My husband, Professor Plum, teaches at Huge U in the Elsewhere Studies Department. His field is a period of Elsewherian history, so, as happens to many Elsewherian Faculty, his courses are double-numbered: they count for history or Elsewhere Studies. I am an artist and art consultant, not employed by Huge U. Around here, and in my field, PhDs use "doctor". If they are full professors, they use "Professor." My name is White Lotus. I hold a PhD from PrettyBigU, where I met my husband while we were both grad students. Elsewherian women simply do not, for cultural reasons, change their names on marriage and never have, and I am an old-time American feminist, so I never would have even if I wasn't Elsewherian ethnically (I am US born.) That is B/G.
Fall is here, classes are starting and there are parties galore and will be all year long. There is a history prof, let us call him Professor Jerk. Professor Plum is not subordinate to him and there is no way he can damage Professor Plum's career, but we do have to associate with him. He does two highly offensive things:
First, he always introduces me as "Mrs Plum." When he does this, I stick out my hand and say, in a friendly tone, "Hello, I am Dr. Lotus. Better watch out for Professor Jerk. He's quite forgetful. He still can't get my name and title right after (a whole lot of) years." Anyone have a better way of handling this? He is definitely being deliberately offensive. I would like to take him down loudly and publicly for being a donkey's behind, but I am pretty sure that would be even ruder than he is.
Second, he is one of those men who likes to "hug", which means he likes to grab women and cop cheap feels, and if called on it goes all hurty/pouty-poo and tries to make the woman wrong because it is "just a hug." Elsewherians do not hug generally and certainly not promiscuously or socially, and I don't like it anyway, even if it isn't an excuse for sexual assault. What I have done is managed to step on his feet or kick his shins when he tries to pull this on me and blame my own clumsiness "when I am pulled off balance". Now he treats me with wary respect. I can get him to back away fast when I remind him how terribly clumsy I am.
Here is the problem: I know he does this to every woman he can grab and I would like to be able to warn women grad students and younger faculty members of his tendencies and give them clues (spike heel applied to instep added to smiling apology) about getting him to stop with jeopardizing their bodily integrity, degrees or jobs. I have no idea how to do this, or even if I can. Ideas, anyone?
Professor Plum agrees I am right but thinks I handle Professor Jerk perfectly and need no assistance; it amuses him. He likes to see Professor Jerk hopping around with heel marks on his insteps. He is as blank on ways to warn other women as I am, and has even broached the notion that I should leave it alone and let other women either learn by example or figure out their own ways of coping.
I'd like to hear what E-Hellions think! Thanks.