Last week, associate professor David Davis made several misogynistic comments in a physics lecture, calling the women in his class “useless.” After a student responded in class, he claimed it was just a joke, saying, “Obviously women are not useless. If they were useless, we wouldn’t exist as a species, so it was a joke.”
Afterward, the university issued a statement saying the comments were unacceptable and do not align with NC State values. Additionally, the university suspended the professor.
We should expect more from NC State faculty, staff and administration. Blatantly sexist comments have no room on a campus that aims “to ensure an environment of mutual respect.”
After the incident, many women reported this being an all-too-common experience in STEM. These insensitive comments call into question the abilities of students, which coming from someone who is supposed to be an educator is unprofessional and crude. Sexist remarks like these do the opposite of creating an inclusive learning environment for the student body.
No student at NC State should ever question their value or abilities because of a professor — it goes against the basic principles of education. Davis’s response was more of an excuse than an apology, as it deflected responsibility and invalidated the very real problems that women in STEM deal with constantly. If the professor is to continue working at our university, he must recognize that his actions were wrong, and the university needs to take active measures to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.