Hollywood has used the old “your-mom-made-you-crazy-by-making-you-the-wrong- gender” gimmick so many times it’s trite. Gender nonconformity makes you neither crazed nor a killer, and the multiple- and still-used troupe that it does is pernicious and just … dumb. Here’s proof:
It’s your mom’s fault. Everything is your mom’s fault. Okay, it was 1960, and it was a shock, and a superbly crafted film (now more than 50 years old).
Dressed to kill (1980)
However, 20 years later, it’s time to rip off psycho and whip on a wig to kill Angie Dickinson.
Deadly Blessing (1981)
It’s the 1980s…and Wes Craven thinks everything is still your mom’s fault.
Sleepaway Camp (1983) and all the sequels….
Now it’s 1983, and it’s your crazy bitch aunt’s fault. Whatever. I’m already so over it.
Hide and Go Shriek (1987)
Your boyfriend breaking up with you is a phenomenal reason for a gay man to don make-up and kill teens. Cool. I’d like to think that we’ve advanced, but…
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Watch out! It’s the 1990s, and there’s another psycho with gender identity issues killing women for their skin. Oy. More expertly crafted than other films on this list, Silence of the Lambs could have been just as clever without the ‘he’s killing cause he wants a woman suit’ silliness and the cheap, knee-jerk reaction it elicits.
House at the End of the Street (2012)
Um, really? Still? Did you think the twist was original? I saw Sleepaway Camp.
Insidious 2 (2013)
The thought process: ‘Hey, let’s go with the gender bending thing. Nobody watched House at the End of the Street anyway. Besides, this is a sequel. What does anybody really expect?’
My biggest issue with these movies is that they offer no positive roles to counter the negative that they portray.Certainly, every killer movie needs a killer, but exploiting a minority group — especially without also offering a more positive representation to balance out—should be a thing of the past. Today’s audiences deserve better.
Gender nonconformity is not scary or evil and it does not make you mentally unstable. Now check out this list of more positive representations.