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. 

If you forbid jeans at your place of business, you're not thinking straight. You might even be a coward.

Although there is no formal dress code at the school where I teach, staff members are allowed to make a $1 charitable contribution on Fridays in order to wear jeans.

Having no explicit dress code, I'm fairly certain that if I wanted to wear jeans every day, I could, but I'm not ready to rock that boat. I'm not so attached to jeans (at least not yet) that I feel the need to wear them every day.

That may change someday, but so far, I'm happy to give my dollar and wear jeans on the day that has been assigned.

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But if we were to look at this issue objectively, reasonably, and absent the stupidity of conformity or tradition, you have to ask:

What exactly makes my jeans any different from the khaki pants, corduroys, or dress slacks that I wear on any other day?

Is it the denim? Is the material designed by Levi Strauss many years ago so clearly unprofessional in its blueness or elasticity or durability that it can't be worn in a professional setting without the offer of a charitable payment? Is denim so uncouth or unkempt that employees wearing jeans are incapable of appearing professional to potential customers and clients? 

Or is it the fact that those long haired, rock-and-roll types are wearing jeans as they shake their hips onstage and play their electric guitars, and as a result, the wearing of jeans automatically confers the sense moral degradation and societal breakdown?

That may have been true in the 1960's when old people were stupid, but I don't think this perception applies today. 

Is it perhaps the rivets? The stone-washed texture? The way that denim encapsulates a person's ass or thighs?

Or is it simply because James Dean popularized jeans in the movie Rebel Without a Cause, and as a result, wearing jeans became a symbol of youth rebellion during the 1950s, and that reputation has remained in place ever since? 

I think it's probably that, because objectively, there is little difference between the jeans and the and the khaki pants or corduroy slacks that I wear. In fact, there's nothing objectively different between denim and any other fabric.

I suspect that the only thing keeping people from wearing jeans every day at the workplace are the old people in charge who are stuck on tradition and conformity and unwilling to examine their world through an objective, logical, and clear lens.

These are the rules followers. The lemmings. The cowards who would rather perpetuate some misinformed, illogical, nonsensical stereotype about a fabric and the people who choose to wear it rather than standing for what is right and logical and sensible.

I suddenly find myself wanting to wear jeans every day of my life.  

Country club dress codes treat adults like children, and yet adults continue to be members of country clubs. I don't get it.

My friend's country club does not allow denim to be worn after May 1. 

Women are allowed to wear shirts without sleeves but only if they are also wearing a collar. 

Men must wear collared shirts, and their shirts must be tucked in at all times. 

These are just a few of the ridiculous rules imposed on members of this country club, which leads me to ask:

Why?

Why can women wear denim on April 30 but not on May 1?

To what purpose does it serve to require men to tuck in their shirts?

Don't the people who established and enforce these rules understand how elitist, sexist, and arbitrary they make their country club appear? Are they blind to the snobbery and exclusivity that they are promoting?

But more importantly:

Why would anyone who is paying thousands of dollars per year to belong to a country club allow themselves to be subjected to dress codes that infantilize their choice over how they present themselves to the world?

Why would someone subject themselves to this kind of treatment?

There are very few times in life when we allow someone to dictate what we wear without paying us for our time:

  • When we are children
  • When we allow our significant other to determine what is appropriate for a specific occasion
  • When we're asked to serve as a bridesmaid or groomsman, pall bearer, or the like 
  • When we join a country club, and when we visit establishments like fancy restaurants that are closely akin to country clubs in terms of their elitism and snobbery

That might be it. These might be the only times when someone requires us to dress a certain way without paying us for that privilege. 

And in only one of these instances are people actually paying large sums of money in order to be told what to wear.

I have always felt that when you allow someone to tell you what to wear without compensation of any kind, you're allowing yourself to be treated like a child. You're allowing someone else to assume the role of Mommy and Daddy. It's one of the reasons why I bristle at every attempt to control my clothing choices in any way.

If you're not paying me, don't even think about telling me what I should wear. 

I also think (as you may already know) that this inane, materialistic, unnecessary focus on clothing and the condescending determination by others about what fashion choices are appropriate are things that should have been left behind in junior high school. 

I think this would be the case if not for a special breed of elitist jackass who thinks they they have the right to tell some that it's not appropriate to wear denim in the summer or that a man must play golf with his shirt tucked in.

You know the type. Just imagine the worst person you knew in high school. The one who wore the most stylish clothing and made fun of those who didn't.

They exist, even in adult form. 

I know these dress codes exist in many, many places. I know that they are commonplace in almost every country club in the world. But I also think that they are the direct result of a a lot of elitist jackasses who are hell-bent on ensuring that their kind of people don't accidentally become confused with any other kind of people. These dress codes serve to denote and separate the members of these country clubs from the heathens outside their pristine walls. They seek to elevate the image of the club and its members above the kind of thing you might see at a less-than-classy public golf course or a less-than-exclusive restaurant. 

