Wearing all white has long symbolized the fight for justice. During the women’s suffrage movement, activists encouraged followers to dress in white as a sign of the quality of their purpose. More recently, Hillary Clinton wore an all-white pantsuit to accept her nomination at the Democratic National Convention and then again during President Trump’s inauguration. On Feb. 28, Democratic women in Congress embraced the tradition by dressing in all white at Trump’s Congressional address.
— Rep. Lois Frankel (@RepLoisFrankel) 28 février 2017
The House’s Democratic Women’s Working Group, chaired by Florida Representative Lois Frankel, organized the effort. In a statement, Frankel said that the campaign was a sign of unity. “We wear white to unite against any attempts by the Trump Administration to roll back the incredible progress women have made in the last century, and we will continue to support the advancement of all women,” Frankel said. “We will not go back.”
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) 28 février 2017
Frankel’s concern is shared by many millions across the country, as proved by the sheer size of Women’s March in January. Trump is not exactly a champion for women’s rights, and he has faced several harassment allegations. Despite repeatedly denying that he groped, verbally assaulted, and made unwanted advances on a dozen women, the charges against Trump remain. And, of course, who could forget when Trump’s own words demonstrated that he believed grabbing women by the p*ssy was not only legal, but invited?
Trump addressed the joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening surrounded by immigrants who he has marginalized and a sea of white. Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi, who wore white on Tuesday, said earlier in the day that “our House Democratic caucus will be very dignified” at the address.
While the president ultimately remains in power, there is also power in lawmakers’ commitment to fighting his ideologies.