Friday, January 7, 2011

Movie Review: Trained in the Ways of Men

Trained in the Ways of Men tells the story of a seventeen year old trans woman named Gwen Araujo's. It is centered around her murder and the subsequent trial of her murderers.

While this could have easily been a film that simply documented the trial, instead it focuses elsewhere. This isn't to say the details about how four men beat and strangled this young woman because they learned she still had intact male genitalia are glossed over. To the contrary, how and why they did what they did ARE the story.

Gwen's mother is a focal point and her acceptance of who Gwen was as a person and as her daughter are also an important part of the film's dynamic. Also highlighted are the motives and preconceptions that surrounded the murder. The film effectively challenges what is know as the "gay/trans panic" defense and how it is rationalized. It challenges the ridiculous notion the these men behaved in a way that was "reasonable" given the circumstances.

I think a more important aspect of this film however, is not so much the facts, but rather that it asks the viewer (and some people on screen) to look inside themselves and search for how they know their own gender. It asks why they know this and what if they are wrong. Finally it asked the viewer to take at least a glimpse into the life of one person who's answers to these questions, or rather who's search to answer these questions, was much more then hypothetical.

To this end, this film is ultimately about one thing. It is about a woman who struggled to find acceptance, and how tragically how she was killed for no other reason.

Purchase Trained in the Ways of Men Today at



this sounds like a fascinating film, as a mother of a tgirl myself,i think it will be harrowing to watch butit sounds very thought provoking and educational.

Katherine said...

This movie is hard to watch but again, it is something we need to know about. These things happen, people are killed all the time for no other reason they their gender identity! We must stop this violence and the only way to do this is understand it.

I am so thrilled to hear from the parent of a trans woman! I invite you to share more often on this site if you could. I think a mothers perceptive will be helpful and insightful.

Thanks again.



I believe in Australia we don't have such harrowing statistics ,murderwise, but there is little media coverage of ridicule, bashings etc unless someone is greviously harmed.There are places here that are easier to live in than others. The younger generation of say 15-27yrs old seems to me to be a whole new set of people, with acceptance ALMOST taken for granted. BUT it depends on where you live. Country towns are predominately white and straight.
Thanks I'll be back,I'm very wordy, can't keep my mouth shut or fingers still I like your site, Chloe is trying to do something similar with hers.
i have a couple of posts on my blog about being a mum and anyone is welcome to email me, or post a qestion to me in the blog comments.

Anonymous said...

There is another movie about Gwen called "A Girl Like Me : The Gwen Araujo Story" It was very good as well and made for lifetime. I am gonna watch this one.