I truly and honestly cannot believe that archaic dress codes such as this continue to exist in the United States.
Mitch Holmes, a Kansas Republican Senator and the chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, has issued a new dress code of conduct for women who are testifying in front of his committee because apparently he cannot focus when women bare their legs or their collarbone.
While the code of conduct applies to all people who testify before the committee, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal, men are only asked to present themselves in “professional attire.” The code of conduct does not explicate further what “professional attire” entails for men. Women, on the other hand, are given far more specific instructions.
The rule states that “low-cut necklines and mini-skirts are inappropriate.” It does not, however, provide a specific minimum skirt length or a maximum neckline depth for blouses. It will be up to Senator Holmes to determine what is “appropriate” and what is “low-cut.” Basically, testifying before Homes’ committee is the equivalent of being called out of class in high school and having your shorts measured by your science teacher to determine whether you’re dressed appropriately to return to class. Yes, it’s that ridiculous.
In defense of his code of conduct, Holmes said, “It’s one of those things that’s hard to define. Put it out there and let people know we’re really looking for you to be addressing the issue rather than trying to distract or bring eyes to yourself.” Kansas Republican Senator Carolyn McGinn commented in favor of the code of conduct, stating that she is “more interested in what they have to say about the direction our state should go than what they’re wearing.”
Senator Holmes considered adding a rule that said that men had to wear suits and ties, but ultimately decided that men didn’t require instructions on how to look professional. Apparently looking “professional” is something that only comes naturally to men and it is up to men to help us confused, feeble women to determine what dressing “professional” means.
In short? We’re living in a country where a man must implement a school dress code because he cannot focus on his own work because women are showing their legs. Just let that sink in for a little bit.