Democrats and Republicans of the Kansas legislature are outraged over a dress code imposed by Senator Mitch Holmes’ (R, KS) aimed at controlling women’s clothing choices.
The 11-point code of conduct is a comprehensive list of restrictions that apply only to women testifying on bills. Holmes, a 53-year old Republican man, said he wrote the instructions as a public service to provocatively dressed women who are a distraction. According to Holmes, the restrictions were implemented in an effort to thwart women who are testifying from distracting others with low-cut shirts or short skirts.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Holmes considered requiring men to wear suits during testimony, but later decided that only women need lawmakers to tell them how to look professional.
Female senators were outraged that anyone would impose gender-specific demands on those testifying before committees. “In my 13 years in the Legislature, that’s the first time I’ve ever read anything like that,” Wichita Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeu said, “I thought it was a little strange.”
This whole men policing women’s clothing based on their own sexual urges thing is getting pretty old. Like so many other dress codes, Holmes’ is disgusting because it assumes that men have no control over their urges if they see a woman dressed provocatively. Yes, dress codes are necessary in professional settings, but it is unfair to single women out and depict them as scheming vixens looking to distract or misled their male colleagues with cleavage and mini-skirts.