I think that these things are decidedly less-than-noble goals, and they come at the expense of personal choice and treating adults like adults.  

The members of my friend's country club (and all country clubs) are adults. Hard working, well respected men and women who pay large fees in order to be members of this institution. They are all presumably successful people by any standard. Yet they allow their physical appearance to be dictated by who?

  • The anal-retentive snobs who run the place?
  • A conservative, stick-up-their-ass rules committee? 
  • The members themselves, who cast sidelong glances at the ladies who dare to wear denim, gossip about men when their shirts come untucked, and turn in their fellow members to whatever parental-like standards squad who is charged with enforcing this nonsense?

I know that most if not all country clubs have dress codes. My friend's country club is not alone in its buffoonery. I have played golf at some of these clubs and conformed to the dress code because a friend has invited me and I choose to respect my friend's wishes and their standing in their club.  

But I think these dress codes are almost always stupid. As adults, we are supposed to be able to wear whatever the hell we want. While I understand a country club requiring members to wear something, the banning of denim or the tucking requirement are examples of a system gone amok.

It's also a system predicated entirely on sexism and gender inequality.  

When women can wear a sleeveless shirt, for example, and a man cannot, the ridiculous double standards and sexist attitudes of the past are proven to be surprisingly alive and well in some corners of the world. 

But even more baffling and disturbing to me is the contingent of people who want to be members of an exclusive country club badly enough to allow nameless, faceless, elitist strangers to tell them what to wear based upon the day of the year and the genitals that they happen to be equipped with at the moment.

Is there no attempt at rebellion?
No effort to force a rule change?
No declaration that "I'm an adult, damn it, and I will wear whatever I want, whenever I want!"

Maybe you're a guy who likes his shirt tucked in at all times, so the rule isn't a problem for you.

Maybe you're a woman who despises denim. 

But still, even if you happen to conform to every inane dress code rule out of personal preference, doesn't it enrage you to think that someone is taking your money and telling you what to wear?

It would enrage me.
Every day I would be enraged.

I am not at the point in life when I can afford a membership to a country club. Perhaps someday I'll be able to, and being a golfer, I think I'd enjoy a membership a great deal. But when and if that day comes, I will be faced with a Devil's bargain, as so many have undoubtedly been before me:

Become a member and dress as I am told. Dress in ways that I do not like. Allow elitism, snobbery, and buffoonery into my life.

I love golf. Truly. And I have always enjoyed the time I have been able to spend at my friend's country clubs. I would like to be a member, but when push comes to shove, I don't think I could do it. 

I'm an adult. When I play golf or sit by the pool or eat lunch on a terrace, I will wear whatever I damn well please, and if that does not conform to the expectations of the elitist, snobbish club officials, to hell with them. 

I'll continue to play with the riff-raff on public courses and swim in public pools, and I will like it. 

7 much-needed rules for golf according to me (which makes them absolutely correct)

Putt every putt. If the six inch putt is a forgone conclusion, then just putt the damn thing. Conceding putts only serves to assist the players who can't putt or those who suffer from the yips while marginalizing the advantage of players who excel under pressure. 

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Every golfer should have a system for not forgetting their wedge by the green. If you forget your wedge more than once during a single round of golf, you must forfeit ownership of the club to a fellow player for one calendar year.  

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Handicaps are fine for determining tournament seeding and groupings, but they should never be used in actual competition. No other sport artificially adjusts the score to accommodate for a lack of skill. Also, claiming victory over your opponent thanks to the advantage of a handicap is pathetic and shameful. You honestly shouldn't be allowed to play golf ever again.  

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Every golfer should be allowed to chop down one tree in his or her life without penalty. This must be done with an axe. Chainsaws are too easy, and nothing about golf should ever be easy.  

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Players who roll their balls out of divots are breaking the rules, regardless of weather or season. These players are also fancy-pants golfers who require the ground to be pristine in order to swing, which is lame and stupid. Hit the damn ball where it lies. That is the essence of golf. 

As an alternative, go play mini golf. There are no divots amongst the windmills and water features of a mini golf course, and you can usually get an ice cream cone after the round.

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Dress codes are nonsense and should be eliminated entirely. They serve no useful purpose and only cause golfers to be perceived as elitist jackasses. Dress codes are also nonexistent at many public golf courses, so don't allow your pretentious friends to bully you into colored shirts and plaid pants when playing these courses. Wear whatever the hell you want. You're an adult, goddamn it. 

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No mulligans. Ever. There is nothing uglier and more idiotic on a golf course than a golfer taking a mulligan.