Dress Like A Woman Or Get Back To Work

Coauthored by Ellen Offner, Offner Consulting, LLC, Healthcare strategy and program development.

First, it was the Israeli Knesset, and then it was Trump telling women what to wear.

An unnamed source told Axios that Donald Trump's White House dress code implores women to "dress like women." Women across the Internet had a lot to say in response.

Sounds simple, but it's hard. First of all, It's so difficult to know which part of me is acceptable. In Muslim countries, my elbows and ankles and wrists must turn men on because I have to keep those covered, but if I am a poor woman I can breastfeed in the marketplace. In America, I can't breastfeed in public unless I cover myself with what is called a "hooter hider." By self, I actually mean my breasts. I am, however, definitely allowed to show lots of skin, shoulders, knees, and toes. Is this what Trump wants?

OK, I know Trump doesn't mean dress like a Muslim woman with hijab. I think that would make me go through a lot of security, and take time from his work. In the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, there have been recent incursions into women's freedom to dress as they please.

"One of the women stopped, Yuval Ofer, said that 'we all come here every day to do our job, it's unacceptable that anyone would doubt this because of skirt length.'"

Where will efforts to control women end? It seems as if many societies have rules and even laws that restrict women's appearance, so as not to tempt lascivious men (often married) to pursue impermissible behavior. Are we as women so irresistible that we cause men to lose control, just because of a short skirt, uncovered heads, or tight sweaters?

If so, that is a sad commentary on men.

It's such a problem to know what dressing like a woman means. It's not that I am stupid, it's just that what makes me feel professional is feeling competent. It's not having those aching feet from the latest women's torture chamber shoes that are too high or too pointy. It's feeling comfortable, being sleeveless on a hot day and wearing pants on a cold one. I want to focus on my work, not on whether or not my crotch or cleavage is showing, or if my skirt is creeping up too high.

As for what makes me feel sexy, it is not how I dress but my own desire -- which comes from being alive and energetic. It is feeling engaged and connected, not which dress I happen to be wearing, that makes me feel amorous. Desire has very little to do with what I wear.

That is why it is hard for me to keep all the rules and think of myself as HOT HOT HOT all the time. In fact, worrying about my clothing suppresses my desire and causes me to worry about my appearance and be careful not to arouse men, particularly men with strong religious convictions about how women are attired, who use their perception of "seductive dress" to press objects of their desire into compromising situations. For women, keeping all these "restrictions" in mind is exhausting. They are not good for sex!

Maybe men should focus on their own dress, and try to be appealing to me! Men don't stop to think that they have to choose clothing that appeals to women to whom they are attracted. Also, good hygiene is a plus. Some women love certain aftershave lotion. Respect for a woman's autonomy and accomplishments is another fantastic stimulus! And kindness and compassion are great stimuli!

Many cultures around the world believe that women must cover this body part, or else that one, lest they become irresistible sexual objects and invite seduction, or worse -- rape. While on the one hand, it is kind of flattering to think women are so powerful, the mere sight of a wrist or knee can move men to audacious acts that a woman does not want and is then blamed for.

With all this focus on my body parts, you would think that male legislators and judges would understand female anatomy. After all, most legislators and judges have wives or daughters -- and all of them have mothers! Somehow, some have failed to understand that my ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina need attention and not just sexual attention. These body parts are part of me and if you want to provide me with good health care, you need to understand these parts are not just for your pleasure. They are part of my very core and I need them to be healthy. During a woman's fertile years, these parts are essential for perpetuating the human race. At my age, post-fertility, I need medical care to take care of them when they are sick or cancerous. Please, please don't forget it is my whole body that needs medical care, not merely the parts that show.

As for breastfeeding: please understand that the relationship between the nursing mother and her baby affects breast health and gives invaluable nutritional content, as well as feelings of being loved, to the baby. On the surface, removing a child from a nursing mother is not only an unusual punishment; it shows me that you have no idea how the female body works. If you are going to make judgments about laws that control women's dress or health care choices, YOU must be informed. Otherwise, you risk believing that women's bodies are created purely for men's pleasure.

If you say you can't do your work because of what I am wearing, I think you're making up excuses! Somehow I've managed to work with hands pawing at me, and lewd and lascivious remarks thrown at me. Guys, get a grip!

And, Donald, you get a hold of yourself!