Vastavam web: In a unique protest, over 30 US Congresswomen on both sides of the aisle wore sleeveless dresses to support their “right to bare arms” in parts of Washington DC’s Capitol building.The lawmakers staged the protest on Friday against the dress code in the Speaker’s Lobby, a room bordering the House chamber where lawmakers congregate between votes and where reporters conduct interviews.”It’s 2017 and women vote, hold office, and choose their own style. Time to update House Rules to reflect the times!” tweeted Congress member Chellie Pingree.
“The rules are kind of archaic if we just went by tradition in this chamber then we wouldn’t have a women’s bathroom off the floor,” California Democrat Linda Sanchez said, referring to the lack of a women’s bathroom off the floor until recent years.A recent CBS news report about the uneven adherence to the dress code and the story of an unnamed young, female reporter barred from the room because her dress did not have sleeves kicked off an online debate, particularly among journalists.
“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 on the House floor. “With that, Mr Speaker, I yield back.” McSally’s comments helped spark Friday’s bipartisan response, which California Democratic Representative Jackie Speier promoted among the Democratic caucus.New York Democratic Representative Kathleen Rice used the “sleeveless Friday” protest to make her case for more cooperation between female Democrats and Republicans in the House.
On Thursday, Speaker Paul Ryan’s office responded to the controversy by agreeing that the dress code “could stand to be a bit modernized.” Ryan said to “look for a change on that soon.” In a tweet, Ryan’s national press secretary AshLee Strong urged members to “focus on substantive issues” after pointing to Ryan’s announcement about a forthcoming policy change.”Glad to see @SpeakerRyan is updating the dress code for the House Floor. These unwritten rules are in desperate need of updates,” she tweeted on Thursday.In the UK, a similar debate recently erupted when House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said he was happy to relax the rules, the BBC reported.In June, he accepted a question from a member of parliament who was not wearing a tie.