It sounds kind of silly (to put it mildly) as an adult, but I really did start into school totally unprepared to recognize and deal with sexism, racism, or ableism. Just to name a few things it didn’t take me too long to end up on the sharp end of.
I just had no clue why people were acting shitty for a long time. Especially since it was rarely as blatant as “girls don’t do X”. I thought I was suddenly terrible, with no other way to account for all the negative reactions.
And I really had not learned a lot of the things some adults obviously expected that everyone had already learned about gender, etc. I got treated as purposely rebellious a lot, when I had no clue what was even being expected in that setting.
The kinds of adults who got worked up about that sort of thing just were not into explaining what you were supposed to be doing wrong, either. Just reacting punitively. I don’t know if they could have even explained why they were getting so angry and hostile, in a lot of cases. Because Everybody Knows, right? :/
I actually wasn’t prepared to deal with a lot of things. I imagine at least partly because my family figured I would pick things up and figure them out on my own. Especially with a pretty strong emphasis on learning through observation.
There are some things I had to get much better at learning through observation over the years.
That did eventually happen. But some more explanations all around might have helped that learning happen sooner and honestly less abusively.
So yeah, I definitely support the idea of preparing kids so they at least know what outside behavoral expectations they’re liable to run up against, and have some clue how to cope with that. Also that they’re not necessarily a bad person or doing anything harmfully wrong, just because an adult gets upset at them.
Sometimes there really is no good reason for it, and certainly nothing that you can really help. Sometimes people are just assholes, and it’s not really even about you.
It can be a hard road if you are not prepared for some of this stuff.