I don’t call that teaching

I guess Professor E.David Davis of the North Carolina State University never learned how to teach, although he did learn how to be a sexist jerk.

Maira Haque is a junior at NC State and was outraged by what she said Davis said in class to another student. Haque says Davis called on a female student in the class and when she didn’t have the answers to his questions about an assignment, things escalated.

“You’re 20 years old and you forgot to bring this assignment in. Were you dropping the head as a child? Do you have memory problems?” Haque said.

Next, she said, the professor selected another student to answer a question and she too didn’t have the answer.

“She didn’t have the paper either and before he even could begin berating her or anything, she said ‘I have memory problems too,’” Haque said. “And that made everyone laugh, but he kept going and he was like, ‘I guess the women in this class are useless. I guess I should call on a man.’

How well does belittling your students work as a pedagogical exercise, I wonder. Students are already anxious and overworked, I don’t need to ramp that up; if I see a number of students struggling to keep up, that tells me that I need to slow down and try to help. That’s my job.

Don’t worry about Professor Davis. He had an excuse for his behavior. It’s the same excuse I’ve heard from assholes for years.

The professor justified his comments by saying, “Well, obviously, it was a joke. Women are obviously useful because we need them for a species to reproduce,” according to a Twitter video.

“It was just a joke”, compounded by the distasteful argument that “we” (I presume he means us men?) need them just for their ovaries.

That guy should not be teaching at all. I won’t say that it sounds like he’s been dropped on his head a few times, but will instead suggest that his university send him off for remedial training in basic education skills and in humanity. We need to help him catch up with the good faculty, you know.


  1. stwriley says

    I know this is being a bit pedantic, but the professor in question is at North Carolina State University, not the University of North Carolina, which is a different institution. Not that this excuses him in any way.

  2. PaulBC says

    Insult as pedagogy is an old and bad tradition. Nuns at Catholic school saying “If you had brains, you’d be dangerous.” and that’s one of the gentler quips. I thought 21st century college professors at least knew better.

    It’s more surprising that he escalated it into outright misogyny, and then dug in with comments about reproductive needs. The guy is either out of touch or intentionally trolling.

  3. says

    Women are obviously useful because we need them for a species to reproduce

    Unfortunately, you hear such crap pretty often. In my case, such remarks only served to further convince me to remain childfree. If people believe that I’m useful only as a uterus, then I prefer to remain not useful for such a disgusting society.

  4. John Morales says


    If people believe that I’m useful only as a uterus […]

    That something is obviously useful for X does not entail that something is only useful for X.

    (Or: you inserted that “only”)

    Re the OP, it’s not teaching whatever the class subject may be, but it is teaching something.