A student at Cornell University stripped down to her underwear during a presentation to make a feminist point.
Letitia Chai, a senior at the Ivy League school, stripped off while giving her thesis presentation to protest comments that her professor had made to her during her practice presentation that she had perceived as sexist.
Writing on Facebook, Chai explained how when she got up to speak, her Acting in Public professor Rebekah Maggor said:
“Is that really what you’re going to wear?’ I was wearing a long sleeve button-down shirt and denim cut-offs. She, a white woman, continued: ‘Your shorts are too short.”
The professor proceeded to tell her that by wearing that outfit, Chai was inviting the male gaze, and distracting from the content of her presentation. Two of her fellow classmates backed her up, but one man agreed with the professor, asking her to dress more conservatively to show some respect.
Continuing in the post, Chai explained why she decided to strip:
This is for every Asian woman who has been told to speak up lest others think she’s submissive. This is for every POC man who has been told to pull up his pants to be taken seriously, and every POC woman who was told to straighten her hair to seem intelligent.