Yes, a Reporter Got Kicked Out of Congress for a Sleeveless Shirt. Can We Stop the Whining?

by Evil HR Lady on July 7, 2017

CBS News reports that a “young female reporter” was not allowed into the speaker’s lobby, which is outside the House Chamber in the Capitol because her shirt was sleeveless. “Apparently, the coverage of women’s toes and shoulders is important business for the current House leader,” whined Jezebel writer Stassa Edwards.

Reporter K Tully McManus, confirmed this event on Twitter: “This is real. Fellow female reporters barred from Speaker’s lobby for wearing sleeveless dresses while doing their jobs. (It’s hot in DC).”

I’m having a hard time getting worked up over this poor reporter’s plight. It was hot, you see, so comfort is king! Or rather queen, because what do men wear to work at the Capitol when it’s hot? Button down shirts, ties, and (shudder) suit coats.

To keep reading, click here: Yes, a Reporter Got Kicked Out of Congress for a Sleeveless Shirt. Can We Stop the Whining?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny July 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm

The “whining,” if I correctly understand the news reports about the incident, is that the alleged dress code for reporters was not previously made known, nor consistently enforced, making this action — at least arguably — arbitrary and capricious. In this age of politicians actively attacking reporters — both literally and figuratively — if Congress wants to have a dress code requiring “business” apparel for reporters, they need to implement it in a business-like manner.


Roni July 7, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Quite the little white house apologist, aren’t you?


charles July 7, 2017 at 7:14 pm

Sorry to disagree with you grannybunny; but, these weren’t “unheard” of rules.

They have always been there and been enforced. That someone decided that the rules didn’t apply to her doesn’t give her the right to whine about “sexism.” Maybe her bogus claims might play well with Trump/Republican haters; but, those of us who have lived/worked in DC know better.

A tourist not knowing? Maybe, I’d been more forgiving. but, this is a REPORTER, someone whose job is to find out information. If she can’t figure out what the rules are, how on earth am I to believe anything she is reporting?

Oh, and Roni. I think you need to learn the difference between the “White House” and the “House Chamber of Congress.” The two are NOT physically the same and they are, in fact, different branches of government.


Cej July 7, 2017 at 7:27 pm

1st you said its to make girls swim in seperate facilities. Then you said its ok to pay women less. Now its okay to shame them for their clothing. Congress is a public place and it’s not as if she was wearing a bikini. The whiners are the staff that threw her out. You are very anti-woman and pulling some HR rule out of your hat everytime you take this stance isn’t going to justify your misogyny.


Evil HR Lady July 7, 2017 at 7:37 pm

1. I am okay with parents not wanting their kids to swim in mixed groups for religious reasons. I am not okay with schools enforcing that.

2. It’s never okay to pay women less for the same work. I’ve never said otherwise. I do say it’s okay to pay differently for different work.

3. It’s not okay to shame someone for their clothing. It is okay to enforce a dress code.

I’m sorry you think I’m anti-woman. I’m actually pro people and pro individual rights and responsibilities. HTH!


Kobayashi July 7, 2017 at 10:53 pm

I agree with you on virtually all of those issues (and I’m a fairly feminist woman in liberal northern California who went to a very liberal women’s college).


Elizabeth West July 7, 2017 at 8:55 pm

They’re coming up with excuses to kick out reporters, Suzanne. It’s not about the clothing. Yes of course you have to adhere to a dress code at work but it didn’t seem to be a problem before this authoritarian-leaning administration.

Also, Paul Ryan is a [squidlipped] lying bag of [squidholes]. I can’t stand his smug, selfish face.


Observer July 10, 2017 at 4:48 am

Even if it were true, it would not be sexist. it actually also happens to not be true. I don’t know if it was this reporter or another one, but I read an short interview with one reported who came up on this in the last few days and she explicitly said that this was not some sort of attempt to keep reporters out – in fact someone offered to go get a cardigan for her. She declined because it she didn’t really need to be in the chamber – she was headed elsewhere in the building where the code doesn’t apply.


Maria Rose July 7, 2017 at 9:02 pm

All parliamentary congresses have had a dress code in place form the ages. This article presentation of someone ( female) complaining about not being able to wear something cooler in Washington DC only points out the fact of rule pushing game.
Some rules of dress code are not written down in plain sight but any person can find out needed dress code rules using the internet.
None of us want to be dressed up in business attire when it is hot but it is required. Many women cover their sleeveless dress/shirt with a jacket that can be removed once out of area required.
No–You are not anti-women. You make people aware of what is their rights and responsibilities as set in law. A right has to become a law to be expected. There are too many assumptions of rights because views of righteous.


Julie July 10, 2017 at 11:48 pm

I have a shoulder tattoo so if I wear something sleeveless or tank top-ish, it tends to show. At work, I wear a cardigan and take it off as soon as I get to my vehicle on hot days. It wouldn’t have been hard for the reporter in this story to wear a cardigan and then take it off when she could.

But then, I tired of whining and racism and whatnot no matter where it’s coming from. Can’t we all just grow up and get along?


Kobayashi July 7, 2017 at 10:51 pm

I agree. In fact, I really liked this story of UK boys wearing skirts during hot weather to protest the double standard dress code.


Bobboccio July 10, 2017 at 5:09 pm

It’s funny, I think a lot of commenters are seeing this as a “What side are you on?” issue. Are you on the side of women, or of Trump?

I love your article, Suzanne, because you write about what actually happened, and are not taking this story as an opportunity to demonstrate whose side you are on, regardless of the facts.

Illegitimi non carborundum !


Camellia July 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Are you quoting Anna from Patricia Briggs’s Alpha and Omega books? 🙂


Bobboccio July 10, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Afraid I was thinking of General Joe Stilwell, but I imagine he didn’t create the phrase… 🙂

Never heard of Patricia Brigg


BethRa July 11, 2017 at 10:34 pm

Given that even relatively conservative (thinking fashion, not politics) like Anne Taylor and Talbots feature sleeveless blouses, it seems ridiculous to exclude them from “professional attire” – but I can’t get too worked up about this one either.


Nope July 12, 2017 at 4:16 pm

It seems odd that so while so many female reporters, female newscasters on tv wear sleeveless sheath dresses to deliver the news, they cannot forgo sleeves while gathering the information they are to report. This is style is seen across all news channels. And the most prominent advisor to the president also favors sleeveless dresses.

While adherence to the set dress code is reasonable to expect, the code itself seems hypocritical and wrong.


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