Here’s a story that I hope may be of some comfort to those still smarting from disappointing exam results.
The day the A-level results came out, I was on a boat with several teenagers on Turkey’s ravishing Turquoise Coast. Some of the kids had done exceptionally well, while others were shellshocked, poor things. Managing those mixed emotions was a diplomatic minefield. Very hard to congratulate Child A – “Brilliant, Barney!” – while Child B is skulking miserably under a large beach towel. One of the boys on board was both embarrassed and baffled that he had got an E in AS French.
This wasn’t a case of a member of the Whatevvah generation moaning when he simply hadn’t done enough work. No, Jack’s rock-bottom French mark was startling because Jack’s mother is French and her son is fluent in the language. Jack (who got a A in maths, so he’s no slouch) speaks far better French than any of the adults on board the boat who got A in that subject at A-level, and is considerably better at French than his mate, Harry, who had managed a B.
“My mum doesn’t believe I got an E,” Jack said, indicating a stream of agitated texts from Maman back in the UK.
He admitted that he had not learned by rote the phrases and the topics you now need to pass AS French. Foolishly, he had assumed that being French meant he could pass French. Espèce d’idiot!
Off-hand, I find it hard to think of a better example of what’s wrong with our examination system. To a dismaying extent, children today are taught how to pass an exam, not to understand a subject. Teenagers who have something original or brilliant to say are often penalised, not least because many examiners are too dim to know the difference. (The shamefully haphazard results in English this year are a case in point.) Thinking outside the box is a disaster.
A friend who has a son at Eton tells me the boys are now taught to rein in more ambitious answers, which could lead to poorer grades. For instance, in the English essay, if you are asked about your future ambitions you should on no account say “entrepreneur” or “heart surgeon”. The ideal answer would be “picking up litter in the community”.
No wonder Dr Martin Stephens wrote in these pages that GCSEs "bore the pants off" clever children while still being too hard for many. What we need is more demanding academic exams on the one hand and a rich choice of vocational and technical qualifications on the other. Marking exams should be well enough rewarded to attract more people of high calibre. Plus, let’s have one national exam board with the rigour and consistency of the International Baccalaureate, not several competing boards which give schools the chance to shop around for the exams that are most dumbed down and will secure them the best league-table position.
In the present system, a non-French speaking candidate can parrot a topic in French and do better in the exam than a kid like Jack, a native speaker who could hold his own in any company in France. I’m not sure what the French word is for this state of affairs, but in English we say “crackers”.
As we said to Jack on results day, an “E” is a badge of honour. It’s the exam that failed the boy, not the boy who failed the exam.
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An essay in french on my family, un essai en français sur ma famille, English US, French, Translation, human translation, automatic translation.
AQA AS Level French Essay Writing Checklist AQA French Essay Writing. AS Level French Family and Relationships Essay Writing Phrases French Family.
Essay "My Family". by French Kenneth. As I sit here on my bed in this cold and lonely prison cell on Christmas Eve, my family is very much on my mind. Not that.
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"Causes of the French Revolution" The French Revolution could have been foreseen, by the French nobles but I guess they didn't! I mean they had A poor economic situation and an unmanageable national debt, was a major sign they were on the brink of a revolution. Although the nobles were wealthy they should have seen the growing problem they had with the lower-class people that were not as wealthy and needed more money to survive. France still practiced feudalism in the 18th century. The nobles and clergy had special privileges. They did not have to pay taxes. The common people did not have power and freedom in politics. They worked hard and had to pay a lot of taxes. The nobles and clergy made up the First and Second Estates in the Estates General. The common people made up the Third Estate. The nobles and clergy could outvote the common people easily though the Estates General. The common people became discontented with the privileged classes, and revolted. The rising cost of everything was overwhelming for the peasants because they were getting poorer and poorer, they had to do something. The peasants also had to do something because right before the revolution began food scarcity was far worse than any other time in France. During this time the nobles and clergy were getting more and more privileges and boy did the peasants not like that Social problems were also a major factor that brought about the French Revolution. In the 18th century, France was a feudal country with class divisions. The first estate was made up of 1% of the people and owned 10% of the land in France. The second estate consisted of 2% of the people and owned 35% of the land. The third estate held 97% of the.
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At Odds with Society: Constructing a Positive Gay Identity
Given that identity of gay men is a complex concept with micro-, meso-, macro- and global-level dimensions, connections between all these three levels have to be made. This essay will discuss how a member of an oppressed group, namely gay men, can develop their positive identities, voice and agencies that overcome the learned negative stereotypes about themselves from those in dominant positions.
It is important to keep in mind that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is sexism. Sexism is no better than racism or anti-Semitism. Condemning homosexual relationships that are more stable and exemplary than heterosexual is ‘surely unjust’ (Maguire, 2006, para. 3).
Therefore, it is of paramount importance for gay men to develop positive identities and gain a voice in order to fight discrimination and oppression. Development of a gay identity might be a complex process, since it such an identity has multiple dimensions.
It has not only several layers, but has implications for any area of life of a gay person:
‘Accepting a gay identity has far-reaching implications because being ‘gay’ includes not only personal feelings, but also describes a social and political identity’ (Park, 1996, ‘Development of a Gay Identity’).
