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This may ruffle a few feathers, but I feel compelled to address the uncomfortable topic of dress codes.
Recently, the Missouri House – and now the Florida House – have made the news over dress code regulations. Few would find it surprising that legislative bodies – like many workplaces and public venues – have a dress code. What’s causing a stir is the provision that female lawmakers not bare their shoulders.
I’m not going to lie – this is a tough one for me. While I instinctively bristle at this seemingly old-fashioned (and some would argue sexist) rule, I do recognize the value of dress codes for professional settings. I also recognize that technically, the rule applies to everyone – not just women. It’s just that men’s business fashions haven’t yet veered into the sleeveless realm, while women’s fashions have. There are some really sharp sleeveless business dresses out there. I have several myself and have worn them to court before — but almost always with a jacket.
I think, on some level, we all recognize that any outfit that bares a fair amount of flesh – be it arms, legs, or midriffs – lacks a professional air. It’s where the line is drawn that stumps us at times – particularly when it impacts one gender differently. I suppose the answer is non-gender-specific fashions? Bring on the Starfleet uniforms!
This “Moore to the Point” commentary aired on NewsTalkSTL on Friday, January 27th. Audio included below.