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Paper 2B

Paper 2B - Rachel Brinkley ENWR 110-Between Genders...

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Rachel Brinkley ENWR 110-Between Genders 10/29/07 Transamerica : An Educational Tool for Gender and the Concept of Normalcy Transamerica is a movie that portrays and explores many different “definitions” of gender. At first glance, a viewer might expect this movie to just be based on a weird, alienated character with the underlying goal being to promote tolerance and acceptance of transgenders. Although Transamerica does this, it is more than just that. It is a movie that allows the viewer to come to terms with the loosely held identifier, gender and to realize the whole term of normal is an obstruction of opportunity. In the movie, there is an over- feminine mother, a sexually confused and homosexual son, and then to top that off a transgendered female father, which all help open the eyes of the viewer to some of the variations of sexual identity, but show how they are not the only defining trait of a person. Once one understands the true purpose behind the creation of this movie and begins to think of what can be gained from the removal of this “normalcy” barrier, they will no longer view this movie as just a comedy based on an alien character and the road trip she goes on, but more as an entertaining educational movie of people, gender and the very concept of normalcy. As stated in a review by Stephanie Zacharek, “this picture is designed to be agreeable to even the people who don’t understand why anyone would feel the need to change genders.” Therefore, this movie serves as an excellent tool not only to depict and to encourage people to accept the unique qualities associated with the disassociation of the normal “gender,” but also to throw out the concept of normalcy from society today.
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One of the main educational tactics used throughout the movie to help the viewer accept the detachment from the “norm” is done through the attempts to convince the viewer that the very concept of normalcy is a hindrance to society. The movie approaches this concept through many of the main characters. In the overall view, the one character that is supposed to be the “norm” is by far the most repulsive, compared to the characters going against the normal view of society who are easier to accept. The movie points out that this concept of normalcy our society has adopted is more hurtful than helpful. It causes one to overlook a person, and consequently miss out on a valuable relationship. The movie proves this point by using the Native American man, who ends up taking in Bree and Toby for the night. This man is able to overlook Bree’s somewhat uncommon traits and see her for her true personality and form a close bond with her. The open- minded mentality the Native American possesses is one way the movie tries to show the viewer that overlooking normalcy can be valuable. One situation in the movie where it proves that the concept of normalcy is harmful is through Bree’s family, mostly her mother. Her family and Bree have a broken relationship and do not communicate, due to
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Paper 2B - Rachel Brinkley ENWR 110-Between Genders...

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