A senior student at Cornell University stripped down to her underwear during a thesis presentation in a bid to fight ‘oppressive beliefs’ after her professor allegedly criticised the length of her shorts.
Letitia Chai removed her top and shorts in front of her teachers and fellow students Saturday during her honor thesis presentation.
The Ivy League school student claims it was in protest against her Acting in Public professor Rebekah Maggor who she says told her her shorts were too skimpy during a trial run of the presentation.
Chai subsequently penned a Facebook post explaining her side of the story, which has gone viral.
The Cornell Daily Sun reports, she wrote in a Facebook post:
The first thing that the professor said to me was “is that really what you would wear?”
She, a white woman, continued: “Your shorts are too short”.
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 said I was making a statement by wearing my outfit. I told her that I sure as hell wouldn’t change my statement to make her or anyone else feel more comfortable.
Rebekah Maggor told The Cornell Daily Sun:
I do not tell my students what to wear, nor do I define for them what constitutes appropriate dress.
I ask them to reflect for themselves and make their own decisions.
Chai’s fellow pupils said that while Maggor’s comments had an ‘error in phrasing’ her point was to highlight ‘the importance of professionalism in certain public speaking situations.’
They also said the professor apologised repeatedly for her initial comments and conceded ‘the notion of ‘short shorts’ on women carry a lot of cultural and political baggage.’
The social media reactions didn’t exactly have a consensus, with some praising Chai for her decision to strip off while others saw it as ‘childish’ and ‘self-serving’.
What a childish, self-serving idiot. No one needs to see her flabby body… put something on, for crying out loud.
Cultural degeneracy. Says a lot about your ideas when you can’t get them across without resorting to cheap tactics of seeking attention.
A third fumed:
Was this at a high school or a college? They should’ve been arrested for indecency. Some people will do anything for attention!
On the other hand, one defended Chai:
I am a true conservative and this woman’s point went 100% over so many of these numbskull commenters head.
She was told by her profession her choice of closing would take away from her point and meaning. She stood up and declared she is more than her clothing, sex symbol, woman and Asian. We are all humans. We are all equal. If that thought process is associated the left.. the. Conservatives need to some soul searching. They are going to lose big in 2020.
You go girl! Done letting professors do to us and say whatever they want. I am with you!
No one got in a fuss when I presented my BTEC Media project in front of my teachers in the buff. Now why’s that? Probably because it categorically did not happen.
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