Watch: Democratic State Reps Absolutely Lose It During House Dress Code Debate


When Missouri Republican state Rep. Ann Kelley decided that dress code on the state House floor should be updated, so that both women and men had to cover their arms, the party which tends to pretend there’s no difference between the genders suddenly hid behind traditional gender roles.

In a nasty fight over decorum rules, which saw state Democrats lambaste Republicans by comparing the move to the national abortion debate and saying “the caucus that lost their minds over the suggestion that they should wear masks during a pandemic to respect the safety of others” ought to capitulate on the right to bare arms, the party that can’t usually answer what a woman is without being a biologist suddenly found the answer in a hurry.

According to the U.K. Independent — because this floor fight did indeed go viral, and even international — Kelley argued women should wear jackets like their male colleagues because “it is essential to always maintain a formal and professional atmosphere” on the floor.

“Decorum is more than just rules,” Kelley said. “It is respect for each other, respect for the institution, and respect for this magnificent building and for the position of Missouri state representative.”

Thus, she suggested dress code be amended, so that “proper attire for women shall be business attire, including jackets worn with dresses, skirts, or slacks and dress shoes or boots.”

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The prior dress code stipulated that, for women, “dresses or skirts or slacks worn with a blazer or sweater and appropriate dress shoes or boots.”

The rules debate, which took place Jan. 11, would ordinarily be an oatmeal-bland affair. As Republican state Rep. Brenda Shields noted, “All we’re trying to do today is to take the same rules that we have and make them more clear.”

However, Democrats denounced the new rules as “ridiculous” — and then proceeded to beclown themselves by trying to prove the point.

Chief clown was Democrat Rep. Raychel Proudie, who sought to extrapolate the fight over whether women should be able to go sleeveless to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Should the House of Representatives have a dress code?

“We are fighting, again, for a woman’s right to choose for something,” Proudie said.

“This time, it’s how she covers herself, and the interpretation of someone who has no background in fashion.”

Oh, please. Spare me. When an elected official is complaining that she has to cover up her arms like any man does for an office she willingly chose to hold is complaining about a woman’s choice on the matter of covering herself, I would love for her to meet any number of refugees from the Taliban regime — or, indeed, a number of other societies that are very opinionated on how a woman ought to cover herself while not necessarily holding men to the same rules of decorum, or even allowing women to serve in governmental positions.

It’s also worth noting that Proudie’s opinion might be influenced by the fact she has a bit of skin in the game.

“I spent $1,200 on a suit, and I can’t wear it in the people’s House because someone who doesn’t have the range tells me that it’s inappropriate,”she said.

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“You surely don’t have the money off the salary that we make to go buy a bunch of new clothes or tailored clothes, and I hope you’re able to continue to wear your cardigan and vote on behalf of the people who sent you here,” Proudie said.

Proudie wasn’t the only state Democrat trying to compare women covering their arms in the state House of Representatives to something it had absolutely nothing to do with, you won’t be shocked to discover.

Rep. Peter Meredith had this to say on Twitter: “Yep, the caucus that lost their minds over the suggestion that they should wear masks during a pandemic to respect the safety of others is now spending its time focusing on the fine details of what women have to wear (specifically how to cover their arms) to show respect here.”

Meredith made this point during the debate, as well:

The difference, of course, is that we know decorum is effective.

And left-wing activist and former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner may not be either currently elected or a Missouri office-holder, but don’t let that stop her from adding to the freeway pileup of bad parallels this debate generated:

I said that before as a pun; Turner seems to believe the two issues are somehow analogous.

If that wasn’t bad enough, there was even a fight over Kelley wearing sequins, because House Democrats were — either deliberately or out of actual ignorance — too dense to acknowledge what “decorum” is.

Aside from the hyperbolic attempts to link treating men and women the same as being some kind of grave affront to democracy, there are two major takeaways we should have from this debate.

The first was from Proudie, who admitted the bloody obvious truth that’s now anathema to left-wing values to acknowledge: “We are not men, we’ve made that clear.”

“So with that being said, us trying to mirror men’s clothing would kind of be contrary to conservative values, wouldn’t you think?”

No, not necessarily, but it’s nice to see a Democrat acknowledging that women are women and men are men. I thought pointing this out was sexism, patriarchy, transphobia and/or some combination of the three. Good to see someone calling reality what it is, even if just temporarily so it benefits them.

The second takeaway is the reason this is all necessary: Liberals, in general, have lost any idea of what decorum is. To give you a clue of how this manifests itself in dress and manner, here’s former state Rep. Trish Gunby advocating, apparently, for work-from-home attire to become work-from-House floor attire:

FYI, I don’t care. This is the Missouri House of Representatives, not you with your MacBook in front of your TV sending out a few tweets before you binge-watch Season 3 of “Gilmore Girls” for the sixth time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s when I think the show peaked, but my quibbles lie elsewhere.

This is the party of Sam Bankman-Fried, the former FTX CEO who never seemed to wear anything but a T-shirt and shorts, even when onstage with former President Bill Clinton. (Notice that in his court appearances, however, he seems to have ditched the summer wardrobe of a 13-year-old for a suit-and-tie.) This is the company of the white-collar urban laptop warrior, the type that bristles at having to return to work in person at the office.

Rest assured that if state House Democrats could vote to change the rules, so that this was all a Zoom meeting, they would have — provided, of course, they didn’t have to turn the camera on.

“You would think, you would think, that all you would have to do is, say, dress professionally, and women could handle it,” Rep. Kelley said during the debate. “You would think elected officials could handle that.”

You’d sadly have thought wrong — at least as far as Democrats were concerned.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture