Photos Of Women Wearing White At The State Of The Union Send A Stunning Message Of Unity
Hours before President Donald Trump delivered his 2019 State of the Union address on Tuesday, dozens of Democratic women were already appearing in photos at the Capitol, donning "suffragette white" suits and dresses. Photos of women wearing white at Trump's SOTU illustrated a show of solidarity, according to The Hill, as well as a tribute to the suffragette movement of the 20th century.
According to The Washington Post, the House Democratic Women’s Working Group invited all women in Congress to wear white in order to demand women's economic security and to protest the Trump administration's repressive policies. Florida Rep. Lois Frankel, the chair of the working group, told CNN that wearing white was also meant to celebrate the record number of women who were elected to Congress during the 2018 midterm elections.
"Wearing suffragette white is a respectful message of solidarity with women across the country, and a declaration that we will not go back on our hard-earned rights," Frankel told CNN in a statement.
Photos of women lawmakers made it clear that many of them had chosen to champion women's rights at the SOTU by wearing white — just as they did back in 2017, when Trump delivered his first joint address to Congress.
A Message Of Solidarity
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the Democratic women who wore white during the SOTU, and she posed for group photos with her fellow lawmakers ahead of Trump's address.
Among the many Democratic women wearing white during the SOTU was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who sat directly above and behind Trump as he delivered his address.
Dozens Of Women Wearing White
Wide angle shots of Tuesday's joint session of Congress showed dozens of women lawmakers dressed in white and sitting together in a large group.
A Stark Contrast
Photos of the audience during Trump's speech also made it clear that most of the women in white were Democrats — though women of both parties were invited to wear white, per CNN.
Another prominent Democrat who donned white during Trump's SOTU address was freshman lawmaker Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who made history when she was elected during the 2018 midterm elections.
Women Making History
At one moment during the speech, Trump noted that the number of women in the workforce had increased, prompting many of the Democratic women wearing white to stand up and applaud.
"You weren't supposed to do that!" Trump replied, seemingly surprised. The president then went on to acknowledge that "we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before."
A Symbol Of Protest
Many of these same Democratic women, however, remained seated for a significant portion of Trump's speech — including when he called for increased restrictions on abortion access.
As they sat together in an apparent sea of white suits and dresses, Democratic lawmakers sent a message of solidarity to women across the country, and celebrated the progress that women have achieved in recent years.