A strict dress code for female lawmakers has caused a stir after being passed as part of a new set of rules.
The Missouri House of Representatives passed a stricter dress code for women, requiring them to cover their shoulders at work.
The move, proposed by Republican state Rep. Ann Kelley, sparked outrage from some Democrats, who said the change was sexist because the dress code for men was not changed.
The previous dress code required women in the Missouri House of Representatives to wear “dresses or skirts or pants with a blazer or sweater and appropriate dress shoes or boots.”
However, the new rules require women to cover their shoulders by wearing a jacket, knitted blazer or cardigan.
Kelley, speaking on the floor of the home, said she felt compelled to offer the change, which “cleans up some of the language … by reflecting the language in the gentleman’s dress code,” CNN reported.
“Men have to wear a jacket, shirt and tie, right?
“And if they walked in here without a tie, they’d be knocked out in no time. If they walked in without a jacket, they would be knocked out in no time.
“So we’re so interested in being equal.”
The dress code change passed in a ballot and the rules were passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature by a vote of 105 to 51, but not without a hearing from House Democrats.
“Do you know how it feels to have a bunch of men in this room looking at your top and trying to determine if it’s appropriate or not?” said Democratic state Rep. Ashley Aune.
Republicans were forced to amend the amendment to include cardigans after Democratic State Assemblyman Raychel Proudie highlighted the impact requiring blazers could have on pregnant women.
“I don’t think I’m qualified to say what’s appropriate or not appropriate for women, and I think that’s a really dangerous path for all of us,” said Democrat MP Peter Merideth, who declined to vote.
“Well, I know some governments require women to wear things over their face, but here, ‘Oh, it’s okay because we’re just talking about how many layers they need to have over their shoulders,'” Merideth added added.
According to the State House website, women hold less than a third of the seats in the Missouri House of Representatives, which consists of 116 men and 43 women.
A group of bipartisan women lawmakers in the US Congress protested their “bare arms right” and forced then-Speaker Paul Ryan’s office to change the dress code, and the US Senate followed suit.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7151177/dress-code-female-lawmakers-missouri-outrage/ Outrage over a strict new dress code for female legislators in one US state, requiring them to keep certain parts of their bodies covered