I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but your teacher sounds like a total douchebag. Those questions are absolutely bloody awful anyway, and to go compounding the shititude with five minute rants on it that are actually FACTUALLY INCORRECT is just plain not on.
Congratulations, Teacher! Your shitness is now commemorated across the internet on a blog called STFU Binarists, which will now proceed to utterly demolish you! Have a plutonium biscuit!
1. Gender =/= sex. If the question says ‘gender,’ your answers cannot be ‘male/female’. If the question says ‘gender,’ you need a fucking open text box for people to write the proper answer, because not everyone is a man or a woman! And no-one besides the person themself can know their own gender! (Those, by the way, teacher, are genders. Specifically, thebinary genders. And, as always, since the world is not black and white, there is plenty outside of them.)
2. Sex is a broken system. We don’t know where each end of our binary begins and ends, the word originally meant gender, and sex itself is merely a collection of symptoms generalised to a population where they are not universally applicable. So male/female isn’t an immutable binary either. One, the clusters of symptoms associated with each are so non-universal that 1/100 people are intersex (ISNA), and they deserve recognition. Two, the medical system is being damn inaccurate by trying to use the words ‘male’ and ‘female’ as shorthand. And three, a male body is one belonging to a male. We all have the right to name our bodies in accordance with our selves.
3. THIS WHOLE EPISODE IS INCREDIBLY FUCKING UNPROFESSIONAL.
4. STOP FUCKING ERASING, DEMEANING, IGNORING, DEVALUING, HURTING AND DISRESPECTING US.
5. We’re not doing anything to harm you, teacher. Oh noes, you might have to include an extra couple of tick boxes or *gasp* use an open data field!! The HORROR!! The world is going to DIE RIGHT NOW if your precious little binary is not RIGIDLY UPHELD at the cost of ACCURACY and HUMAN DECENCY!!!! [do people really believe that kind of thing??]
You reacted really well, I must say, comrade(and I congratulate your friend). Politeness in that kind of situation is hard, and to use the teacher’s own lessons against him was a very good approach. Shame the guy had nailed his mind closed.
STFU & EYDS, Binarist teacher, and GTFO of the classroom! You’re harming our kids and your own.