Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde

Posted by Michael Dickens on January 3, 2010

Yes. That movie.

Brief plot summary: Elle Woods (blonde Harvard Law graduate) is getting married and wants her dog Bruiser’s mother to be there but Bruiser’s mother is in a cosmetics testing facility to Elle goes to DC to pass a law banning cosmetic testing on animals.

Rant: This movie completely ridicules the best system of law that the world has ever known. (Okay, I’m exaggerating.) Elle makes a big speech about how dogs shouldn’t be tested on. For cosmetics, I generally agree. Sometimes testing on animals saves lives or helps to legitimately improve lives, in which case it is acceptable. But I don’t see cosmetics as worth it for the potential suffering of sentient animals such as dogs.

Since I obviously agree, that’s not the problem I have with this scene. Elle convinces Committee to support her. But how? Is it by using logic and reason? No. She picks out important Committee members and reminds them of their childhood pets. Basically, she makes a series of appeals to emotion that are not supported by logic. To put it another way, she blatantly manipulates the emotions of Committee for her own ends. Did they support her because it was the logically correct position? No. They supported her because they got all sad. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.

When she got to speak in front of Committee, was it because she applied to speak, and eventually it was her turn to speak? No. Instead of waiting her turn, she decided that her bill was more important than everyone else’s, and she got to know the people in charge and used that influence to bump up her position in the queue. Once again, she achieved her ends by manipulating innocent lawmakers. Okay, they’re not so innocent, but that does not make the manipulation any more acceptable.

And yet, Elle is the hero of the story. Why? Is it because she’s nice and friendly? I suppose so. Maybe being nice and friendly is all that counts anymore. What is the world coming to?!


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