"For the most part, the Republican Party is the only outlet where conservatives have a voice, so we have to use it. But it functions like a rusty knife we use only because we can't cut our steaks with a spoon."- Matthew Rathel

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sisterhood of Multi-Culturalism

After watching “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” I have come to a few conclusions about how political correctness has taken a firm grasp of the movie industry and the area of aesthetics as a whole. While I only saw the movie because my girlfriend deserved to see something that caters to her, I think that it is the perfect example of how politically-minded value systems control the entire movie industry. When once feminist and multi-cultural criticism once focused on stylistic and structural concepts of artistic works, they now appear as a large monster that dictates the way plotlines take shape.

In the new Sisterhood movie, I quickly noticed one key issue that the structure of the movie takes for granted: not a single one of the 4 girls who wear the magic pants dates a white male from the United States. The girl of Grecian descent dates a boy from Greece and an African American male. The gothic girl dates an Asian boy. The Hispanic girl dates a white boy from the United Kingdom. The blonde girl dates no one, but she forms a strong bond with a female mentor of Middle Eastern descent. While the movie never brings attention to the race or ethnicity of the boyfriends, I find it impossible to believe that these plot devices happen by accident. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the movie goes out of its way to include as many cultures as is possible. The only problem in doing so is that the integrity of the story becomes compromised by the creator’s attempt to push a theme of multiculturalism. In a country where Caucasians make up nearly 70% of the population, one has to move beyond statistical probability to believe that 0 of 4 19-year-old girls would date a white American male.

Across the country one can walk into the English department of any University and hear a professor claim that a certain novel falls short of reaching his or her aesthetic ideals based on its plot structure. African Americans will claim that a novel with an all-white cast fails to address real problems with race relations. Feminists will claim that a novel about an old man and the sea depicts a misogynistic mindset due to its lack of female characters. Yet others will push the idea that the Western novel is provincial because of its very existence. But the truth is that a story doesn’t have to be multicultural to be good.

Now I would like to give an example of how absurd these arguments are. Across the United States, there will be millions of instances tomorrow where a white man walks through a room full of white people then leaves. It is unfair and aesthetically improper that anyone suggest that this event should not take place in a novel because no other races and cultures are involved. When one follows the political agenda of multi-cultural critics, he or she has no choice but to write a story about a part-black, part-Native American woman in a man’s body who walks through the halls of the United Nations, and the sad truth is that we can’t learn anything about the human experience by focusing on populations rather than individuals.

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