Boys Wont Be Boys

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He was trying to get the rights. At NYFF, Venice, and Toronto, he threatened to sue, and we were on pins and needles… we pulled screenings at each of those three festivals, and we had to personally indemnify the movie for millions of dollars, and then we got to screen it. The lawsuit was ridiculous. But they got some money. I had to go in and talk to her…and at the end of the day, Lana watched the movie with me.

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We sat in the theater together at Fox Studios. No, the other way around—the lawsuit came before she saw the movie. And I had interviewed her, multiple times. I have it on video. We wrote the script from the video. I thought in the beginning, there was a moment where she knew Brandon was a girl and that was that. What is my responsibility? To the underlying emotional truth. I had been to the murder trial. There was a pretty deep level of objectivity in that. How did you deal with shooting the more upsetting scenes in BDC , particularly the rape sequence?

In Conversation: Kimberly Peirce on “Boys Don’t Cry,” Twenty Years Later

Were there any techniques you used to get the performances you needed from the actors, while simultaneously trying not to trigger or push anyone to their breaking point? Think about that. How dare it be, that we can say that? Why is a little girl born, and her destiny is to be harassed and assaulted?

Somebody has created some real structural opportunities for the people who are doing the harassing and the abusing. So I come to it with a lot of humility and compassion. That rape scene—I always knew it was going to be intercut with the sheriff. I had a sense that the sheriff had raped Brandon too, by making Brandon reveal how he was raped.

Yep, every word is real. And with sex and rape, I treat it like an action sequence. Then on the day, I ask for a closed set; only people who need to be there are there. Always ask the actors what they want.

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Do or die. What do you do? I realize this was not a rhetorical question. Oh, god.

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And if you do a good job, perhaps it will help viewers to better understand the perspective of rape victims. This story needed him to play that role; we were down the road, in Texas, in the middle of the night, and we needed him. Why are men shooting? What is going wrong in the species? He had a hard-on, OK, but he also was insecure, and wanted to prove himself to John, and maybe he regretted it. Something horrible. It needs to look right for the audience. It was more important that he told her that, instead of me telling her. It was important for me to bear witness to the two of them creating this trust, and then when they acted they became these other people.

That night, I felt like I was channeling something. I had been terrified to do the rape. But what I realized was my terror of doing it was because of my obligation to Brandon. That night, I realized I was meant to tell this story because of my personal history and my investment and my desire not to make pornography. Boys Don't Cry Kimberly Peirce.


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New York. We have all heard it: on the playground, in a teacher conference, in the faculty room. But when we unpack this comment, we see that it perpetuates negative ideas about what we expect from our boys, particularly when it comes to aggression. First, the phrase implies that boys are biologically wired to be violent, rough and tumble—and that they should be excused from any consequences for that behavior.

Neuroscientist Lise Eliot has done extensive work to show that the brains of girls and boys are not all that different. Second, this phrase—and the other two I address below—replicates the idea that there is only one way to be a boy. If we shift the discussion from sex the biological elements to gender the psychic elements , we find the freedom to disrupt this one-size-fits-all way to be a boy.

The stigma over periods won’t end until boys learn about them too

This article is the second in a three-part series on toxic masculinity. Find parts one and three here:. I am in junior high school. A boy snaps my bra in the hallway. Toxic masculinity relies on notions that boys are incapable of expressing themselves through means other than violence. In a time when our country is coming to terms with the pervasiveness of sexual assault and sexual harassment, parents and educators must think carefully about what we tell our children.

We are effectively not teaching our children what safe and consensual relationships look like at the moments when they are just starting to come of age sexually. I am an adult on a talk show discussing politics and sexual assault. For many secondary students, school is where they find themselves in a locker room for the first time.