The piece had several anecdotes of female reporters who were prohibited from the speaker’s lobby due to their lack of sleeves, and asserted that this was brand new policy.
Other outlets ran with this information, and wrote similar pieces about the supposed new sexist dress code. Jezebel eventually updated its post to clarify that this policy is not new, but as the saying goes–a lie goes halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
There’s just one issue, that is more than a little bit relevant to the whole thing: This is not a new dress code and it is not a new policy under Paul Ryan and it is not suddenly being enforced for the first time in a while. The dress code has existed for well over a century.
Full article: No, Paul Ryan Did Not Implement A Restrictive Dress Code For Congress – Christine Rousselle
Wow. OK. As the article states, no, this isn’t new dress code and Paul Ryan didn’t create it.
But something else popped out at me. How is this dress code “sexist?”
I had this same complaint when the entire “air conditioning is sexist” talking point was a thing, and I think it might still be a thing to a small group of feminists.
The guys are in there in suits. Year round. That means long pants, dress shirt, tie, suit coat, socks, shoes. When it gets hot, women can wear a dress, which is even more wonderful now that very few women wear pantyhose anymore (guilty. I haven’t worn hose since I was in grade school). They can also, in many cases, go sleeveless or wear short sleeves. Men don’t have this option. Men are dressed down from neck to toes all the damn time. So yes, the air conditioner is set to be cooler because they are sweating their asses off because they are required to. The female dress code is a lot more summer heat friendly.
In this situation, being asked to cover your shoulders isn’t exactly sexist! The men can’t do it, either. They’re still in there in the nasty D.C. heat dressed down from neck to toes. You can still wear a short sleeved shirt or dress while they can’t.
So please explain to me how being asked to not go sleeveless is sexist.