Reader, She Married Him…Alas
The article Reader, She Married Him-Alas by Theodore Dalrymple discusses the selected few experiences that cast doubt regarding all cultural values to be compatible. The writer discusses multiculturalism’s current nature and analyzes what multiculturalists will imagine how the future will look like. Dalrymple (2) starts by discussing the future where numerous restaurants in big cities worldwide serve the world’s cuisine with Thai served on Monday; the Italian served on Tuesday, Szechuan served on Wednesday and many other cuisines without any challenge. The author’s main point is that multiculturalist will regard this kind of development as a great way of embracing multiculturalism globally. Indeed, there are cultures around the world that can live and thrive together without facing any problem. The culture will teach people to break bread in unity, go to the same school together, learn from each other, and worship together. Nonetheless, Dalrymple (6) states that people should be ready to change their cultures and adopt a new way of life for the world to achieve multiculturalism.
The author supports his argument by sharing with readers’ personal eye-witness experiences while promoting multiculturalism with readers. Dalrymple narrates a story about a 16-year-old girl who was presented to him despite not in a position to help because the girl’s father intended to marry her off to her cousin while the girl planned to complete her education, have a career life, and get married to a husband of her choice. Besides, Dalrymple also tells the story of a young patient who ended her life instead of escaping her parents’ control. Again, Dalrymple also supports her argument by comparing multiculturalist vision about global society to Karl Max about life under communism, where societies were not divided based on competing classes. The stories that Dalrymple has encountered over the years are rewarded, regarded, and praised because of their vigilantism in promoting honors among family names. Nonetheless, Dalrymple brings to light the story of a young girl who married her cousin. The girl could not turn away from her upbringing to get the shape to her parents, who had raised her and generations before. In brief, the girl was following her family’s footsteps by ensuring that the culture is maintained.
While there is some truth in Dalrymple’s argument, I disagree with him when he says that there should be a single culture practiced by all in the world. It should be understood that multiculturalism can only be successful if there are universally accepted standards. A person should be able to put down their feeling of safety and contribute to their society in harmony instead of ending up being affected by a culture that contradicts what they have been taught. Besides, people who seek protection from their cultural way of life should join a society that protects them but not the one that judges them. They should uphold family values while their decision for marriage is also respected but not being forced into an arranged marriage. Further, immigrants in different countries should also be allowed to retain their identity while still establishing autonomy without the need to learn the country’s culture. Through the practice, people will be enjoying multiculturalism to the finest. The success of multiculturalism should be a burden of growth and change for all but not just the host society or the immigrant.
In my opinion, there is a big difference when it comes to multiculturalism and cultural diversity about law and politics. It is because distinct individuals and cultures have unique truths, beliefs, and values. Therefore, for multiculturalism ideals to be sustained, people with differing opinions should still be considered legal and political equals. For that reason, their cultural beliefs should be regarded as valid. Based on Dalrymple’s argument and presentation of people’s behavior, no country in the world can welcome or accept such behavior and way of life.
Based on concepts from the reading assignment, multicultural society should not reject the culture of other people but should be ready to listen and possibly accept the culture without compromising theirs. Therefore, for multiculturalism to exist, societies should promote respect for diversity, diverse faiths and promote tolerance among its people (Welstead, 67). The class textbook defines tolerance as a moral value that makes people respect others’ ethical practices and beliefs regardless of how society feels about it. While I can respect Indian people, their beliefs, traditions, and culture, I cannot agree and tolerate a culture that whips and stones a child who voices their disagreement about arranged marriage.
Multiculturalism does not entail the rejection of other people’s way of life or point of view. While a belief in moral objectivism should not be intolerable or inflexible, the end necessitates the need to understand that cultures are incompatible based on liberal democracy and based on philosophical and judicial foundations. Societies cannot enjoy the freedom that they get from democracy while they discourage cultural values that enables people to create a way for other people of different cultural beliefs and backgrounds.
Dalrymple, Theodore. Life at the bottom: The worldview that makes the underclass. Ivan R. Dee, 2003.
Welstead, Mary. “Forced marriage: Bifurcated values in the UK.” Denning LJ 21 (2009): 49.
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