Creating a positive gay identity might be problematic given the prevailing negative attitude to homosexuality in many societies, even at the dawn of the 21st century. Attitudes towards homosexuality varied greatly over the course of human history. It was an accepted phenomenon in Ancient Greece: Aristotle believed that homosexual relations could be regarded as a population control method. Changing attitudes towards homosexuality are the proof that such concepts as sexuality are socially constructed. In Europe before the mid-20th century, the prevailing opinion viewed homosexuality as a deviant behavior attributed to person’s genes. The so-called ‘genetic and unchangeable’ theory has been actively promoted by gay activists and the popular media, but it lacks scientific explanation and support. The question whether human sexual orientation is genetically predetermined or is a product of rational choice has been actively debated in the scientific community for many decades. The question whether a person is born or becomes homosexual is surrounded with controversy and causes much discussion in scientific circles as well as among general public. Indeed, it is hard to give a definite answer here, because homosexuality is an issue that concerns a significant number of biological, physiological, psychological, religious and ethical aspects.
Numerous scientific studies on homosexuality were conducted, and they showed that people choose their sexual preferences themselves. So, homosexuality is now considered as a choice rather than deviation. Homosexuality is rather a lifestyle and outlook that is not genetically caused and biologically predetermined. This view is central for affirming positive gay identity and tackling discrimination among laypersons.
One of the undisputed proofs of homosexuality being a choice concerns the fact that humans can change their sexual identity in the course of their life. Furthermore, it has been proven to be caused not by biological factors but psychological ones. Each study on the genetic nature of homosexuality still leaves a pretty substantial portion of sexual preference open to environmental influence (Throckmorton, 2003). Nowadays teenagers often experiment with different sexual partners before taking the final stance on their sexual orientation. In order to determine or change one’s sexual preferences, a person should solve his or her identity crisis. This can be only done through deep self-reflection, which results in arriving at a decision about the gender of preferred sexual partners (Beckstead & Israel, 2007). Homosexuality is a lifestyle not a deviation, and psychologists acknowledge that pathological thinking has been harmful to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens (McCann, 2007).
More positive attitude to homosexuality can be attributed in part to activism on behalf of notable public figures. For example, French philosopher Michel Foucault was promoting the agenda of radical left and campaigning for the rights of marginalized groups, such as homosexuals (Miller, 2000). There are many NGOs that offer a variety of services to gay community. For example, in New York City there are organizations like Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center, Gay Men of African Descent and Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
One more reason that facilitates the construction of positive identity for gay men is media consumption. Few gay people dared to come out of the closet in a 17th century village. However, in the modern society, media exposes people to a variety of attitudes and lifestyles, which encourages people to engage in an introspective analysis of their inner selves. In such a way, media makes it increasingly complicated for a group to enforce a certain identity upon an individual. Media introduces people to different perspectives on group roles and prescribed identities helping people to rediscover who they are and where they belong.
One of the reasons that contributed to negative stereotyping of gay men is the association of homosexuality with risk of HIV/AIDS. The start of HIV/AIDS epidemic that was first regarded as a rare form of cancer endangering gay and bisexual male New Yorkers. However, gay community was the first social group that started to actively promote safe sex and HIV/AIDS awareness. There are many gays and gay associations spreading information about HIV prevention and campaigning for governmental attention to the problem in order to save ‘other gay and bisexual men from losing the ones they love’ (Williams, 2006, para. 6).
Although an overwhelming percentage of new HIV/AIDS cases were among gay and bisexual males, members of the LGBT community should not be portrayed as a source of danger. It is also unproductive to resort to another extreme and present lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as powerless victims of the dangerous disease. Other social groups are also at risk (and perhaps at a greater risk) and need help and protection. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens should establish an image of proactive and cooperative members of the society ready to dedicate their time and effort to making their county a safer place for everyone though campaigning against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Gay men should also keep campaigning for recognition of same sex unions as legitimate family units. In many countries, it involves countering the conservative orthodox view of the Catholic faith on same sex unions. The Catechism of the Catholic Church that teaches that a marriage should be a mutually loving union open to the procreation of children. Such position by the Church should hardly elicit surprise, since the defense of heterosexual marriage has been a major thread in modern Catholic philosophy. The effects on children raised by homosexual couples, society at large, and marriage as a social institution are among the most frequently cited objectives to gay marriages. While the Church does not present ‘any new theological arguments regarding homosexual, but advances clear logical arguments against the legal acceptance of same-sex unions’ (Catholic World News, 2003, para. 4).
However, even religious conservatism can be tackled by gay activism and promotion of tolerance and acceptance. In the past the Church ‘accepted homosexuality more openly and even had liturgies to celebrate same sex unions’ (Maguire, 2006, para. 1). There is an increasing number of theologists who believe that different sexual orientations are clearly part of God’s plan for creation and discrimination and prejudices are sins. Although the Bible says all homosexual activity is evil and sinful, not everything written in the Bible should be treated as guide to action. He cites examples of justification of slavery and male domination over females, both found in the Bible. Homosexual unions are sometimes more successful and lasting than heterosexual. Homosexual unions can involve ‘exclusive, committed, enduring, generous, and faithful love’ (Maguire, 2006, ‘But, are same-sex unions really marriage?’, para. 1).
A related controversy is adoption of children by gay couples. More and more people come to believe that children are better off when being raised in a homosexual union than ‘languishing in an institution or, worse, dying from neglect’ (Maguire, 2006. ‘Objection # 4’).
Therefore, it is possible to conclude that hay men still face various forms of discrimination. Developing a positive identity should involve combating prejudices by acknowledging homosexuality as a legitimate choice of sexual orientation rather than a genetically predetermined deviation, campaigning for equal rights to marriage and childrearing, and promoting a favorable image of gay people as active and cooperative community members.
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Positive Gay Identity Essay