My professor makes me uncomfortable and angry. How do I get through this class without letting my emotions get to me?
I'm taking two courses with a professor that are supposed to cover very basic concepts of culture/ethnicity, religion, and gender. I don't know how to put this-- this professor just says some really incorrect and offensive things and allows a class dynamic that makes me feel really uncomfortable as one of the very few female persons of color in the classes.
- in a lecture on changing gender roles in different cultures: deadpans that it's too bad women are finding work apart from the family and aren't taking care of 'us', 'doing the laundry and washing the dishes'
- repeatedly refers to [other culture thing] as "crazy!"
- "people in asia don't shake hands" "women who cover their bodies are forced to by their male counterparts"
- reinforces exotification, showing youtube videos of [other culture thing] without discussion of how it is significant to the culture, just as a stand in for an example of 'this is different, how wacky!'
The latest thing he's done for a 'lecture' on ethnicity is project an exam from alllooksame
on the screen and ask the class for votes. It was almost half an hour of him calling out "who thinks they're Chinese? Japanese? what about Korean?" while my classmates raised their hands or giggled and laughed at the portraits. Supposedly the reason for this was to demonstrate that yes, asian people do look different.
He frequently says he loves when students argue/disagree with him, but he makes me so angry and upset that I can't even articulate in class exactly why he's out of line. He's never been blatantly racist or sexist or discriminatory, and presents himself as a culturally-accepting/politically liberal person. I've thought about addressing him during office hours, or sending him an email, or talking to the department chair, but I don't know if that'll just be blowing things out of proportion. At this point, I don't trust how emotional I am and I definitely think he senses how hostile I feel towards him. I've been on the verge of crying in class. I need some outside perspective on what to do.
How can I stay engaged in class in a non-reactionary, rational way when I frequently disagree with the professor? How do I deal with this behavior/person?
possibly relevant information:
- dropping is not an option
- I'm a 19 year old female, he is a middle-aged white male
- he is the president of the academic senate and well regarded among his peers