A Cornell University senior stripped to her bra and underwear during her thesis presentation — and got two dozen others to join in — to protest her professor’s contention the week before that her clothing was inappropriate.
Letitia Chai led the revealing demonstration Saturday during her “Acting in Public: Performance in Everyday Life” class to stand up “against oppressive beliefs,” she said in a Facebook Live video of the event.
It came days after her professor, Rebekah Maggor, questioned whether the denim cutoff shorts Chai was wearing during a test run of the presentation were too short.
“The first thing that the professor said to me was ‘is that really what you would wear?” Chai wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. “The professor proceeded to tell me, in front of my whole class, that I was inviting the male gaze away from the content of my presentation and onto my body,” she wrote.
“I think that I was so taken aback that I didn’t really know how to respond,” she told the Cornell Sun.
Some students stood up for her, telling the professor she was the one being inappropriate and questioning her perception of men, but one international student sided with the teacher, saying it was Chai’s moral obligation to dress more conservatively.
“Am I morally offending you?” Chai said she asked the student, with tears of rage in her eyes, before storming out of the room.