The state of Missouri is making national news this week after its House of Representatives made changes to its dress code during a meeting of the General Assembly in Jefferson City on Wednesday.
Led by Republican state Rep. Ann Kelley, the proposed amendment would require women to wear jackets, blazers or knit blazers to cover their arms as “it is essential to always maintain a formal and professional atmosphere.”
Ultimately, the Republican-controlled House approved a modified version of Kelley’s proposal, which allows for cardigans as well as jackets. Women’s arms are still required to be covered, however.
Before the decision, multiple Missouri House Democrats pushed back against the proposal calling it impractical and sexist.
“We are fighting — again — for a woman’s right to choose something. This time, it’s how she covers herself, and [coming from] the interpretation of someone who has no background in fashion — and this isn’t a shot — it’s inappropriate to wear sequins before 5 o’clock, telling me I can’t wear a crispy, good St. John sweater…” Democratic state Rep. Raychel Proudie said in response during a speech on the floor. “I spent $1,200 on a suit, and I can’t wear it in the People’s House because someone who doesn’t have the range tells me that it’s inappropriate.”
Now the Internet has weighed in, with Maria Shriver tweeting: “I mean it’s 2023. This is beyond belief.“
MISSOURI GOP TIGHTENS DRESS CODE FOR FEMALE LAWMAKERS: #TheView co-hosts weigh in after tempers flared in the Missouri House of Representatives Thursday over a new dress code that was spearheaded by Republican Ann Kelley. https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/6DaAGIRyUP
— The View (@TheView) January 13, 2023
Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh also tweeted in dismay, writing: “Missouri Republicans adopt dress codes requiring female legislators to keep their arms concealed. Uh…what country is this? What century is this? Ridiculous.”