Was never ever told about how to report sexism from teachers at school.

We were told that we should report general bullying between students, but as students, we were never told what kind of procedures we would need to go through to report a teacher for gender prejudice.

All genders of students: female, male and other, I feel should be able to safely report a teacher for sexist conduct. This could be sexual harassment or verbal remarks. I am not a young student any more and I strongly feel that young people coming up should be given clear guidance as to what is appropriate behaviour for teacher and what to do if a teacher or other member of staff engages in behaviour that the student is not comfortable with. This could include homophobia, biphobia, queer phobia or gender prejudiced remarks.

This can be a thorny topic because some things that some people consider to be sexist or gender prejudiced others such as some teachers consider to be fact and “hard science” such as what women’s and men’s brains are supposedly hardwired to do. Some teachers may think that male and female students need to be taught in different styles according to gender (not accounting for individual differences or preferences). Some literature and debate contains sexism. I am not advocating for shielding people with “safe spaces” or squashing debate. It would just be nice if there was some respectful dialogue between people with regard to these issues.

I also see some company training groups say that in order to promote gender equality, people should realise that men and women think differently, therefore need to be treated differently. Hence the “different, but equal” argument about how women are supposedly more empathic than men and how men can supposedly throw more accurately and read maps better.

By the way, does it make me weird or “mentally disordered” if I as a shy woman would prefer to read a map or go on dead reckoning rather than ask people for directions? Would the psychologists and psychiatrists be circling me, like sharks after blood if I even mentioned this to anyone?

I just don’t know what to think any more because men and women clearly have physical and hormonal differences, but what about hermaphrodites or other people who don’t fit into a neat little conceptual box?

It’s hard work, but I think that people should be treated as individuals with their own histories, bodies and preferences rather than be shoved into gender stereotyped boxes. It is lazy thinking to assume that all people you put into one gender category look and behave exactly the same way. Nature is messier and more complicated than that.

There could be outliers and exceptions to categories people graphically draw up.