Culture&Arts

Female journalist gets turned away in the House for sleeveless dress

Female journalist gets turned away in the House for sleeveless dress

In February, multiple media outlets reported that women in the Trump administration were feeling pressured to wear dresses at all times, even when they were going door-to-door during the campaign on "get out the vote" drives.

However, the Speaker's Lobby, which is located in front of the House Chamber, has been enforcing these interpretative rules for journalists.

A few weeks ago, on the heels of the women who've been protesting in government buildings like the Texas Senate, a group of Planned Parenthood supporters turned up outside the White House outfitted in red robes and white bonnets, silently calling attention to the similarities between today's political climate and the dystopia where women have lost all rights described in Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel, The Handmaid's Tale.

Billy House, congressional correspondent for Bloomberg News, is chairman of the Standing Committee of Congressional Correspondents. Women are not allowed to wear sleeveless dresses when they go to the speaker's lobby.

"Members should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House however brief their appearance on the floor may be". In the update, then Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, a Democrat from MA, "announced that he considered as proper the customary and traditional attire for Members, including a coat and tie for male Members and appropriate attire for female Members". In the 96th Congress, then-Speaker Tip O'Neill, a Democrat, "announced that he considered as proper the customary and traditional attire for Members, including a coat and tie for male Members and appropriate attire for female Members", a 2015 edition of the manual said.

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The CBS News report also made waves on Twitter, where several female journalists shared their own encounters with the dress code.

CBS reports that the House's dress code is largely a matter of interpretation left, in this case, to the whim of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

While enforcement of the dress code appears more stringent in the summertime, this rule has been nebulously at play for a while.

Reporter Haley Byrd recalled to CBS a time she was asked to leave the latter, which she was only trying to pass through to reach another hallway, because of her attire.

In fact, several female journalists have reported they were turned away from the lobby due to their bare arms and shoulders. In D.C.'s humid stench, the reporter wore a sleeveless dress. The loaned cravats are known as the Tie of Shame. A tie will invariably make the dress shirt look more formal. Ryan is clamping down on sleeveless dresses at the Capitol. Just let the woman do her job. An officer who's tasked with enforcing rules in the Speaker's lobby said her creative concoction still was not acceptable.

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