Nell Frizzell | Contributing Writer | Friday, 21 August 2015

Missouri Politician Thinks A ‘Modest Dress Code’ Will Prevent Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Missouri Politician Thinks A ‘Modest Dress Code’ Will Prevent Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

The Debrief: I mean sure, that makes total sense.

How to solve the problem of workplace sexual harassment is, doubtless, a tricky one. It takes a nuanced mix of policy, training, effective punishment, positive reinforcement, listening, sympathy and direct action.

Or, you know, you could just tell your interns to dress like frumps. That is, according to a new plan muted by lawmakers in Jefferson City, Missouri. The proposal, which was made public on Tuesday, was suggested in an email by Republican Nick King, who wrote: ‘We need a good, modest, conservative dress code for both the males and females.’

He continued: ‘Removing one more distraction will help everyone keep their focus on legislative matters.’

By ‘distraction’, King may have been referring to the fact House Speaker John Diehl was forced to resign after it was shown that he’d exchanged sexually suggestive texts with a 19-year-old House intern or to the time two months later when two interns accused Senator Paul LeVota of sexual harassment. 

Of course, the proposal didn’t get very far. I mean, this is 2015, after all. According to Jason Hancock writing in The Kansas City Star, ‘The idea was greeted with disdain by Democrats and set off a firestorm on social media, with critics arguing that it was victim-blaming that would do nothing to address the problem of sexual harassment.’ 

Which means, I suppose, it’s back to the drawing board. And that slightly less simple mix of policy, training, effective punishment, positive reinforcement, listening, sympathy and direct action.

 

Like this? Then you may be interested in:

A Third Of Female Students Have Been Sexually Harassed. So What’s Being Done About It?

Man Can’t Be Fired For Sexually Harrassing Colleague At Office Party Because He’d Been Drinking

The Classic Mistakes Interns All Make

Picture: Getty

Tags: Politics