences of this reluctance? 5. What is the connection between the traditional ideal of the ³real man´ and invulnerability?

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