Alexandra Petri is a humorist who writes for the Washington Post. Here she puts tongue in cheek to praise the Missouri Legislature’s bold stance on its female dress code.

She writes:

On Wednesday, the Republican-dominated Missouri House of Representatives decided to spend its one wild and precious legislative life focusing, laser-like, on the issues that matter most to the people of the state: the dress code for female legislators. All I can say is: Thank goodness!

The good people of the state of Missouri had been cowering for months in a state of panic, knowing that unless prompt, legislative action was taken on the very first day of the new session, some Missourian lawgiver might, without any warning, see a woman’s shoulder. I almost do not want to type it! I am sorry that you had to read the word, which may have forced you to picture one in your mind and derailed your legislative business for the month. Sh***der. That is better. I have already done too much harm.

Imagine the shock and horror of seeing a shoulder that belonged to a woman who was using it at the time! The mind reels. The jaw drops to the floor. I can think of nothing less respectful. A shoulder, covered not with a blazer, but with some sort of unstructured wrap — unthinkable! An abomination in the eyes of the law, and of all right-thinking citizens!

The new rule states that “proper attire for women shall be business attire, including jackets worn with dresses, skirts, or slacks, and dress shoes or boots.” Sweaters, formerly permitted, are right out! Cardigans were a subject of debate on the floor — could one possibly be adequate to do the duty of a blazer? After all, this is the Missouri legislature, not a Taylor Swift album! They had to think of the consequences.

I once saw a woman’s shoulder — in fact, two shoulders — not covered by a blazer. She was in a dress, supplemented by a drape of some kind, but that, as the legislators wisely noted in their statute, was not enough. It was a statue, on the top of the United States Capitol; I do not know what sick, disrespectful pervert put it there, but I am still recovering from the ordeal.

I thank the gods that I am not a male legislator (the ones most devastatingly affected by such sights). I read a story that one saw the Venus de Milo by mistake (he heard it was art) and is still in a hospital, groaning in agony.

We all know how many male legislators have suffered this fate, thanks to a previous dress code that did not pause for a moment to consider them as people. Those legions of men glimpsed a wrap, sliding precipitously down a human shoulder in the Missouri Capitol, and have had to give up public life entirely to spend their days screaming and staring at the wall.

Sometimes, at night, I still hear them, howling. Their lives, as they know them, have ended. So many lives, taken completely out of their owners’ hands and made to serve the whims of a legislature that didn’t think it was a big deal to allow shawls and sweaters, that didn’t take into account the impact on people’s lives of their careless words.

The people of Missouri sat there last year in the midst of major flash floods worrying: “Are my legislators going to protect their eyes from sh***ders? They had better focus on that,” they thought, “rather than the infrastructure. I know it is also important to try to make it more difficult to change the state constitution by ballot initiative, since the voice of the people might be heard, and that could be very awkward. But first! First, they must look to swaddling all those hideous, loathsome appendages and hiding them from view! Ugh, ugh!”

You would think that people so horrified by the sight of an innocent shoulder would not want to, voluntarily, delve any deeper into other people’s bodies and enact cruel, dehumanizing restrictions about their medical choices, but — you would be wrong.