Ableism, Heterosexism, Sexism Sample Assignment

The Case of Sharon Kowalski and Karen Thompson: Ableism, Heterosexism, and Sexism exemplifies the various discriminations and oppression these two women had to endure after a traumatic experience. However, this case is not limited to these two individuals. The article displays the general bias of American culture and its institutions and the prejudice placed against disability, homosexuality, and. femininity and the huge obstacles they have to overcome in a society that puts their needs on the backburner and denies them the highest quality of life.

One night in 1983 a drunk driver had hit Sharon Kowalski, severely damaging her brain-stem and leaving her paralyzed and unable to speak. Kowalski was in a relationship with Karen Thompson at the time, and Karen sought out only the best rehabilitation center for her lover. Kowalski’s parents, on the other hand, were only concerned with separating Karen from their daughter, and not her well being. This brings us to the first oppression these two individuals have had to encounter: heterosexism.

Though the two women had been together in a relationship for four years at the time and had a committed ceremony, it was Kowalski’s father who gained legal custody over her without being given a court hearing. Why was a 27-year-old under her father’s legal guardianship when she was had a partner whom she lived with and loved? The answer: because they were lesbians. Had Kowalski been in a heterosexual relationship, this case would not exist nor cause such uproar in the LGBT community.

If lesbians and gays were given the same legal rights of marriage as heterosexuals receive, Thompson would have been able to help nurture Kowalski back to recovery in an adequate and loving manner. Instead, Sharon endured inadequate care in a subpar rehabilitation center, all in which hindered her ability to make the fullest recovery possible, all because of her homosexuality and her father’s and America’s intolerance.

The United State’s legal system is prohibiting homosexuals the same civil liberties awarded to heterosexual couples; this flawed system may have cost Sharon some cognitive abilities she would have retained had she been immediately in the care of her lover, Karen. The second form of oppression the two had to overcome was ableism. No matter how much Kowalski had tried to convey that she wanted and needed her partner, her father and the court merely decided that Sharon was just too incompetent to decide her future. (Gianoulis, Tina America’s skewed view of the disabled places them at a huge setback.

Once disabled, you are seen as unskilled and almost as the bane of your family and society. Without being provided with the best healthcare it inhibits advances for the disabled community and therefore, keeps the disabled hidden away out of the public eye and in turn, listened to less. The third oppression these two encountered was sexism. The concept of guardianship being granted to a male so quickly raises the question why? In a patriarchal society one must assume that the institutions are made and catered to the male population.

In the state of Minnesota it was absolutely necessary for a woman to be accounted for by a man, especially a disabled, homosexual female. It’s this ideology that setbacks the progression for women, LGBT community and disabled persons. It was the failure of America and its legal and medical system that Sharon Kowalski did not receive the best care she needed or was provided with the same quality of life that is granted to other typical citizens. Her sexuality, gender and disabledness that separated her from the majority of Americans and therefore, the United States institution did not protect her under common liberties. disabled people, women, gay men and lesbians, and others are to some degree denied their full personhood by the structures of our society. Their choices could be denied, their sexuality controlled. ” (Griscom, Joan L. p. 417) When this case became public, many people rallied for Thompson in the gay and lesbian population, as well as in the heterosexual community. But if Karen and Sharon would have been Tom and Steve it could be determined that these two males would not have been sympathized with as easily as with Thompson and Kowalski.

Our patriarchic society embodies masculinity. Homosexual men are persecuted day in and day out due to their sexuality. The same could not be said for women, in fact, lesbians are often glamorized in popular media culture. Songs, videos and movies about girl on girl action get plenty of media coverage with enthusiasm. Most gay male coverage and media have a negative undertone compared to female homosexuality. While being a gay male has its difficulties with persecution and prejudice, ethnicity plays a pivotal role and how accepted in the community you will be.

African American males value masculinity at a much higher rate than Caucasian males. Many Black homosexuals are on “the down low” because of a fear of rejection from their community. Though White gay men experience similar reservations about coming out, they are less reluctant than their African American counterparts. The higher the education, the more accepting a group will be. Therefore, it could be that White homosexuals feel more comfortable coming out because their peers are highly educated, and in the African American community many lack a higher education, exposure and tolerance for homosexuality.

