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Kansas Senator's Dress Code for Women Sparks Outrage

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Topeka Capital-Journal

A Kansas state senator’s dress code for women who appear before senate committees has gotten him into hot water, reports WPEC. The senator’s rules prohibit women testifying on bills from wearing low-cut necklines and miniskirts. Sen. Mitch Holmes is a 53-year-old Republican from St. John. He is chairman of the Kansas Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. His 11-point code of conduct does not include any restrictions on men. Holmes said men need no instruction on how to look professional.

The guidelines don't detail a minimum skirt length or a permissible neckline for blouses. “It's one of those things that's hard to define,” Holmes said. But he said women should avoid “trying to distract or bring eyes to [themselves].”

The dress code has drawn ire from female lawmakers in Topeka. “Who's going to define low-cut?” said Sen. Vicki Schmidt, a Topeka Republican. She added, “Does it apply to senators?”