Republican men decide that women can't wear sleeveless dresses because they are apparently afraid of lady shoulders

In an apparent effort to establish "appropriate business attire," House of Representatives under Speaker Paul Ryan is enforcing a dress code in the Speaker's Lobby—a space adjacent to the front of the House chamber—that bans women from showing their shoulders.

Several female reporters have already been kicked out of the lobby for wearing sleeveless dresses.  

Yesterday Republican Congressperson Martha McSally, a former fighter pilot and the first woman in American history to fly into combat, ended her speech in the well of Congress by saying, “Before I yield back, I want to point out, I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes. With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.” 

Some (mostly stupid white men) complained that with all the problems facing America today, dress codes should not be a priority.

But here is the thing:

Paul Ryan and his male dominated Republican caucus have decided to enforce this arbitrary dress code. Republicans like Ryan have also demonstrated an obsession with policing women's bodies, and this policing is highly relevant to many of their GOP positions. These are positions that impact economic policy, healthcare, civil rights, and the criminal justice system.

When a man in power has creepy ideas about what women should be wearing and the freedoms they should be permitted to enjoy, it has far reaching consequences. 

Yes, it's a dress code, but it represents a whole lot more, and in the battle for women to have control of their bodies and their destinies, not one inch should ever be surrendered. 

Paul Ryan (and the Democrats) need my help. I am waiting for their call.

Paul Ryan has called the Democrat recent sit-in "a publicity stunt." 

This was stupid thing to say.

I am a Democrat, but I also can't stand bad communication and poor messaging. Despite our political differences, Paul Ryan needs me.

There were highly effective ways of responding to the Democrats' sit-in strategy, but calling it a publicity stunt was not one of them. Ryan is in an interesting position at the moment. Thanks to Donald Trump, he is perceived by many as a fairly rational Republican who would be much more palatable than Trump. Regardless of what happens with the Presidency, he has an opportunity to take a serious leadership role in this country in the minds of Republicans and many independents. More importantly. he has a chance to reach across the aisle and become a dealmaker.  

Instead, he calls the Democrats strategy "a publicity stunt."

If I was a Democrat, here is what I would've said in response to Ryan:

Paul Ryan has called our sit-in a publicity stunt.

Was Rosa Parks refusal to sit at the back of the bus a publicity stunt?

Were the lunch counter protests by the Friendship Nine a publicity stunt?

Was Martin Luther King’s march on Washington a publicity stunt?

Was Gandhi’s hunger strike a publicity stunt?

Were Betty Williams and Cezar Chavez and Nelson Mandela engaged in publicity stunts?

Come down to the well of Congress, Mr. Ryan, and tell the great John Lewis to his face that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt. And while you are at it, turn the C-SPAN cameras back on. Turning them off was the act of a coward who is afraid of what the American people might think if they could witness our protest. Only villains fear the clear light of sunshine.

The Democrats are just as foolish for not making this argument (unless they did and I missed it), and I'm more than willing to help them as well if they want to hire me.

I promise you, Congressional and Senate Democrats, that I could craft a powerful, effective, cohesive, and inclusive message for your party as well. And I'm always quick with a stinging comeback.  

But here is what Paul Ryan should have said:

I admire my Democratic colleagues for their passion and perseverance. I disagree with them on their positions regarding gun control and cannot stand by as they attempt to erode the Constitutional rights of Americans, but I can certainly acknowledge the strength of their conviction, as misguided as it may be. Unfortunately this is not the way to pass legislation, and it hasn’t been the way to pass legislation for more than 200 years. We have rules and procedures that allow for lawmakers to vote on bills, and these rules and procedure have helped this Republic to stand strong when so many have faltered. I understand their frustration. I understand their desire to push forward their agenda. But there are agreed-upon ways of doing this, and this sit-in is not one of them. Congress cannot and will not operate under mob rule.

This was the statement that you should've made, Paul Ryan. It would've been measured, thoughtful, convincing, and effective. 

It also doesn't run the risk of implying that people like Rosa Park and Martin Luther King were engaging in publicity stunts. Ryan is lucky that I am not running the messaging apparatus of the Democrats or I would've blasted his "publicity stunt" statement to smithereens. 

And I'm ready to help. Even though I am a Democrat, I would be more than willing to assist Paul Ryan. We need Republicans willing to make deals and legislate, and if working for Paul Ryan helps to make that happen, I'm ready to assist. 

In fact, I tried to reach out to Paul Ryan a couple weeks ago to offer my services but can only send him an email if I live within his district. I was unable to contact him. 

His loss. Sincerely. I would kick ass at messaging and communications for these politicians. 

