On Thursday, Jezebel published a piece alleging that there was a new dress code in the House of Representatives: no shoulders allowed.
The piece had several anecdotes of female reporters who were prohibited from the speaker's lobby due to their lack of sleeves, and asserted that this was brand new policy.
Other outlets ran with this information, and wrote similar pieces about the supposed new sexist dress code. Jezebel eventually updated its post to clarify that this policy is not new, but as the saying goes--a lie goes halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
"Women are no longer allowed to wear sleeveless attire in Paul Ryan’s House of Reps" https://t.co/iJvzbXB6xE— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) July 6, 2017
There's just one issue, that is more than a little bit relevant to the whole thing: This is not a new dress code and it is not a new policy under Paul Ryan and it is not suddenly being enforced for the first time in a while. The dress code has existed for well over a century.
Other journalists stepped in to correct the record.
This is simply wrong. The Speakers' Lobby dress code has been this way for decades. Can be argued it should change -- but let's be factual https://t.co/QDgti2fnGj— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) July 7, 2017July 7, 2017
Man oh man this storyline has gone off the rails, Paul Ryan didn't create the dress code! https://t.co/fEKrGY2AL5— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 7, 2017
Dress code for men and women in the speaker's lobby has existed for years, it's nuts stories are saying otherwise. https://t.co/sTuasQDOAD— Maggie Severns (@MaggieSeverns) July 7, 2017
As long as I've worked on the Hill (on and off for 10+ years), it's been enforced.— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) July 7, 2017
Including when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker https://t.co/ZZRDpLrtH1
1980 was the first time I walked into the Speaker's Lobby. The dress code hasn't changed https://t.co/iQYVDlDh52— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) July 7, 2017
Did someone (in NYC?) just figure out the Speaker's Lobby has a dress code? It's been exactly the same for 10+ years I've worked there.— Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) July 6, 2017
This dress code has been in effect forever. Nothing to do w paul ryan https://t.co/lOGQIOJxI2— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 7, 2017
So there you have it. The dress code is not new, is not over the top, and is not something ripped from the Handmaid's Tale. This is just more fake news.