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Gender Bender


I’ve spoken before about gender stereotypes and work, but something happened this week that really gets my goat. I’m involved in a voluntary capacity at my local school, which is a village, state school for 5-12 year olds. The school is lucky enough to have two male teachers. I say lucky because I believe male teachers are hugely important role models for boys at this age and there are not enough of them in the profession.

One of the teachers is relatively new. It came out in conversation that the village witches had been gossiping about this guy and casting aspersions about his sexuality. Apparently it was their conclusion that he was gay. Unfortunately I wasn’t there when the conversation took place (or maybe fortunately), because I would have had one or two things to say about the matter.

What the hell does a teacher’s sexuality have to do with their ability to teach? If he was gay, does that really matter? But….perhaps….just perhaps the actual undertone here is something different….something more sinister?

Are these people having the same conversation about the women teachers? My outraged reaction was something along the lines of, “well that witch is fat and ugly and wears trousers all the time so she must be a dyke”. But are they wondering whether the nice Miss.Y from class 3 actually likes sleeping with corpses because she wears black a lot? Or Miss. Z who wears shorter skirts than most spends her weekends partaking in Romanesque orgies?

No, it’s because he is a man. And a man who “god forbid” is working in a predominantly female profession. Ergo sum he is gay and probably a kiddie fiddler to boot. The same conversations were murmured in the darkest recesses of the playground about the other male teacher, but he’s been around for a number of years now and since Special Branch haven’t swooped in and confiscated his computer, I guess he must be ok……?

Years ago I went for an interview with a major pharma. It was a long process and at the final stage, I waited a long time for feedback. The call from the head-hunter eventually came: “they really like you, you have all the skills and experience they are looking for, it’s just, well, they think you’re a bit…….gay…..” So I told them to go f***k themselves….up the arse. It doesn’t matter that I am married. That I have two kids. I’m a man, in a predominantly female profession. Therefore I MUST be a homosexual. And anyway, what if I was?

And it’s the same case for this guy. He has a girlfriend. I’ve met her. But I guess that counts for nothing to the school yard witches.

If you’re a man, in a woman’s world……well hell, there must be something wrong with you.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sayya26 permalink
    10/16/2009 13:46

    wow- that is so utterly judgmental and WRONG. So because the field just happens to be predominantly female- something's wrong with a man if he man enters it? God forbid he actually enjoys the job!

    And if he was gay- so what? is it like a defect or something? does it make him mentally deficient or incapacitated in some way that he can't do his job well?

    Sorry to say- but that's women for you- gossip gossip judge gossip condemn gossip!! that's y i prefer talking to the boys!

  2. Fernandomando permalink
    10/16/2009 22:44

    Those bitches in your village sound like the kind of morons who would march the streets of Portsmouth trying to burn the paediatricians.

    I'm not surprised a male primary school teacher has a girlfriend- the rest of those harpies must have been throwing themselves at him.

    But then, how many men that you know have ever said, at any stage, 'My ideal career is to be a primary school teacher'. It is similar to the nursing profession. True, there are heterosexual nurses- just look at casualty or holby city- but they are few and far between. This is a real problem in our society. I say give primary school teachers huge, state sponsored bonuses of £500k per year. Then sit back and see how many intellectually retarded jezabels call those teachers gay.

    I rest my case.

  3. HRD permalink
    10/20/2009 08:12

    @Sayya – indeed wrong with a capital R.

    @Fernando – there is a waped and twisted logic to your argument, but I kind of like it!

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