In the first of a two-part series, Spencer Gordon takes stock of his time teaching at colleges and universities. Spoiler: it sucks.
At Humber, my female colleagues were like war veterans, often enduring daily theatres of unrelenting misogyny. One friend had a condom (casually) hurled at her. Another was grabbed by an irate boy, her arm yanked back because she wouldn’t continue entertaining his demands for a higher grade. Professors and doctors (these are geniuses) are called “miss” and “hey you” and the old fashioned “bitch.” I’ve heard male students loudly talking about gang raping their teachers—my colleagues, coworkers, friends. I’d see them walking through hordes of leering males and actually fear for their safety. It’s enough to send you into a bloodlust. The atmosphere can be unbelievably hostile at a college, and this is usually a college issue, but it certainly spills into the university and into continuing ed. To get a better position elsewhere, with more insidious, palatable forms of misogyny, one must often work through the utter shit trenches (or become stuck there). It is 100 percent more difficult for women. How they endure, persevere, and not kill these boys, I don’t know.