Illustration for article titled Male Kansas Senator Institutes Dress Code for Female Witnesses to Ensure They Look Respectful

You will never guess which political party he belongs to!

Via the Topeka Capital-Journal, Kansas state senator Mitch Holmes, chairman of the Kansas Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, has whipped up and instituted a dress code for female witnesses testifying on ethics and elections bills. “Low-cut necklines and mini-skirts are inappropriate,” his rules say.


Naturally, there are no specific restrictions for men. There are also no specifics within his 11-point guidelines—“implemented solely at his discretion”—about exactly what constitutes a low-cut neckline or a miniskirt.

“It’s one of those things that’s hard to define,” Holmes said. “Put it out there and let people know we’re really looking for you to be addressing the issue rather than trying to distract or bring eyes to yourself.”


In other words, anything on a woman’s body that distracts this white male senator falls short of his guidelines for what is appropriate in the Statehouse. So watch out, literally any women who don’t dress exactly like a 54-year-old Midwestern man’s (surely totally neutral) idea of what’s respectable, or who in any other way happen to “bring eyes.”

Holmes was immediately and inevitably criticized by from women on both sides of the aisle.

Sen. Carolyn McGinn, a Sedgwick Republican, said wardrobe restrictions set by Holmes could steer people away from the Capitol who don’t have clothing that meets his ideal. An individual’s opinions are more significant than what garment drapes that person’s shoulders, she said.

“I am more interested in what they have to say about the direction our state should go than what they’re wearing that day,” McGinn said.

Illustration for article titled Male Kansas Senator Institutes Dress Code for Female Witnesses to Ensure They Look Respectful

According to the Capital-Journal, the Kansas Statehouse got itself into another dress-related fuss in 2014, when a female representative instituted a dress code for interns. That dress code, however, affected both men and women. Holmes’s, notably, does not.

Holmes said he considered stipulating men had to wear suit and tie when addressing his Senate committee, but decided males didn’t need supplemental instruction on how to look professional.


Yeah, totally. Why would they need supplemental instruction on anything? They’re men.

“Unrelated”: Holmes’s top campaign donor in 2008 was the Koch boys, and he’s got a 93 percent approval rating from the NRA.


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Image via AP

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