The women of Congress took a bold stand on an outdated dress code.

Cooperation can be hard to come by. This is a good place to start.

In America, we have the right to bear arms. Or is it to arm bears? Or maybe to bare arms? Something like that. Land of the free, home of the brave, and so on.

Tired of sweating in the D.C. heat, women in the House of Representatives recently took a stand against an outdated dress code banning sleeveless dresses. The rules of the dress code aren't actually that specific, simply saying that people on the House floor must wear "appropriate business attire."


Lately, however, that rule is being interpreted and enforced in a very specific way.

As CBS News reported:

"A young, female reporter recently tried to enter a guarded room known as the Speaker's lobby outside the House chamber, but her outfit was considered inappropriate because her shoulders weren't covered. She was wearing a sleeveless dress.

Forced to improvise, she ripped out pages from her notebook and stuffed them into her dress's shoulder openings to create sleeves, witnesses said. An officer who's tasked with enforcing rules in the Speaker's lobby said her creative concoction still was not acceptable."

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Arizona) took to the floor on July 12 in protest of the new Capitol Hill fashion police.

And two days later, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California) organized #SleevelessFriday, capping off with a group photo of Congressional women showing off their metaphorical guns.

There's a long history of women on both sides of the aisle working together to update congressional norms.

In 1969, Rep. Charlotte Reid (R-Illinois) wore — *gasp* — pants and caused quite a stir. It wasn't until 1993 that pressure from newly-elected Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Illinois) that the Senate updated their rules to allow women to wear pants. In 2011, women of the House banded together to demand a women's restroom be added near the House floor — something their male counterparts had had all along. And they got it.

Of course, yes, there's a lot of other world-redefining, life-altering stuff happening right now in Congress — like the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad health care bill — that needs our attention. In fact, now would be a pretty great time to give your senators a quick call to let them know how you feel.

This story is a reminder of how great it can be when Democrats and Republicans work together — even if it is just to fight for a better dress code.

For his part, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has committed to updating the dress code, telling reporters that he'll be working with the House sergeant-at-arms to clarify the code and its enforcement.

In the meantime, it's good to see a little reasonable action coming from the political abyss. It's something we don't hear about nearly enough.

More

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended