By Marpheen Chann
Marpheen has a bachelors in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine and is currently a J.D./MPPM candidate at the University of Maine School of Law and resident of Washington, D.C.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bad gay boy for not seeing Mean Girls until, literally, last year. Please don't take my gay card away.
But, really, if you think about it, high school drama perfectly depicts American society. And, really, I don't think I have to lay it out for you. But I will.
Think back. For some of you, WAY back.
Like in Mean Girls, there was that one kid (perhaps it was you?) who enrolled at a new school (after being home schooled faraway) and new neighborhood only to run up against the entrenched and cliquey environment of an American high school.
Like Cady (played by Lindsay Lohan), the new kid may have found their "clique" or "niche," which included a lesbian and gay boy, but also easily identified the dominant, "popular" clique.
As the school days progress, the new kid eventually is accepted into the fold of the popular clique and is soon faced with the dilemma of completely abandoning her friends, and where she came from, in order to become part of the popular group.
But unlike Mean Girls, many "cliques" that immigrated to the high school of America did not realize, as Lindsay Lohan did, that in assimilating into the popular, dominant group, with all of its rights, privileges, and powers, they forget their own history of their ancestors and forepersons who were marginalized and had to fight for legitimacy in the American polity.
Take for example the Puritans, who came, I would argue, not for "religious freedom" but to establish a society in which they could restrict membership to adherents of their religion. They disembarked from England having been persecuted in order to go where they could practice freely. The pitiful part of the story is that they ended up displacing Native Americans as the dominant popular group and succumbed to their own methods of marginalizing and persecuting others.
Another example would be the Irish, who are also predominately Catholic. My grandfather (I'm adopted) recalls how in the town of Bridgton, Maine, protestants Americans of english-saxon backgrounds discriminated heavily against those of Irish decent and those who were Catholic. Something I learned in my Lying and Politics class taught by Dr. Ron Schmidt at the University of Southern Maine, was that use of blackface gained prominence also during the time of Irish immigration and was used by them to contrast them to those of African descent. My, how things have changed. Now we see how those of Irish descent have been assimilated into "White" America and how easily many forget.
Many Americans need to have a Mean Girls moment and realize that many of them have become one of "the Plastics" and have succumbed to the same behavior they resented when first encountering the "popular" group.
So, there you have it. High school drama perfectly explains America perfectly.
Click to set custom HTML