Wednesday WTF

Because I know he already has fans, I give you this brief update on WTFG’s performance today:

Punctuality today: 50 minutes late to class.
Excuse (provided at the end, not during the 2 minutes he was banging around the room to get to his chair, during which time I didn’t even get a muttered, “sorry”): doing some work for another class.
Response to my comment, “I know you aren’t invested in this class, but don’t you think even for you that’s kind of awful?”: “I would drop, but I need this class.”
Response to my further comment, “If you need it don’t you think you need to be here and do the work?”: silence.

WTFG may have some competition for lulz in the form of Sexist Saul, though. Saul is very earnest, is punctual, tries hard and always writes more than he needs to. It’s not always on topic, but in the face of WTF guy, visible effort gets a lot of kudos.

So today, we read a fairly mild piece by Dave Barry about guys not being all that good at cooking, and we were discussing it when Saul piped up with an “I don’t agree with Women Liberation.” Oh dear. See, it turns out that he doesn’t mind if women are equal and get jobs and stuff, but he can’t be having with a woman in a position of authority over a man. He is one of these dudes who can’t shut up, either. So I am staring at him incredulously, and the girl beside him is making shovelling motions – like, dig yourself in deeper, dude – and the students on the other side of the room are laughing, but he just keeps going. Eventually I say, “So, you have a problem having a female professor?”

This gave him pause. “Let me think about that,” he said. So we went back to talking about other issues, and a few minutes later, up goes Saul’s hand again. “The thing is,” he says, “women are just more emotional than men.” The crowd goes wild. Saul ignores the extreme warning signs in the form of the two burly ethnic guys telling him to “just stop talking.” We have a discussion of what sexism means. As an example, I say “Okay, let’s try substituting another group for women in your statement. Would it be okay to say black people are more emotional than white people?” He has another pause for pondering. We talk about how making blanket statements about groups of people is problematic. It’s a useful conversation, if not exactly what I had planned.

Class moves on to some other topics. Saul comes up to me at the end of class and says, “I got your point about racism, I guess, but what about if I said black people just can’t swim? That’s not racist because it is a scientific fact.”

I am sure you haven’t heard the last from him. He’s oblivious, but I think his horrible attitudes are the result of ignorance rather than assholishness: i.e. there is hope. Oh, and we did establish that in the classroom, I am his boss, and he’s pretty much okay with that.

10 thoughts on “Wednesday WTF

  1. Sile

    OH my effin god! 😀 Black people can’t swim! If that ain’t racially lulzy, I don’t know what is. I weep for this guy’s future wife… if he manages to find one old fashioned or DUMB enough to go along with his ideals. Wow. Where did he grow up, in a cave?

    Thank you for sharing your class with us. 😉

  2. paperkingdoms

    Just… awesome. There are times I’m sad that I teach math, because students so rarely feel a need to tell me their views on these things. And then there are the times that I’m happy for exactly the same reasons…

  3. MelindaKnits

    Good times. I knew we were in for something special when I saw that your student had used the term “women liberation” in an unironic way.

  4. cq

    srsly, it’s like they just present their sorry selves up for teh lulz…on a silver platter

    and i hope that you thanked saul for giving you permission to be his “boss”

  5. fillyjonk

    One of my colleagues once had a student tell him that she could not accept evolution for humans, except “kind of for black people, because they kind of look like apes.”

    Where do you even begin to tell someone how inappropriate that is?

    I think if I had a male student make the “women are more emotional” claim, I’d do all I could (un-obviously) to get him emotionally upset, while remaining totally calm myself. Because I tend to be perverse that way.


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