Tda 3.12 Support Numeracy Development

Current National and Organisational Frameworks for Mathematics

The aims and importance of learning provision for numeracy development are to ensure all students understand that maths is a vital part of everyday life and will continue to be used throughout their life. Primary schools will teach students to learn various methods and techniques to be able to reach the correct answer. The end goal means more students will be able to solve a mathematical problem, independently, using a method that suits them.

They can then develop their learning to improve their knowledge and apply it to real life situations; such as counting in groups of numbers such as 5’s or 10’s, which in turn can be applied when paying for shopping with money. As students progress they can build on these skills, by recording the levels of achievement, they can be supported to help fully access the curriculum. The national curriculum framework for mathematics including age-related expectations of learners, as relevant to my setting, is limited. In my setting the basic aspects of maths such as shape, counting and sorting etc are a challenge for many students.

Age-related expectations cannot be applied as the intellectual development does not match age/physical development. Many are only working at P scale levels, but there are a few working to the lower National Curriculum levels. Understanding and an awareness of the skills the students possess in my setting, means practical work such as counting forks or lego bricks, can help the students understand the concept of adding small numbers; they in turn can apply the same techniques to other items and aid problem solving.

But they are also encouraged to use ICT interactive programmes to understand that counting for example is not just for 3D objects. The main subject areas for mathematics used in my setting are:

  • Shape, Space and Measures
  • Using and Applying Maths
  • Number

This could be related to the Foundation Stage in Reception class of a mainstream Primary School, where children explore and practice their skills through games and activities. In my setting the organisation’s policy and curriculum framework for mathematics is briefly outlined in the Curriculum Policy.

As I work in Key Stage 3 the curriculum is divided into four key areas that cover the statutory and non-statutory subjects

  • Key Skills
  • Creative Arts
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  • Personal and Physical Development

Numeracy, along with Literacy and ICT are covered by the Key Skills area. Each student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to meet their special educational need. In my setting the teacher will set their Numeracy level each term using the P scales. This is based on what the student has been able to achieve in previous terms and is now progressing to the next level.

Within that P scales level the students will have a list of expectations. However, some students may not be able to move on to the next level as their disability prevents them or they have only reached a small percentage of expectations and may stay on the same P scale for several terms. In my setting the teacher’s programme and plans for mathematics teaching and learning begin with the Medium Term Plans that are available in the classroom for all the staff to view. From there the individual class lessons have designated times for work on Key Skills which incorporate Numeracy.

Each student has their own individual numeracy target which is monitored by a recording sheet to chart their progress which records what has been achieved; was the work done independently or with prompting; frequency of completing the target. A work tray will have been compiled of the necessary resources for the Numeracy task. A student may be working on shape/colour recognition; the resources may contain a tracing card with a square, a circle and a triangle; a pencil and paper. Then the student is asked to trace the shape which may require hand over hand support.

Other resources will also be used but using a different approach such as solid shapes in various colours, the student will be shown a shape and asked “what is the shape?” or more simply “it’s a ….. ” leaving time for the student to respond and complete the sentence. They may be asked to “take the yellow circle” from a choice of two shapes. Progress is then recorded and will aid the teacher to plan for future lessons depending on the progress made or whether the task is achievable and needs adapting to best suit the ability of the student.

Willy Loman’s Obsession To Accomplish A False Dream

Accomplishing a dream or a goal is one of the most important achievements in anybody’s life. In Arthur Miller’s story, Death of a Salesman, becoming a successful (well liked and wealthy) salesman, seems to be the one and only dream that defined the purpose of Willy Loman’s life.

In order to accomplish his lifetime dream, Willy should have taken certain aspects into consideration, he should have identified himself with the dream he wanted to pursue, he should have given importance to the talents and gifts of his own, and he should have realized that he was not successful as a salesman like Biff was able to in the Requiem. Willy’s dream was to become a successful, well liked salesman. Unfortunately, he never identified himself with that dream. He just wanted to be like a man he once met, and he told Linda about it, “His name was Dave Singleman… and he’d drummed merchandise in thirty-one states.

And old Dave, he’d go up to his room… ? I’ll never forget? and pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, at the age of eighty-four, he made his living” (Miller, 81; act 2). By this, Willy states that meeting Dave gave him the idea that being a successful salesman would be easy and he created his view of success based on this man that he idolized; Willy thought that being a salesman would be a simple task, and that it would bring him nothing but great things such as wealth, social status, recognition and idolization. Willy was blinded by the image of Dave and other wealthy successful men.

