Democrats in the Missouri State House had a meltdown this week over an effort by Republicans to clarify the chamber’s dress code.
GOP state Rep. Ann Kelley proposed a tweak to the chamber’s existing dress code that required women to wear jackets with dresses, skirts or pants and shoes or boots — making cardigans now an acceptable jacket.
“All we’re trying to do today is keep the same rules we have and make them clearer,” said Rep. Brenda Shields (R).
Democrats, however, immediately pounced, accusing Republicans of sexism.
“The house rules debate on the floor today and the first amendment proposed by a Republican is to tighten the rules on what women have to wear in here,” said Democratic Rep. Pete Meredith. in a tweet.
“Yes, the group that lost their minds at the suggestion that they should wear masks during a pandemic to respect the safety of others, now spend their time focusing on the finer details of what women should wear (specifically how cover their hands) to show respect here,” he continued.
Representative Ashley Aune, another Missouri Democratic state representative, called the rule clarification “ridiculous.”
Merideth’s tweet was flagged by Twitter moderators for a clarification that noted “rule changes by Missouri legislators Ann Kelley and Brenda Shields effectively relaxed dress code requirements for women, allowing cardigans to count as blazers” .
Kelley said she wouldn’t back down.
“I’ve had a lot of hate calls, emails and messages about this amendment which is funny because we already have a dress code all I did was correct the mistakes and clarify the rule.” she insisted in a Facebook post.
“How is discouraging professionalism wrong? If there’s ever a time to honor traditions and be professional, it’s on the House floor in the Missouri House of Representatives. I will not apologize for standing up for these things.”