Washington has had more than its share of controversies in 2017. We have had controversies over affordable healthcare, Russia, the wall, and several other matters this year. Last week, Paul Ryan sparked his own non-Trump controversy when he backed his Sargeant at Arms enforcing an archaic rule that forbids women from appearing in sleeveless outfits in either the Speaker’s lobby or the House Chamber.
Things were ignited when a female reporter was denied entry when she was on legitimate business in Speaker Ryan’s lobby.
This week, Ryan, in his weekly press conference, announced that he would like to update the dress code, but no action has been taken as of yet. He also made sure no one blamed him for the antiquated rules:
“This is nothing new,” he said. “It’s certainly not something that I devised.”
But that doesn’t mean enforcement couldn’t be a bit modernized, Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference.
“So that is why we will be working with the sergeant-at-arms to ensure the enforcement of appropriate business attire is updated,” he said. “Decorum is important, especially for this institution. And a dress code in the chamber, in the (Speakers’) Lobby, makes sense,” he said.
“But we also don’t need to bar otherwise accepted contemporary business attire. So look for a change on that soon,” Ryan said.
So female lawmakers decided to make their own statement to make sure this wouldn’t go by the wayside (as so many things seem to do in Washington) by making today #sleevelessFriday.
Of course, there were tweets announcing the success of the protest:
“Thank you to all my colleagues who joined me for #SleevelessFriday — because women have the right to bare arms!” tweeted Rep. Jackie Speier
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) said, “It’s 2017, and women vote, hold office, + choose their own style. Time to update the House rules to reflect the times!”
In addition to this move, on Wednesday, Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., made her own politely defiant statement in a speech on the House floor.
“Before I yield back, I want to point out, I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes,” McSally said. “With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.”
Featured image via twitter