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I'm a youngish, female instructor at a community college in a relatively conservative area of the U.S. I should be used to dealing with misogynist male students and all their complete bullshit, but it still makes me so angry I can't even think straight. So, here's the story:

Most of my class is awesome. They ask great questions, they seem to pay attention, and they seem to be interested in the stuff that we're working on. But then there's this one guy. He's older, probably 60's, and sits in the front row of my class. In the same row, there are two other students, both female. The male student does this "joking but not really" thing with the two female students. He gives them "a hard time" all the fucking time. He has said things that are rude, offensive, and, at times, out and out mean to one of the women in particular. One of these women has a disability that somewhat limits her movement. As she was putting her items down and getting ready for class the other day he came up behind her and said loudly, "Well, are you going to stand there and take up the whole aisle or can I sit down, too?" Rude. I told him to be nice. (Which I should not have to say to an ADULT.) It's also clear to me that the other woman who sits closer to him does not like him at all from the interactions I have overheard.


Not only this, but he has been rather rude to me, as well. During the second week of class, he came in, sat down, looked at me and said, again, loudly, "Well, you're already behind on our grading." I, dumbfounded, because they hadn't had a major assignment yet, said, "You have completed two discussion boards. Those are graded. I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about." He answered, "I'm talking the points we get for showing up to class." I returned, "You don't get points for showing up. Sometimes I do discussion boards in class. You get points for doing those. You do not just get points for walking in and sitting in the chair." He seemed displeased. He frequently also tries to tell me how to do my job.

In class this week, we had a small group activity. I assigned groups the previous week. I did put the two women that sit next to him in the same group, because they seem to get along and one is rather shy. He grumbled a little about not being in a group with those around him on the day they were assigned. Then, this week, when we were completing the activity, I heard him complaining to his entire group and muttering to himself. I decided not to confront him during class because sometimes I immediately go into sarcastic mode, and that does not often work well with these students I've learned. If they feel they have an audience, it will often become a total nightmare. Later in the day I decided to email him to ask about his behavior. He responded today. He said he was upset because he couldn't work with the people in his row.

I let him know that several people in class, including those in his own damn group, were not working with people next to them. I also informed him that for future complaints, he needs to log them directly with me and not with those around him. I've handled it as professionally as I can, but goddammit I shouldn't have to tell adult men to not bully the women in class. I shouldn't have to defend my credentials and my teaching choices constantly because he doesn't trust them. I shouldn't have someone in an entry level writing course tell me how to do something I have fucking Master's in. I think I've got this.

I'm fairly certain the only reason he wanted to be in a group with those women is because he felt he could control and intimidate them. I'm fairly certain that he feels that he can intimidate and bully me. And that really fucking makes me angry.

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