Saturday, April 22, 2017

The One Scene No One Is Talking About in Boyhood

Note: I haven't done a scene analysis in two years so I'm a little rusty. 

There’s a scene in Boyhood when the protagonist, Mason, is a teen and hanging out with a couple of kids from school in addition to some older boys, who provide them with alcohol. The topic of sex comes up, and it’s not a conversation about how to have fun, safe, and most importantly, consensual sex; it’s a conversation about how many girls they’ve “fucked.” It’s extremely degrading to women, yet no one is talking about it because it’s considered normal: “boys will be boys,” but this isn’t normal and shouldn’t be normal.

I felt so uncomfortable watching this scene because I’ve seen this kind of conversation among adult men (not that this makes it any better) in movies but never among eighth graders. Boys should have better examples of how to treat women, but in this scene, the message is to be man you have to sleep with a woman: “Man, if you’re too chicken shit to even have a beer, I know for a fact that you have never gotten any pussy.” This was after one of the kids, Tony, was ironically called a pussy for not accepting said beer. You’re not a chicken for not attempting to have sex with a girl: you’re a gentleman who respects women. After Tony admits to being a virgin, the rest of the boys proceed to brag about losing their virginity and making girls “howl into the night[.]” Nowhere is the girl’s feelings considered in this exchange.

Understandably, the movie is called Boyhood and told mainly through Mason’s point of view, but no one boy can navigate through life without the influence of a woman: women are just as important as men and should not be relegated to an object of sexual conquest on a man’s path to masculinity.

It doesn't matter if the boys were lying about their sexual experiences. The conversation still happened: they still had to say they had sex in order to appear "cool."