Student Gives Her Senior Thesis in Bra & Panties to Protest Something or Other

SourceA Cornell University student delivered her thesis wearing only her bra and underwear in protest of a professor who allegedly questioned her choice of clothing.

Letitia Chai stripped down to her undergarments while presenting in her “Acting in Public” class on Saturday because she wanted to stand up “against oppressive beliefs and discrimination.”

This came after Chai and Prof. Rebekah Maggor clashed on Wednesday. Chai was getting up to present a draft of her thesis when Maggor asked, “Is that really what you would wear?”

“‘I was wearing a long-sleeve blue button-down shirt and denim cut-offs,” Chai wrote in a Facebook post. “‘She, a white woman, continued: ‘Your shorts are too short.’ “

Maggor then asked Chai, “What would your mom think?”

“My mom is a Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies professor,” Chai shot back. “She has dedicated her life to the empowerment of people in all gender identities. So, I think my mother would be fine with my shorts.”

The Cornell senior, shocked by her professor’s reaction, also encouraged other students to strip down with her while she presented her thesis.

Letitia Chai is my kind of feminist. Empowered. Strong. Self-assured. And ready to take on the world in her underwears to stop the brutally oppressive beliefs and discrimination of the Rebekah Maggors of the world.

What in the name of Gaia Mother Earth did Prof. Maggor think she was doing by shorts-shaming my woman Letitia like this? Preparing her for the real world? Teaching her to be professional? Giving her guidance and skills that will be useful in the job market? Nice try. But she can keep her oppressive, older white woman norms to herself, thankyouverymuch. These students didn’t come to Cornell to be put in a Burka by their “Acting in Public” professors. They came to deliver PowerPoint presentations in bras and panties. Like adults.

I know the true hardcore feminists are tearing each other apart over the whole issue of showing skin. March in a parade topless and you’re bravely advancing the cause of non-binary equality. Wear a belly shirt on a football sidelines and you’re a gender traitor, feeding into sexist stereotypes created by the patriarchy. But feeling so oppressed that you can’t see eye-to-eye over a pair of cutoffs at a Cornell “Acting in Public” class is taking things to a whole other level.

 @jerrythornton1