'Absurd': Woman asked to leave library over visible 'bra lines'

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

A young woman has taken to Twitter after being denied entry into a public library because her 'bra lines' were in breach of the dress code.

Malaysian law student Syarifah Amin shared her story on social media after being told her outfit wasn't acceptable with the Kuala Lumpur Library receptionist and security guard refusing to allow her to enter the building.

Syarifah Amin takes selfie in the mirror
A young woman has taken to Twitter after being denied entry into a public library because her 'bra lines' were in breach of the dress code. Photo: Twitter/Syarifah Amin

They reportedly told Syarifah that her bra was "eye-catching", despite the fact she was wearing a long sleeved top.

She added that if she wasn't wearing a bra her nipples would have been visible.

"Anyways, I told the guard and the receptionist I came here to study," she wrote.

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"I’m wearing long sleeves and long pants. I’m not going to wear a 'sweater' to cover my ‘bra lines’.

"I literally just want to study."

The dress code at the library prohibits singlets, shorts, skirts above the knee and tight clothes. Women also aren't allowed to wear "body-hugging" shirts.

Syarifah continued, saying she "literally fought" her way in, adding, "They let me in cause they were scared I was gonna make a fuss."

Syarifah Amin in library
Syarifah shared photos of her outfit on social media, questioning why it was 'inappropriate'. Photo: Twitter/SyarifahAmin

She shared another set of photos of the outfit and wrote, "Here are some other angles of my clothing since some comments are still justifying its inappropriate."

The library has since defended its actions and shared that visitors must comply with the dress code.

"So they expect you to not wear bra?" one Twitter use questioned.

Another added, "Why is this such an issue. I mean your outfit is modest enough!"

"I don’t see how this is “inappropriate” dressing honestly I would’ve done the same thing too. It’s a library and you’re just there to study for God’s sake," someone else said.

Syarifah responded, "Tell me about it... ?! And it’s a libraryyyyy I’m wearing the most boring unattractive clothes to be comfy in. And what are they afraid of ??? The mALe gAzE???"

Another user wrote, "Utterly absurd that you had to endure this. Creepy obsession with policing women's bodies, the way we dress. How did we get here and how do we get the heck out. Glad you pushed back (but frustrating that you had to in the first place)."

Some Twitter users, however, weren't on Syarifah's side with one user responding, "Better study at home if you cant respect the rules..."

Fila Magnus, the Malaysian member of the Commonwealth Youth Gender Equality Network (CYGEN), a youth-led network promoting gender equality said the incident was "disheartening".

"As the world learns to live with a new normal, it's disheartening how Malaysia continues to find itself stuck with a 'norm' it refuses to move on from," Fila told the South China Morning Post.

"Preventing a young woman from having access to a public facility, all in the name of visible bra lines, shows us very clearly that it is more important to regulate what a woman chooses to wear, than to allow her, her rights as a citizen to utilise the public space to study, as she ought to be able to."

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