In my middle school and high school days, our dress code dictated that a girl's skirt couldn't be higher than two inches above the knee. And we had the skirt police, who would sometimes walk around with a ruler and measure. That was then. But now, in New York City, apparently the skirt police still exist.
A Dutch tourist says that during a visit in early May, she was questioned by a New York City police officer after he saw her riding her bike in Lower Manhattan while donning a short skirt. According to her, he said her outfit was "dangerous" because she was distracting drivers.
"He said it's very disturbing, and it's distracting the cars and it's dangerous," Rijcken told the New York Daily News. "I thought he was joking around but he got angry and asked me for ID."
Rijcken, 31, was not given a ticket, but she was reprimanded. Unfortunately, she also didn't get the officer's name. Because of that, the NYPD says it can't really look in to her story.
"Whether this story bears even a modest semblance of what actually occurred is impossible to establish without being provided the purported officer's name and getting his side of the story," Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told the Daily News.
As for Rijcken, who is the general manager of a Dutch bike company and was in town for a bike show, she ended up going back to her hotel to change.
"I was on my way back to the hotel when it happened and I changed into pants," she told the Daily News. "I didn't want to get into trouble again."
She's also baffled: "I didn't even think for one second that my outfit could be harmful or disturbing."
As for the NYPD, I'll let you know if I spot any officers with rulers.
It's worth pointing out that a Facebook page that appears to be of Rijcken says she works for the bike company VANMOOF, the company that makes the bike she appears to be riding. VANMOOF posted the story on the company's Facebook page on May 23, and is fond of the publicity it's getting from the story. That's to be expected. But coupled with the NYPD's inability to research Rijcken's story, it does cast some doubt.
Still, it could just be that Rijcken was biking around NYC on one of her company's bikes and did get stopped. Many outlets have posted the story and none yet have provided proof that the whole thing is a stunt. But then again, none have proven that it's not true. We've presented both sides above. You decide.