Persuasive Essay: Memories of Our College Day

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This written task is based on Part 1 language in cultural context and the focus will be on the topic Gender (inequality, constructions of masculinity and femininity). The stimulus chosen is of a recent speech by Madonna. The stimulus in itself isn't controversial although what she asserts is. The text type is a personal letter to a friend wherein support for Madonna's cause will be seen.

The basic outline will be to persuade my friend through conviction to understand Madonna on a more emotional level, therefore involving a high appeal to pathos in my diction and syntax. The audience for this would only be my friend as the text type clearly suggests. I believe that this task will allow me to reflect upon and elucidate the ideas and issues discussed in Part 1 through the context of a real-life situation. Key ideas portrayed include but are not limited to feminism, double standards, and sexism.

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I as a student of English language and literature would wish to implement the ideas and discussions from Part 1 not just theoretically but also in the practical world and this written task puts in those beliefs and ideas in a more clear perspective. I was born and brought up in the Middle East where gender equality was not the highest, and I come from an Indian ethnic background where again to this day the female members have been undermined by society if not directly then indirectly. This struggle has been on ongoing one and I as an IB student being open-minded and global will contribute towards this. Although this letter is a bit formal, as it should have been more casual because the addressee is a friend of mine, the formal tone helps convey a more serious message.


Dear Tony,

How are things in New York? I haven't heard from you for ages, I hope all is well for you and your family. It's funny how quick time is flying by, we both now have families of our own and I still remember our days at university, as if it were yesterday. Well, I won't deny, time does teach you a lot of things. The other day I was laughing at myself reminiscing about our days back in college. We were callow and didn't know a thing about the seriousness of life. If not you, at least I was. We would just live the moment, not bothering about any future plans of settling in.

Having a family is a whole new level at responsibilities. At times I question myself, how the heck did I survive with such a laid-back attitude all my life up until college? I feel like I'm truly experiencing life only since I've started a family of my own. Life isn't just about fun and enjoyment. It also includes responsibilities and commitments.

It's ironic how life is making me matured, the more I'm able to connect with those whom I used to despise. Who would've thought that a guy like me would actually appreciate and sympathize with people such as feminists? You heard me right, I'm not making a sarcastic joke here. They say walk a mile in someone's shoes before criticizing em. Well, I guess that quote finally makes sense to me. I can't empathise although I certainly do feel sympathy.

Remember Tony, we used to literally laugh and ridicule Madonna back in our college days. Little did I know what we were doing. Well, if there's one thing that I've realized since then it would be that pointing fingers at others is easy. Judging others for who they are is easy. Insulting and demeaning others is easy, but putting in the time to understand the other person through their perspective is something most of us find difficult.

About a week ago I was surfing through some educational websites for my English task when I got redirected to this link on YouTube. It was a speech by Madonna. It was at billboards and is a quite impressive event. Before I watched that speech I still had the same belief about her that I used to have during my college days, but this time my mindset was different. While I was halfway through the video, I started to tear up, seeing her from a whole new perspective and surprisingly, every single word that she spoke meant something to me. I was astounded by what I had just seen. I had never expected or would've thought of in the slightest that Madonna, the person I used to openly ridicule and insult had to go through so much in her life to reach where she is today. I was overwhelmed by guilt. I felt like a criminal for what I had done and for the kind of beliefs that I had for her. I spent the next few hours contemplating of what life really is, I started getting questions in my head like, are all the people that I've hated on good people? Have I wronged many more other than Madonna? What she must have gone through after witnessing hate which she didn't deserve from people like me? Are people like me responsible for the rebellious nature of people like Madonna? Do I even know anything?

I was baffled.

It was a paradigm shift I was facing. I finally witnessed reality with my very own eyes. I finally understood and realized how inaccurate my perception of the world was. Soon enough I also realized that i wasn't the only one, there must inevitably be more criminals such as myself who live to this day living in a world of misconceptions and misinterpretations, spreading this negativity that they possess, proliferating in numbers.

How did this all start? Since when did we start fighting our own people? There can be many stakeholders to blame, significant ones being the media and society at large. Stereotypes, double standards, sexism...... in short, the division of our community by categorizing individuals and dismantling the unity that we 'claim' to possess. They say unity is strength and clearly humanity doesn't seem to be at its optimum strength.

Weak, needy, submissive, sex object, whore, slut.........and the list goes on. If these are the labels given to women then in what way can society expect for them to remain quiet. Feminists exist for a reason, they wouldn't just pop out of nowhere just for fun or to have a good time. They became feminists because of what they had faced in their lives. We may not understand them at first but if we give thought to where they are coming from and why they are doing what they are doing, then the answer will be right in front of our eyes.

Madonna is just one of them. There are many Madonnas in this world fighting for the most fundamental of rights. We just have to spot them and support them if what they stand for, is deserving of acceptance by society.

Tony my friend, I honestly hope that you see the reality of what I’m speaking of. Our college days are long gone, they’re history. We can’t afford to be immature and ignorant anymore. The world’s a big place my friend. Remember, everyone does something for a reason, we just have to spot that reason and understand the other person. Making judgments is easy, but the solution to this ongoing issue is not. I hope you too can see the reality which I speak of, better late than never.

Bibliography/Citations -

  1. Billboard magazine. 'Madonna Woman of The Year Full Speech | Billboard Women in Music 2016.' YouTube. YouTube, 14 Dec. 2016. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.
  3. Gallo, Carmine. Talk like TED: the 9 public speaking secrets of the world's top minds.
  4. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2014. Print.
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Persuasive Essay: Memories of Our College Day. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“Persuasive Essay: Memories of Our College Day.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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