Many schools are guilty of perpetrating gender stereotypes. As Amanda Chapman states, “Sitting in the same classroom, reading the same textbook, listening to the same teacher, boys and girls receive very different educations” (Chapman). For example, some schools offer football only to boys and hockey only to girls. This type of separation creates obvious problems for students who have fluid genders or who identify with a gender other than the one they are labelled as on paper.
The documentary ‘I’m Just Anneke’ (Skurnik) is successful in educating people about gender-fluidity in young people. I believe that gender-fluidity is just as sound and acceptable as any other form of gender identity. There is absolutely no reason why people should be forced to conform to one gender or the other, or to choose which gender to associate with before they are fully ready. Anneke would certainly come up against discrimination in my local school, but probably only at first. With education, generally, comes acceptance. My feeling is that students would get to know Anneke and would accept her for who she is, but it may take some time.
Anneke’s endocrinologist and parents wish to allow Anneke to experiment with her gender-fluidity. I fully agree that this is the best thing to do, as long as it is truly what Anneke wants. Some people may argue that, at this age, Anneke is too young to know what she wants. However, she probably does know that she identifies as male, but she isn’t sure whether she wants to go through a lot of surgery when she is older or to be a tomboy and accept the body she has been born into.
Chapman, A. Gender Bias in Education. Educational Exchange. Retrieved from
Kenyon, Dr C.A.P. Sex and Gender: Nature or Nurture? University of Plymouth Department
of Psychology. Retrieved from
Skurnik, J. I’m Just Anneke. Media That Matters. Retrieved from