#SOTUBlackout Photos Of Women At Trump’s SOTU Will Make You Go Hell Yeah
In the spirit of #MeToo and #TimesUp, a slew of Democratic lawmakers attending Donald Trump's inaugural State of the Union Address (SOTU), are organizing under #SOTUBlackout. And if the photos of dozens of representatives donning all black are any indication, these congresspeople mean business.
Participants in the protest, which was organized in part by Rep. Lois Frankel, intend to send a message to both the government and the American people that lawmakers are serious about combatting sexual misconduct and gender iniquity. In an interview with Vox, Frankel, who is also the chair of the Democratic Women's Working Group, said that those wearing black want to express “a message of solidarity with those who are seeking economic security and a cultural shift that enables men and women to work side by side, in safety and dignity, free of sexual harassment, and be paid fairly for the value of their work."
According to Racked, the female Democrats behind the demonstration extended the invitation for participation to men and Republicans. "We’re not trying to make this partisan," Frankel said. “Sexual harassment knows no party." While male Democrats began posting photos of themselves dressed in all black, and donning #TimesUp pins on their lapels, whether any GOP lawmakers will participate is not yet clear.
The #SOTUBlackout protest will imitate the #TimesUp demonstration that took place at 2018's Golden Globes. Here are some of the highlights:
In part, the #SOTUBlackout intends to draw attention to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Inviting Sexual Assault Survivors
Some Democratic congresswomen brought sexual assault survivors to the SOTU as their guests.
Standing In Solidarity With #MeToo
Rep. Lois Frankel helped organize the #SOTUBLackout with her fellow congresswomen.
House Democrats Unify
Some Democratic men also joined the #SOTUBlackout demonstration.
From Restaurant Kitchens To Congress
Rep. Carolyn Maloney tweeted her intention to combat harassment and inequality in the workplace.
Long Been Ignored
Congresswomen shake hands with Recy Taylor's niece. Taylor was brutally gang raped in 1944, and Oprah told her story in a speech at the 2018 Golden Globes.
Across All Industries
Re. Frankel posed with her staff before the SOTU began.
About To Begin
#SOTOBlackout participants posed for a photo before the SOTU started.
As the SOTU started, #SOTUBlackout demonstrators did not feign excitement.
Prepared To Demonstrate
Many Democrats may have appeared subdued during the actual speech, but their energy levels were high.
Nancy Pelosi Not Having It
Pelosi sat stone-faced as Trump began speaking.
Both male and female Democrats dressed in black to show solidarity for #SOTUBlackout.
While simply wearing black to one event isn't the same as passing comprehensive legislation, the show of unity on the issue is a refreshing about-face in an increasingly polarized Congress. It also demonstrates support for survivors, which is something everyone should be able to support.
More to come . . .