President Donald Trump made his first joint Congressional address Tuesday night, and the Democratic women of the House of Representatives made a clear political statement in their wardrobe choices for the event. The Democratic women of the House decided to wear white in a show of support for women's rights.
The powerful group of women were photographed outside the capitol Tuesday, looking fresh and ready to fight the administration's attacks on women's rights.
In the first month of Trump's presidency, he has advanced measures meant to limit abortion rights for women. He signed an executive order to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, which bans federal funds for foreign non-governmental groups that provide information about abortions. Not long after, the House passed legislation banning federal funding from being used for abortions, and a national Heartbeat Bill was introduced.
Given this frightening slate of legislation and attitudes toward women in general from the administration, Democratic women are concerned about the well-being of women nationwide. Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, who organized the effort of resistance in white, is chair of the House Democratic Women's Working Group, which is made up of the 66 Democratic women in the House. In a statement, she said, according to Vox:
The ladies of the House, wearing suffragette white for the speech tonight pic.twitter.com/vVulgJFL7e— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) February 28, 2017
Wearing white — and especially a white pantsuit — is a powerful visual stance to show Trump and the country that they will not stop fighting for women's rights. And they're not the first to do so. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wore a white pantsuit to accept the Democratic presidential nomination in July as well as during the third presidential debate and Trump's inauguration in January, and many women across the country wore white to the voting booth on Election Day.
While it's derived from the history of women fighting for voting rights in the United States, donning white has become something of a feminist flag. Women are so scrutinized for their appearance and by claiming the color white and its symbol of purity, the group is making a powerful statement about the importance of women's rights.
In a time where we can't rely on the President of the United States to stand up for women, it's heartening to see hardworking, powerful Congresswomen continuing the fight for equal rights.