The Montana State House has a strict new dress code that’s upsetting some female lawmakers. Here are the two provisions that have some female representatives outraged:
“Business formal” for women is defined as a suit or dress slacks, skirt, jacket, and dress blouse or suit-like dress and appropriate shoes (flip flops, tennis shoes, and open-toe sandals are not considered appropriate). Leggings are not considered dress pants.
“Women should be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines.”
It’s that second one in particular that have earned the ire of some of female state House Democrats. Incoming House Minority Whip Jenny Eck said that there’s nothing wrong with telling women to dress appropriately, she just doesn’t appreciate being told specifically to be aware of how long her skirt is and how low her neckline is.
That line in particular, she said, “is right out of the 19th Century as far as I’m concerned.”
Another Democrat, Ellie Hill, added to that by saying it’s something “right out of Mad Men.”
The incoming Speaker of the House, Republican Austin Knudsen, defended the new dress code and said it was based on what other states have done. But here’s how Republican David Moore defended it:
“Last session there were some pretty hideous outfits worn by both genders. They’ve gotten way too casual. I’ve always felt if you dress professionally, you’ll more than likely act professionally…
“It’s only for the time we’re on the floor. So the rest of the time they can go back to wearing pajamas and bath robes to committee meetings if they want.”
[image via Shutterstock]
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