We’ve heard a lot about sexist school dress codes lately, especially with prom season in full swing. But this is a new one: At a chess tournament, a “seductive” 12-year-old girl was told she was dressed inappropriately. Yeah, you read that right. Apparently, preteens are being shamed for what they wear to play chess now. This sexist dress code story is bananas.
The news came out when a Malaysian chess coach took to Facebook to protest the way his student was treated at a recent tournament. Apparently, the middle-schooler was approached by an official and informed that her dress was “seductive” and “a temptation from a certain angle.” Ugh, that sentence is so gross and creepy coming from a grown man in regards to a child! It’s absolutely not okay.
Fortunately, this little girl has some adults who have her back.
It’s obvious that this coach is really on the student’s side here.
That’s a good thing – because without other adults in power voicing why this isn’t okay, nothing will change. The anonymous girl (her outfit is pictured, but her face is kept out of the frame) is apparently a chess whiz. She’s the champion of her school district! According to this account, she was interrupted in the middle of her game, which her mother says threw her off for the rest of the playing time. She couldn’t return to the tournament the next day because there were no local shops open in the time frame she was given to find alternate clothes.
You can’t chalk this one up to cultural differences.
Even though it took place in Malaysia, you can tell from the mother and coach’s responses that this isn’t okay, no matter what. Frankly, the chess tournament officials involved need to be called out for this. They were sexualizing a young girl’s adolescent body and, in doing so, prevented her from competing.
This student deserves her shot in the chess world just like any other player. Hopefully there is a resolution offered from the tournament hosts, because this is just wrong.