A Cornell University senior delivered her honours thesis after stripping down to her bra and underwear in front of her teacher and classmates. At least two dozen of whom also undressed – in a bid to “stand against oppressive beliefs and discrimination,” Campus Reform reported Tuesday.
Letitia Chai stripped down to her underwear to present her thesis at the Ivy League school in a bid to fight oppressive beliefs after claiming her professor questioned the shorts she was wearing.
It was a demonstration against her Acting in Public professor Rebekah Maggor, who Chai claims told her earlier in the week that her shorts were too short during a trial run of her presentation.
According to her; “When I got up to start, my professor said: ‘Is that really what you would wear?”
“Your shorts are too short.”
Chai penned a Facebook post following the incident last Wednesday, saying she was wearing a blue button down and cutoff jean shorts when her professor questioned her clothing. She said she was filled with rage and disbelief after the incident happen.
She recalled wearing a “long-sleeve blue button-down shirt and denim cut-offs,” which she alleged her professor told her was “inviting the male gaze away from the content of my presentation and onto my body.
“An international male student agreed with the professor.”
Chai said Maggor tried to justify her question by explaining she was addressing her from the point of view of a concerned mother, to which Chai replied, that her mom “is a Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies professor” who would’ve been proud of her for her outfit.
In the class syllabus, students’ “dress” is one of the course requirements.
“For your performances, dress appropriately for the persona you will present,” the syllabus reads, “For example, how would you dress for a specific job interview?
“How would you dress when introducing a famous speaker at a particular conference? How would you dress to give a speech at a protest rally?”
The students in the class, while still supporting Chai, wrote a joint letter defending the professor’s comments, but nevertheless, the faculty will undergo “training in diversity, equity, and inclusion” as a result of the exchange, according to an email Chai posted on Monday.
Maggor and Chai refused to comment further on the issue.