A student of Cornell University, Letitia Chai, stripped down to her bra and underwear during a thesis presentation to protest professor and “oppressive beliefs.”
Days prior to this presentation protest her professor, Rebekah Maggor, questioned Chai in her choice of wearing denim cutoff shorts during a test run of the presentation. Chai says, “The first thing that the professor said to me was ‘is that really what you would wear?'”. The professor goes onto say that she is ‘inviting the male gaze away from the content of her presentation onto her body,’ in front of the whole class.
Later that night after the confrontation Chai posted and invited the public to attend her thesis presentation, asking for them to wear their favorite underwear. She live streamed her presentation on Facebook live, for the world to watch including her parents in Korea.
When she started the presentation she stripped to her bra and underwear, with 28 other joining her in solidarity. She was supported by some students, while other support her but not the version of the story she shared.
Students feel that the professor was experiencing an “error in phrasing” and was trying to encourage the importance of professionalism in pubic speaking situations. Professor Maggor has since apologized for misconstruing the incident.