Cornell University student Letitia Chai stripped down to her underwear while delivering a presentation after a professor reportedly told her that her shorts were "too short" just days earlier. About two dozen of Chai's fellow students joined in.
"This topic transcends all of our social identities and taps right into the heart of who we are," Chai, a fourth-year student, said to a room of nearly 50 people while presenting her thesis paper on May 5.
Chai began undressing as she held back tears, first removing her shoes, then her pants and, lastly, her shirt.
"I am more than Asian. I am more than a woman. I am more than Letitia Chai. I am a human being," she said while undressing.
Then 28 of the 44 people in the room also took off their clothes, The Cornell Sun reported.
The protest came just days after Chai was presenting a trial run of her thesis in her class "Acting in Public: Performance in Everyday Life" on May 2.
When Chai went to give her trial run presentation, professor Rebekah Maggor questioned the student's outfit choice. "Is that really what you would wear?" Maggor asked Chai.
Chai, who was wearing a long-sleeve button-down shirt and jean cutoff shorts, said she was "shook" by Maggor's alleged comments.
"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 wrote on Facebook.
“I am not responsible for anyone's attention because we are capable of thinking for ourselves and we have agency,” Chai told The Cornell Sun, referring to Maggor's alleged comments that her outfit would invite the wrong type of attention.