A photo of congresswomen wearing sleeveless outfits.


Congresswomen Exercise Their Right to Bare Arms With #SleevelessFriday

Always good to give Paul Ryan the cold shoulder whenever possible

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The Resistance is alive and well in the halls of the Capitol. On Friday, congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) organized #SleevelessFriday in response to outdated (and vague) dress codes related to Speaker’s Lobby attire.

The outcry over enforcement of the old rule bubbled up on July 6th when Independent Journal Review reporter Haley Byrd tried to use pieces of her notebook paper to cover her shoulders, but was kicked out of the Speaker’s Lobby anyway. Other female colleagues also attested to similar treatment.

And while it’s worth noting that there are wardrobe limitations for both women and men in certain areas on Capitol Hill, women tend to be disproportionately impacted and unduly sexualized by dress codes. As Laura Bates, a co-founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, noted about the pervasiveness of this issue, “There’s a real culture being built up through some of these dress codes where girls are receiving very clear messages that male behavior, male entitlement to your body in public space is socially acceptable, but you will be punished.” 

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his intent to amend the rules, saying that its enforcement could “stand to be a bit modernized.” And women working in Congress made sure to underline this point on Friday.

Keep resisting and persisting, ladies!


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