He wanted others to feel about him the same way he once felt about his father, his brother and Dave. He thought that if all those men could do it, he could do it too. Willy believed that if he became a salesman, by the time he was an older man, he would be just like his brother and Dave; he assumed he would be wealthy, idolized and recognized by his significant others and by the world. Willy believed that his life would be easy and that he was going to be able to retire, to provide for his family, and to enjoy the rest of his life without any struggle or hardships.

Maybe if Willy Loman would have tried to accomplish his own dream and follow his heart instead of trying to be what other men in his life were, he would have been successful in life; he also would have been a great husband, and a better father than the father he was to his sons, Biff and Hap. On the other hand, Willy never took into consideration for his success two important factors that he already had to his advantage, and that most people need in order to be successful and accomplish any dream. The panegyric talent and skill he had with his hands, and the great amount of love and support he had from his wife and kids.

Instead of focusing on the ingredients he already had, for his own original recipe, he focused on following and emulating others’ recipes and also on trying to figure out what the ingredients for their success were. Throughout the story, Willy’s family members, as well as himself, constantly brought up the fact that he was great with his hands. Willy said, “All the cement, the lumber, the reconstruction I put in this house! There ain’t a crack to be found in it anymore” (Miller, 74; act2), and Linda said, “He was wonderful with his hands” (Miller, 138; requiem).

According to such quotes, we can clearly see that Willy was striving to be successful in the wrong field, and that he would have been extremely successful as a carpenter or handyman. Willy’s dream was strongly motivated by all the wrong reasons. These reasons made him neglect his wife and his sons. Janet Witalec a critic of Miller’s play said, “Willy’s commitment to false social values? consumerism, ambition, social stature? keeps him from acknowledging the value of human experience? the comforts of personal relationships, family and friends, and love” (145).

This statement acutely supports the fact that Willy was blind due to his obsession with success, that he could not see in himself all the potential that his wife and his kids saw in him or the support they would have given him if he would have followed his heart and done what he was good at, instead of doing merely the impossible to be a successful salesman. Last but not least, unlike Biff, Willy failed to recognize he was not a successful salesman and that he had the wrong dream. Instead, he preferred to pretend he was successful as well as to live a fake life made out of fantasies, lying and cheating.

Linda, Willy’s wife, knew exactly what was going on and what Willy had been secretly doing so she decided to let Biff know it, “Why shouldn’t he talk to himself? Why? When he has to go to Charley and borrow fifty dollars a week and pretend to me that it’s his pay? ” (Miller, 57; act 1). By this, we can see Willy was not doing well and that he had been trying to cover the sun with one finger. He was not even capable of making enough money to pay the bills. Instead of recognizing his failure, he lied and tried to make everyone believe that he was still successful and well liked everywhere he went.

According to Witalec, Willy had many more reasons that prevented him from accepting and acknowledging that he was a failure, “By taking money from Charley, instead, in the guise of a loan, Willy is able both to retain his self-esteem and to cling to his self-delusions. ” (149). In other words Willy also had selfish reasons that made him deny he was chasing the wrong dream. In the Requiem, Biff is the only one that came to the realization of all of Willy’s mistakes, as well as of all the things he had done wrong. Everybody else wanted to either keep pretending Willy was successful, or to keep making up excuses for his failure.

Biff clearly shares his realization with everyone towards the end, “He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong” Biff says, “He never knew who he was” (Miller, 138; requiem). With these statements, Biff certainly lets us know he was the only one capable of truly understanding what Willy’s problems were and why he was not able to be successful. In conclusion, Willy is a perfect example of all the things that could go wrong when chasing the wrong dream, especially when is done with wrong intensions and for the wrong reasons.

In order to accomplish dreams and goals, people should always make sure to take many aspects in consideration, define their dream, take in consideration their talents and acknowledge and accept dreams are not guaranteed to be accomplished. There are many messages in Death of a Salesman that should be detected by the reader; one of them is to define him or herself as an individual and to follow his or her heart and dreams, no matter what others will think or what their dreams are. Willy Loman was not trying to accomplish a dream of his own; he was blinded and obsessed by trying to accomplish a false dream.

Works Cited

  1. Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin Books, 1986. Print. Witalec, Janet. “Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. ” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Vol. 179. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 144-244.
  2. Literature Criticism Online. Gale. LINCC, Library Information Network for Community Colleges. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. http://galenet. galegroup. com. db11. linccweb. org/servlet/LitCrit/lincclin_hcc/FJ3543300161

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