State of the Union: Why did all these women wear white to Donald Trump’s address? – Donald Trump’s America
You might have spotted lots of women wearing white during US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union (SOTU) address.
The move was a deliberate nod to the women of the Suffragette movement, who wore white as they campaigned for the right to vote.
Here’s what we know about why women (and some men) chose to wear the colour in Congress today.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wore white to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. (Reuters: Joshua Roberts)
When House Leader Nancy Pelosi climbed the dais, women wearing white gathered in the aisle of the Democratic side of the House.
It was in response to the Women from the Democratic Women’s Working Group, who say they wanted Mr Trump to see a “a wave of suffragette white” as he delivered his SOTU speech.
“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,” Representative Lois Frankel of Florida, the chair of the working group, told CNN.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the constitution, which prohibits states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to US citizens on the basis of sex.
Nancy Pelosi (second right) stands with Democratic women House members who wore white to recognise suffragettes. (Reuters: Joshua Roberts)
The group also coordinated women to wear white to Mr Trump’s joint address to Congress last year, in what Ms Frankel said was a protest against, “Republican attempts to roll back women’s progress”.
At the time, members said in a statement they were wearing white to show support for a number of schemes, including reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood, equal pay and affordable health care.
Tonight, our Democratic #WomenWearWhite in support of women’s rights — in spite of a @POTUS who doesn’t!
Wearing white as part of a political statement has become more common in recent years, with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez having worn the colour earlier this year to honour, “the women who have paved the path before me, and for all the women yet to come”.
You might also remember Hillary Clinton famously wearing white when she accepted the Democratic nomination for president at the 2016 National Convention.
Were men in white too?
Democratic women pose in white recognising suffragettes before the State of Union address. (Reuters: Joshua Roberts)
Most women on the Democrat side of the House chamber were wearing white in some form or another — Ms Ocasio-Cortez wore a white caped blazer and Ms Pelosi wore a white pantsuit.
Nearly 100 years after women earned the right to vote, more than 100 women are serving in Congress. Tonight the @HouseDemWomen are wearing suffragette white to remind the president that we—and the rights our ancestors fought for—aren’t going anywhere. #SOTU #SOTU2019
From #EqualPay, to affordable child care, to access to quality health care @HouseDemWomen are fighting for the economic security of women & families. #StateOfTheWoman
But it was not just women who paid tribute to the Suffragette movement, some men sported white ribbons on their lapels. One man wore all white too: Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota.
The attire was also a nod to the November elections and the record number of women, most of them Democrats, elected to Congress.
Democratic female members of Congress cheer after US President Donald Trump said there are more women in Congress than ever before. (Reuters: Jonathan Ernst)
Melania Trump was decked out in navy blue but many noticed Mr Trump’s daughter, Tiffany Trump, wore white as well.
Mr Trump also drew applause from some of the women in white when he referenced when women were given the right to vote.
“Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before,” he said.
“And exactly one century after the Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before.”