If you're smart, hire me. I will cost you a fortune, but I will help to craft an effective, compelling message that works. 

Michael Lewis wants women to rule Wall Street. I would like to take his thesis about a million steps further.

Michael Lewis has Eight Things I Wish for Wall Street. Blogger Jason Kottke highlighted #2 on his blog: 

2. No person under the age of 35 will be allowed to work on Wall Street.

I like this one a lot, but I like #3 even better:

3. Women will henceforth make all Wall Street trading decisions.

Men are more prone to financial risk-taking, and overconfidence, and so will be banned from even secondary roles on Wall Street trading desks -- though they will be permitted to do whatever damage they would like in their private investment accounts. Trading is a bit like pornography: Women may like it, but they don't like it nearly as much as men, and they certainly don't like it in ways that create difficulties for society. Put them in charge of all financial decision-making and the decisions will be more boring, but more sociable. Of course, this raises a practical question: How will our society find enough women older than 35, with no special intellectual ability, to fill all of Wall Street's trading jobs? Well ...

I would like to take it one step further. Or a million steps further. 

I believe that the world would be a far better place if women were in charge. Therefore, I would support the immediate replacement of all male members of the House of Representatives and the Senate with women. 

I’d do the same with every state governor, and if I could, every mayor as well.


I would also support the immediate replacement of the all of the male CEOs of all of the Fortune 500 companies with women.

I routinely charge my female students with the task of charging forward and taking over the world. I tell them that I will be disappointed if women are not ruling this country, if not the world, by the time I am a spry 100 years old. 

I suspect that Michael Lewis would agree.

My annual plea to the girls in my fifth grade class: Maintain your advantage over the boys. Rule the world.

On Friday, Hillary Clinton  pledged to work to get all the female Democratic candidates on the ballot elected in November.

“I can’t think of a better way to make the House work again than electing every woman on the ballot,” Clinton told the Democratic Women’s Leadership Forum. “There are ten women running for the Senate, six women running for governor and I wish I could vote for all of them.”

I’d like to take it one step further:

I would be willing to replace every male member of Congress with a female lawmaker.

With apologies to my own sex, I have often felt that our country would be better positioned for the future if it were run by women. 

Frankly, it’s shocking that women aren’t in charge already. As a fifth grade teacher, I bear witness to the striking differences between boys and girls at the ages of ten and eleven. It’s well known that girls mature faster than boys, and nowhere is this disparity more evident than in fifth grade.


Every year, I have girls in my class who could already be employed as effective office managers. A few could probably run small companies with the right advisors.

At the same time, I have boys in my class who can’t get food from their plate to their mouth without some disaster occurring in between. I have boys who would scrape sticks in dirt all day if given the chance.  

How these boys ever manage to span this intellectual chasm and in many cases overtake the girls is beyond me. I can only assume that somewhere in middle school or high school, girls turn on one another, stunting their sex’s overall progress, while boys continue to follow a more cooperative, live-and-let-live approach.

Whatever the cause, I gather the girls in my class every spring and implore them to band together and continue their dominance as they move forward to middle school. I tell them with all sincerity that the world would be a better place if it were run by women, and that it’s up to their generation to make this happen.

“Don’t be mean to one another,” I tell them. “Stick together. Support one another. And by all means, don’t fight over boys. We’re not worth it.”

My dream is to send a generation of girls forward who maintain their advantage of boys and eventually take over the world.

Perhaps I’m wrong.  Maybe the world wouldn’t be any better if it were run by women. But after more than two centuries of male domination in the halls of Congress and the boardrooms of corporate America, I’m willing to give the ladies a turn and see what they can do.

It couldn’t be any worse than what my sex has accomplished so far.

The demographics of the Republican Party are astounding.

There are currently 278 Republicans in both the House and Senate.

Every single one of them is a Christian.

Just 23 are women.

There is one African-American. That African-American, Tim Scott of South Carolina, was not elected. He was appointed to fill a vacant seat by the state’s governor.   


In fact, the only black Republicans to Congress since 1900 have been Oscar De Priest of Illinois, Gary Franks of Connecticut, Tim Scott of South Carolina, J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, and Allen West of Florida.

Five black Republicans have been elected to Congress in the past in 114 years.

I had no idea.

I am not a Republican, but if the Republicans hope to have any influence over the political system in a near future where whites are no longer in the majority and the country is vastly more diverse, they will need to find a way to elect non-white, more religiously diverse members to Congress.

They need to find a way to do so today. While the Democrats demographics are not exactly admirable, of the 255 Democrats currently in Congress:

  • 101 are women
  • 43 are African Americans
  • 36 are non-Christians

Nothing to brag about, but also not appalling.

I still can’t believe these numbers.