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When a girl kept beating all the boys in a chess tournament, the officials took one look at her dress and told her she had to leave. She was wearing a simple, striped dress that revealed nothing but her arms, yet the officials determined that her outfit was too “seductive” for the tournament and kicked her out. They didn’t care that she was perhaps one of the best players in the room – they just decided that she was winning because of her good looks and that was reason enough to kick her to the curb. Now people are fighting back in support of the 12-year-old girl and the trend to admonish women for their outfits.
Over the years, many women have become targets of abuse and scandal because of what they are wearing. For example, a Georgia teacher was ridiculed because she wears form-fitting outfits in the classroom. A student was kicked out of prom because chaperone dads couldn’t stop “ogling” her. And a Montana teen was reprimanded one week before her high school graduation because she wasn’t wearing a bra.
Everywhere you turn, it seems someone in charge is telling women what is and what is not “appropriate.” And women are growing sick of being controlled.
The incident at the chess tournament occurred on April 27, 2017 in Malaysia. The 12-year-old competitor arrived in a knee-length, capped-sleeve dress to play chess and win. But after she got there and started playing, the tournament director decided that her outfit was too “seductive” and temping for the teenage boys. She was kicked out.
Because the tournament officials tried to keep their discrimination quiet, Kaushal Kal, a chess player and coach, shared a post to Facebook to expose the sexism in chess. Kal wrote about what happened and the post went viral with thousands of reactions and shares.
Here’s what Kal wrote in the post:
“DEAR MALAYSIAN CHESS COMMUNITY,
“I heard the most disturbing incident from one of my students’ mother.
“At the National Scholastic Chess Championship 2017, in Putrajaya, one of my students, who is a 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL, felt harassed and humiliated by the actions of Tournament Director and Chief Arbiter.
“In the middle of Round 2, (without stopping the clocks) Chief Arbiter informs my student that the dress she wore was improper and has violated the dress code of the tournament.
“It was later informed (by Chief Arbiter) to my student and her mother that the Tournament Director deemed my student’s dress to be “seductive” and a “temptation from a certain angle far, far away.”
“We found this statement completely out of line!
“Please see attached photo of what she was wearing! Completely ridiculous!”
Eventually, the student and her supporters fought back against the ruling. Kal continues:
“After some discussion, Chief Arbiter had conceded and apologised to my student, personally assuring her that there was nothing wrong with her attire, but due to Tournament Director’s decision, he could not allow this dress to be worn by my student in the tournament.
“This discussion happened at around 10 pm and Chief Arbiter gave them a choice to go to the mall nearby to buy a long slack for the next day 9 am round. Due to the timing of this incident, it was impossible to get another attire in time for the 9 am round next day, as all shops were already closed and wouldn’t be open in time.
“Before the morning round next day, my student’s mother called Tournament Director regarding this matter, initially, he had replied that he was not aware of the situation but after a brief discussion, it was realized that he knew all the details of this incident prior to this phone call.
“He promised to return the call upon discussion with Chief Arbiter, but this did not happen. He would[…] not answer or return any calls of my student’s mother.
“This situation had led to the inevitable decision of withdrawal from the tournament altogether.
“We are absolutely DISGUSTED by the treatment of Tournament Director to a 12-year-old girl and her mother. This incident has resulted in loss of time and money, which was invested before, during, and after the tournament on coaching, registration fees, traveling, accommodation and other incurred cost.”
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