A senior at Cornell University has stripped down to her underwear to present her thesis in a bid to fight 'oppressive beliefs' after claiming her professor questioned the shorts she was wearing.
Letitia Chai removed her clothes in front of teachers and students on Saturday during her honor thesis presentation at the Ivy League school, the MailOnline reported.
It was a demonstration against her Acting in Public professor Rebekah Maggor, who Chai claims told her earlier in the week that her shorts were too short during a trial run of her presentation.
Chai penned a Facebook post following the incident last Wednesday, saying she was wearing a blue button down and cutoff jean shorts when her professor questioned her clothing.
"The first thing that the professor said to me was 'is that really what you would wear?'" Chai said.
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."
Chai said a male international student in the class then agreed with the professor and she decided to leave the room.
She said her professor later came out of the room and asked her what her mother would think of her clothing.
Chai said she responded: "My mum is a feminist, gender and sexuality studies professor. She's fine with my shorts."
Maggor told the Cornell 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."
Following the viral reaction to Chai's Facebook post, 11 of the 14 students in the class issued a joint statement saying her comments didn't accurately reflect what happened in the room.
The students said that while Maggor's comment had an 'error in phrasing' the main point was to note 'the importance of professionalism in certain public speaking situations'.
They said the professor apologised repeatedly for her initial word choice and agreed that the "notion of 'short shorts' on women carry a lot of cultural and political baggage".
The only people not to sign the joint letter was Chai, the international student and another student who was absent on that day.