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Media Wrongly Blames Paul Ryan For Speakers’ Lobby Dress Code

Paul Ryan (Getty Images)

Media outlets are wrongly blaming Speaker Paul Ryan for a dress code that prevents women from wearing sleeveless dresses and tops in the Speakers’ Lobby.

This week, one female reporter was not allowed into the lobby because she was wearing a sleeveless dress, which is against the dress code. She described trying to stuff pieces of paper into her dress to function as sleeves, but secret security still denied her access.

A number of media outlets have jumped on this story as an indication that Paul Ryan is implementing arbitrary, sexist rules against women.

Women aren’t allowed to wear sleeveless tops in the House chambers, thanks to Paul Ryan https://t.co/0jlBHKy8nS pic.twitter.com/AoTkBCtC7B

— Mic (@mic) July 6, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly implements new ‘no sleeveless’ dress code for women: https://t.co/aUGiSyViz3 pic.twitter.com/uqhBL84MGT

— Women in the World (@WomenintheWorld) July 6, 2017

Women are no longer allowed to wear sleeveless attire in Paul Ryan’s House of Reps https://t.co/zfPcQjQp2j pic.twitter.com/6SqOkhg2ZH

— Raw Story (@RawStory) July 6, 2017

The House has a new “no sleeveless” dress code for women https://t.co/Gr6Q7u7t0A pic.twitter.com/1P6edjyZBX

— Jezebel (@Jezebel) July 6, 2017

COLUMN: House of Representatives Establishes Sexist, No Sleeveless Policy for Women https://t.co/vq5UEQEyag pic.twitter.com/HLOJtJ8H48

— Mediaite (@Mediaite) July 7, 2017

Is the dress code for women working in the Capitol from 1817 or 2017? https://t.co/qN1VwLPWYh

— Vogue Runway (@VogueRunway) July 6, 2017

However, as many journalists have pointed out, the dress code is NOT new and was NOT implemented by Speaker Ryan.

Kasie Hunt, the Capitol Hill Correspondent for NBC News, noted that the “no sleeveless” policy has long been in place.

This is simply wrong. The Speakers’ Lobby dress code has been this way for decades. Can be argued it should change — but let’s be factual https://t.co/QDgti2fnGj

— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) July 7, 2017

As long as I’ve worked on the Hill (on and off for 10+ years), it’s been enforced.

Including when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker https://t.co/ZZRDpLrtH1

— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) July 7, 2017

Exactly. Don’t hang this on @SpeakerRyan I’ve covered Congress&have seen women and men incl mbrs booted for breaking the dress code https://t.co/jprsREGScR

— NPC President (@NPCPresident) July 7, 2017

Man oh man this storyline has gone off the rails, Paul Ryan didn’t create the dress code! https://t.co/fEKrGY2AL5

— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 7, 2017

Dress code for men and women in the speaker’s lobby has existed for years, it’s nuts stories are saying otherwise. https://t.co/sTuasQDOAD

— Maggie Severns (@MaggieSeverns) July 7, 2017

Dress code NOT NEW @Jezebel https://t.co/mS5dTOYP9V

— Kellie Mejdrich (@kelmej) July 6, 2017

Kate Nocera, the DC Bureau Chief for Buzzfeed, noted that she has seen congressmen be forced to put on jackets before going on the floor.

1. this rule is 100 percent not new. 2. ive seen congressmen be forced to put jackets on before going to the floor. https://t.co/QiYTLMVzJF

— Kate Nocera (@KateNocera) July 6, 2017

She also informed people that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s dress code requires the women on her staff to always wear pantyhose, which is often often considered a highly outdated fashion rule.

Since it’s day 2 of yelling about dress codes, Dianne Feinstein’s staff dress code includes NYLONS everyday. https://t.co/189mscD9YD pic.twitter.com/VW8cCPagF4

— Kate Nocera (@KateNocera) July 7, 2017

Ladies, direct your outrage at the dress code if you must, but leave Paul Ryan out of this one.