During President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress last year, a group of Democratic women lawmakers wore white pantsuits and dresses as a nod to the women’s suffragette movement. On Tuesday night, for the State of the Union, sartorial statements once again stood out in the crowd in the Chambers of Congress on Capitol Hill.
Instead of white, though, a generally positive color symbolizing goodness, light, beginnings, and possibility, many chose to go with black, following the lead of Golden Globes attendees who did so to bring visibility to the Time’s Up movement as well as stand in solidarity with victims of sexual assault and harassment.
U.S. Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Duckworth, Dianne Feinstein, Jackie Speier, and others all participated in the dress code for a cause, with House Democrats coming together before the president’s address for a #SOTUBlackout photo op.
— House Democrats (@HouseDemocrats) January 30, 2018
“This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it,” Speier, a Democrat from California, who’s responsible for launching #MeTooCongress on social media, told HuffPost.
However, it wasn’t just Time’s Up pins and black ensembles that SOTU attendees used to communicate their platforms. There were also red Recy Taylor buttons, purple ribbons to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic, migrating butterflies to represent immigrants and “Dreamers,” kente cloths to “stand in solidarity with people from you-know-what countries,” and more.
Tonight, I’m proud to show my support at #SOTU for 2 very important causes: a #TimesUp pin in solidarity w/every American fighting to end sexual harassment in the workplace, & a purple ribbon to raise awareness for those affected by the devastating opioid epidemic pic.twitter.com/FmPq6LQ8v9
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) January 31, 2018
We are wearing black to signify our fight against discrimination and for equality. We stand united with the #DREAMers and women, and every American who demands that our citizens be treated fairly. #MeToo #TimesUp #SOTU pic.twitter.com/poVYLbMlGo
— Colleen Hanabusa (@RepHanabusa) January 31, 2018
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) January 31, 2018
— Carolyn B. Maloney (@RepMaloney) January 31, 2018
Joining @SenatorShaheen & @SenatorHassan in wearing a purple ribbon during #SOTU to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic. It's disappointing that @POTUS declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, but then did virtually nothing. #AYearofTrump pic.twitter.com/vSX9FntzOk
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) January 31, 2018
— Rep. Bobby Scott (@BobbyScott) January 31, 2018
Joining my colleagues in wearing black to #SOTU in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment and assault. We’re saying #TimesUP for sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. #SOTUBLACKOUT pic.twitter.com/ZaO6nfdLaS
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) January 30, 2018
— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 31, 2018
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