Missouri lawmakers kicked off the 2023 session with a controversial memo to discuss what women can and cannot wear in the House of Representatives.
The Republican-dominated House of Representatives faced backlash this week after tightening dress codes for female lawmakers. pointed out that the dress code had not been updated.
According to CNN, the original dress code required male lawmakers to wear jackets, shirts, and ties at all times while in the House. Previously, women were required to wear “a dress or skirt or slacks worn with a blazer or sweater” and “appropriate dress shoes or boots”. He proposed an amendment that sought to tighten the dress code for women and required them to wear jackets to the floor.
“Men are required to wear jackets, shirts and ties, right?” she said during Wednesday’s debate. “If they came here without a tie, they would be given a heartbeat. If they walked without a coat, they would be given a heartbeat. So, We are very concerned about equality.”
Several lawmakers opposed the jacket proposal, saying it could cause problems for lawmakers who are pregnant and have to spend money to buy new clothes or fix them. Generally speaking, women legislators agreed that they should cover their shoulders with either a jacket, knit blazer, or cardigan.
The amendment passed 105 to 51.
Rep. Rachel Proudy (Democrat) heartland signal“You know what it’s like to have a bunch of men in this room looking at your top and trying to decide if it’s appropriate?”
Democratic state Rep. Peter Merides, who refused to vote on the amendment, made similar comments, suggesting that the vote further underscored Republican hypocrisy.
“I don’t think I’m qualified to say what’s right or wrong for women. I think it’s a very dangerous path for all of us,” he said during the debate. For two years, you were dissuaded when I told you that we might wear masks in the pandemic to keep each other safer. I know some governments require women to wear face coverings, but here’s how many layers you should have on your shoulders. We’re just talking, so no problem.”
Women make up one-third of the Missouri legislature, according to local media. The Maison currently has 116 men and 43 women.