It's summer! It's hot out! And most women, especially those who live in very hot areas like Washington, D.C. are not here for wearing anything with sleeves. This has, however, become a bit of a problem for female reporters covering politics, as it is apparently verboten for them to enter the certain parts of the Capital with their slutty, unprofessional arms hanging out for all to see.
Specifically, sleeves are required and open-toed shoes are banned in the Speaker's lobby, which is where reporters go to conduct brief interviews with members of congress. There's been a bit of a cracking down on this rule lately, with some female reporters finding themselves getting the boot for wearing the wrong attire.
A young, female reporter recently tried to enter a guarded room known as the Speaker's lobby outside the House chamber, but her outfit was considered inappropriate because her shoulders weren't covered. She was wearing a sleeveless dress.
Forced to improvise, she ripped out pages from her notebook and stuffed them into her dress's shoulder openings to create sleeves, witnesses said. An officer who's tasked with enforcing rules in the Speaker's lobby said her creative concoction still was not acceptable.
That reporter is a hero and I love her. Another reporter, Haley Byrd of the Independent Journal Review, also got the boot.
"When I was kicked out that day, I was just trying to pass through the area to reach another hallway, but I was told I was violating the rules. They offered to find a sweater for me to put on, so it wasn't some tyrannical end of free press, but I opted to just go around instead. But recently they've been cracking down on the code, like with open-toed shoes," she said, adding that sometimes she walks fast and those on patrol don't notice.
"I suspect the rules are being emphasized now that it's summertime and excruciatingly hot outside and everyone is dressing for the weather."
There are, of course, rules for men's attire as well. They're required to wear sports coats and ties.
Then, there are the exceptions. When Michelle Obama was First Lady, she wore sleeveless dresses to several State of The Union addresses inside Congress's chambers. Ivanka Trump has also been allowed to bare her shoulders to all of congress on at least one occasion.
The strange thing is though -- there isn't actually an official dress code. There are no rules posted anywhere, and nothing official on the books. They're also not even enforced on the Senate side of the capital. It's just Congress. The closest to any specific explanation of this dress code is House Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement earlier in June that "Members should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House however brief their appearance on the floor may be."
Which is quite disappointing, as you would think that the Republican establishment would be far more devoted to protecting our Second Amendment right to bare arms.