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This 12-year-old's dress got her banned from a chess tournament

Yup, you read that headline correctly. While a 12-year old girl was participating in the National Scholastic Chess Championship held April 14-16 in Malaysia, the Tournament Director and Chief Arbiter declared that her knee-length dress was "too seductive," making her unable to compete. 

While it's been about two weeks since the incident, the student's coach, Kaushal Khandhar, recently wrote an open letter on Facebook that went viral expressing his anger and disgust with the Malaysian chess community. Khandar recounted the situation, saying, “The tournament director deemed my student's dress to be 'seductive' and a 'temptation from a certain angle far, far away.'" He went on to explain that she would be allowed to compete if she wore a pair of slacks. However, surrounding stores were closed and would not be open before the next day's events. 

The student's mother tried to reach the Tournament Director and Chief Arbiter repeatedly before the 9 a.m. start the next day and heard nothing back, leading to her daughter's withdrawal. Withdrawal from the tournament not only affected the mother and daughter emotionally, but resulted in the loss of money and time that had been invested before, during and after the tournament, according to Khandhar's post.

Following, Khandhar gave the tournament director five days to apologize for his words and actions before moving forward with legal proceedings. Five days came and went with no apology, so Khandhar, the student and her family are following through and have begun taking legal action. "This bright young girl was recently the champion of her district in MSS Kuala Lumpur and has shown tremendous potential in chess. This incident has left her extremely disturbed and embarrassed," Khandhar continued to share.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first incident of its kind. Girls are constantly being scrutinized and held under a microscope for their clothing choices. Just recently, two teenage girls were denied from boarding a United Airlines flight by a gate agent because they were told their leggings violated an internal dress code. In April, a high schooler wasn't allowed to attend her senior prom because her dress showed her ankles, also due to a dress code.

Do you think that this girl should have been allowed to compete? Have you ever been called out for violating a dress code? Share your thoughts and stories below.

Photo credit: Kaushal Khandhar

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by Shilpa Raj and Cali Drouillard | 5/4/2017
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