Woman talking(l+r), Woman pointing to email(c)


‘I feel so completely grossed out’: Student gets email from professor saying her ‘short skirt’ encouraged ‘fantasy.’ She’s not the only one

‘He told another girl.’


Nina Hernandez


Posted on Mar 27, 2024   Updated on Mar 27, 2024, 10:22 pm CDT

A college student is viral on TikTok after posting an email from her professor that says her choice of skirt could encourage “fantasy” among her classmates. And she’s not the only one.

TikTok user Abby (@aaaabbbbyyyyyyyyy) posted a video this week about the encounter. It has since racked up more than 1.2 million views on the social media platform. “I got an email today from my professor that I’m like 99% sure constitutes sexual harassment,” says the University of Memphis student in the video. “The email was my grade and feedback for the honors presentation that I had to do for this class. But he chose to like go off the rails and start talking about how my outfit was encouraging people to fantasize about me.”

Abby reads from her professor’s correspondence, which she forwarded to the Daily Dot. “While I really liked it that you dressed for the occasion of your presentation, the short skirt that you chose to wear could be distracting to some folks in your audience,” she reads. “You did remain behind the computer station during most of your presentation, so your attire truly did not distract your audience. The issue with clothing that encourages fantasy is that it has the potential to distract from your presented content.”

Abby says there was not a dress code requirement for the presentation.

“There was no need to make a comment about my attire unless it was something blatantly inappropriate for school,” she says. “He told another girl—who, by the way, was wearing like a T-shirt and jeans—that her tight shirt was distracting to the audience, because people would be paying more attention to her shapely form than to her words.”

Abby says she learned about this comment because she sent her professor’s comments to her class group chat. “This is what I was wearing: A really loose fitting cardigan and a skirt that reaches mid-thigh with shorts underneath and tights. You can’t even see my legs. I don’t think this is the world’s most sexually provocative outfit,” Abby says.

She says if he did have constructive criticism about her outfits, her professor should have approached her differently. “If it was really about your clothing being unprofessional, there are ways to say, ‘Hey, you’ll have to dress differently in a professional setting.’ Than to say it encourages fantasy,” she says.

@aaaabbbbyyyyyyyyy I feel so completely grossed out and like violated and 🤢🤢🤢🤢 thinking about my 75 year old professor implying hes FANTASIZING about my “short skirt” #misogyny #sexism #harassment #menarescary #ew #violated #universityofmemphis #psychology #psychmajor #shortskirt #miniskirtoutfit ♬ original sound – 🥸

In the comments, one user urged, “As a TA, please consider making a report. Even if nothing comes of it, it might help future students. Also, your outfit is cute and professional! I’d wear it to teach.”

In a follow-up video, Abby responds to the sentiment. “I did, within five minutes of receiving that—forwarded it to the head of the psych department,” she says. “He responded and said that’s not OK. Shouldn’t happen. Super concerning. So he reached out to the Title IX office.”

Abby says that she hasn’t had the best experience with that office in the past and isn’t expecting action if she escalates the situation into a formal complaint. She says her main goal is getting an accommodation to avoid going back to the class without failing the course.

One user wrote, “​​I direct the sexual violence prevention program at a community college and I am so sorry this happened to you. It’s so common for TIX to drop the ball, and I’m so sorry that they let you down before.”

@aaaabbbbyyyyyyyyy Replying to @Shelby~~ ♬ original sound – 🥸

In a second update, Abby confirms she set up a meeting with the Title IX office to discuss potential remedies to the situation. She says she also spoke to her classmate with a similar complaint and let her know about how to make a report.

Last month, Goshen College fired an orchestra conductor after learning about his departure from the University of Wisconsin amid sexual harassment allegations. It’s just the latest in a string of scandals related to U.S. universities allegedly violating Title IX.

The Daily Dot reached out to Abby’s professor for comment, and the Title IX office at the University of Texas.

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 27, 2024, 11:00 pm CDT