Tonight, when President Trump addresses Congress for the first time in his presidency, he'll face a line of Democrat women (all members of the Women's Working Group) who have all decided to wear white "to stand in solidarity with the women of our nation." Using the color white as a symbol of women's protest isn't a new item in most of our political vocabularies; wearing white to vote last November was a big trend among Democrats, particularly women, who sought to honor the legacy of suffrage in America. But wearing white also has a complicated legacy for both women's rights and female identity in general — one involving discourses on ideas regarding purity, class and race. For all its looks-so-crisp simplicity, white is a pretty complicated color, and the WWG's decision to wear it is a powerful one.
We need to put this fashion-forward rebellion into context. Not only are Democratic women giving themselves a day of complete terror of coffee and raspberries — they're also making an interesting entry into the history of white clothing as a tool of female political resistance.