Recently, “a young, female reporter” was turned away when she tried to enter the Speaker’s lobby—a room adjacent to the House chamber where reporters generally ask questions—because she was wearing a sleeveless dress “considered inappropriate because her shoulders weren’t covered,” reports Stassa Edwards, and many more women, apparently have also been barred from the lobby for wearing sleeveless dresses and blouses, according to numerous reporters.
The House’s dress code calls for “proper attire,” the interpretation of which rests with Speaker Ryan.
Ryan insists that all women—reporters, lawmakers and staff alike—cover their toes and shoulders. The same rules do not apply to the Senate.
“Open-toed shoes, like sleeveless dresses and blouses, are both now banned in the Speaker’s lobby,” says Edwards.