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EN 2012
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Gender Studies II EN2012 – Winter 2011 – Terry Goldie Lecture 6 – ‘Funny Boy’ – Feb 10 Bollywood Film - In the film, Muslim-Hindu couple, about Bombay riots – about the Hindus. - Video’s response to women is that they are sex objects; women’s attractiveness is defined in terms of a voluptuous body. - Sexually suggestive instead of sexually active – as in India media is not allowed to show kisses between men and women. - They engage in foreplay in a non-physical way – imitating a movie, this shows cultural presence. - Can be argued that the more voluptuous a body, the more sexual and fertile a woman is; unlike Western standards that idealize a thin body, aka anorexic = infertile. - At the end of the film, a ball of flames erupts; hyper stylized, sometimes uses rain to show the curves of the bodies = Bollywood’s version of a wet T-shirt contest. - Gender difference is emphatic: the stronger the gender markers are, the clearer the differences of what defines gender. - Women’s clothing is stereotypical South-Asian/Indian. While the men appear modernized/westernized; women carry the burden of the culture even if it’s an imitation. - Women represent South Asian culture while men introduce modernity. History - Sri Lanka looks like a teardrop; Jaffina is located in the Northeast corner and is primarily Tamil although most have left Sri Lanka. - Large part of Tamil brought from India by British Imperialism; also mirrors Ireland in ‘The Crying Game’ as Protestants are located in the Northeast corner. - Funny Boy novel set in 1983 as the Tamil revolution unfolds. - The Singhalese government lumps all Tamils under the category of Tamil Tigers and have systematically oppressed them. - Outsiders cannot tell the difference between Singhalese and Tamils. Funny Boy Gender Issues: - Bildungsroman: coming-of-age story; operates on the assumption that the audience knows what the person is, and have to read the book in order to understand how the character became that way. - About an identity that appears like a minority so the reader can identify; not just about a Sri Lankan, but about a gay Sri Lankan. - Two factors of this bildungsroman’s: o Shows:  How a person discovers he is gay.  The markers one must go through to prove/show his homosexuality; not just a cause and effect, events that mark that development in order to become what he is meant to become. - Six stories – first one ‘pigs can’t fly’ establishes Arjie as abnormal. - High percentage of males as children were gender-crosses – possible that gender is learned before sex; i.e. as a homosexual, Arjie starts his life in terms of marriage playing bride-bride – heterosexual maker. - The idea of the bride is women-centric; in such a society where a male has the power, women project this lost power into rearrangement for a wedding to become significant. - The significance is proven by the absence of the groom. - Arjie has a closer relationship with mother. What does this mean in terms of gender? Here, the boy reconsolidates with his mother instead of moving away from his mother as he should. - Can’t have things that are unnatural; rules can’t be stupid if they are simple reflections of nature. - Arjie realizes the loneliness of being neither female nor male: as this is about gender not sex this is realistic for him to feel this way. - Personality is external not internal, although Arjie acts female he can nev
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