The Guardian Steps in It While Giving the Cold Shoulder to Paul Ryan

The Guardian Steps in It While Giving the Cold Shoulder to Paul Ryan
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin smiles with his wife Janna at a campaign rally in Janesville, Wis., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Ladies beware: Those nasty Republicans are coming to take away all your rights and this time, they really mean business! According to The Guardian, not only are they plotting to steal your healthcare, they’re robbing you of your God-given right to bare your shoulders in the Speaker’s lobby, a small room outside the House chamber where reporters snag interviews with lawmakers.

As I’ve written previously, I’m the last person who’ll submit docilely to a sexist dress code.  So if the code in question were new and/or aimed solely at women, I’d perhaps cut the author of The Guardian piece an ounce of slacks…er..slack.  But it’s neither.  Not only that – the author acknowledges as much in her piece, yet nevertheless uses it to blast Republicans in general and Paul Ryan in particular for their horrific misogyny. Or toxic masculinity. Or something.

Naturally, the holes in her logic were called out on Twitter:

The author takes a half-hearted stab at pre-empting these protestations with this:

So first, let’s get a couple of things straight: yes, there has always been a House dress code, which states, rather vaguely, that people should dress “appropriately”. What this means is left up to the House speaker. Step forward, one Paul Ryan! And yes, these rules have existed for over a decade, predating former speaker Nancy Pelosi.

What’s that you say? There’s always been such a code requiring appropriate dress?  And it’s up to the Speaker to determine what’s appropriate?  And the rules even pre-date Nancy Pelosi?  But somehow it’s Paul Ryan who’s the bad guy here. Oh. Okay. Here’s some more of her stellar logic:

However, Byrd said officers on patrol have been “cracking down on the dress code” recently. “I suspect the rules are being emphasised now that it’s summertime and excruciatingly hot outside and everyone is dressing for the weather,” she added. So this is about how much Republicans hate women and how much they hate journalists. Gosh, killing two birds with one stone is fun.

Let’s review that again: The reporter who was the subject of the original story notes that there’s been a recent crackdown due to rising summer temperatures and concomitant shoulder and toe-baring. (You mean…sleeveless dresses and open-toed shoes aren’t the norm in January?!?!) According to the author, this equals: Republicans hating women and journalists. Am I the only one noticing her slip showing here?

Then, just to really drive her point home, she adds:

Indeed, Ryan recently took time out from his busy schedule of being a spineless Trump apologist to remind Congress of the importance of “appropriate business attire”, not bothering to explain (a) what this means, (b) why he’s so scared of shoulders and (c) why it’s totally appropriate for, say, Kellyanne Conway and Ivanka Trump to wear sleeveless dresses – their favourite style, incidentally – and still be, respectively, counselor to the president and apparent president-in-waiting.

In other words, Paul Ryan and those chauvinistic Republicans oppose women baring their shoulders. Except for when they’re (apparently) fine with…women baring their shoulders.  Why, it’s almost as if proper context totally undercuts the author’s tirade!

And as for the point that the dress code applies to everyone and not just the wimmins:

Of course, some people (men) have tried to defend this banning of lady shoulders by saying that male lobby journalists have to wear suits and ties. That is such an excellent point – except that sleeveless dresses and open-toe shoes for women are generally considered acceptable office wear by offices that are not in Saudi Arabia.

Newsflash, sister: Polo shirts and khakis are generally considered acceptable summer office wear for men. Funnily enough, they don’t pass muster for the Speaker’s lobby either.

I know, I know…applying proper context and logic would rob her of the chance to say this:

Republicans see women as uncontrollable, brain-dead sexual temptresses who, for the good of the helpless menfolk around them, need to be kept far away from things such as birth control and abortion. Otherwise they’ll become nymphomaniacs, popping five morning-after pills before breakfast and getting an abortion after lunch. And it all starts with the shoulders, you see. They’re just saving us ladies from ourselves! And them!

And you just know she’s been dying to!

So, to sum up: There’s a dress code which applies in certain areas of the Capitol which is more formal than the business casual and summer months attire many of us enjoy in less official venues. It applies to everyone, not just the ladyfolk, and it’s been around for quite awhile, during the tenure of both Democrat and Republican and female and male Speakers. But it’s all Paul Ryan’s fault because he hates women because he’s a Republican and that’s what they do.


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