Last Tuesday, on March 1st President Trump gave his first speech since his inaugural address.  While it was not a state of the union address, he delivered this speech in front of congress.  The next day the press went wild praising Donald for his presidential behavior and ability to stick to the script in front of him.  Not everyone was impressed however; some people in attendance were hoping to make their presence and demands seen, since they did not believe their voices would be represented in Trump’s speech.

On Tuesday night approximately 45 of the Democratic congresswomen wore white to the speech.  Their white outfits stood out in a sea of black and blue suites across the isles.  Why white?  There are many reasons, primarily it is a color of women’s rights movements.  White was the official color of the suffragist movement.  Before women had the right to vote in 1920, they created the suffragist movement to petition for their right to be equal to men. According to an article by the history channel the color white first became a color for women’s rights by a group of women in England who created the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1908.  Since then women in politics have worn white to symbolize their strength and unity with women.  In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was the “first female vice president candidate for a major party ticket.” When she delivered her acceptance speech, she wore white.  Looking back not too far at the past presidential election, Hillary Clinton wore white both in the third general election debate and to Trump’s inaugural address when she attended as former first lady with former President Bill Clinton.  This color has helped women stand out and stand up for their rights for the past 100 years.  

Before the speech, many congresswomen tweeted photos of the women together in white and used the hashtag “WomenWearWhite.”  Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was just one of the notable 66 democratic women who participated.  She tweeted “Tonight, our Democratic #WomenWearWhite in support of women’s rights – in spite of a @POTUS who doesn’t!”  According to an article by NBC when asked for a comment democratic Florida Representative Lois Frankel said, “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,”

Before even assuming office, President Trump’s past made headlines when footage emerged of him admitting to sexual assault, stating he could just “grab them by the pu***.”  Since assuming office he has signed an Executive Order that prohibits giving US funding to internal nongovernmental organizations that provide abortions.  A notable photograph of him signing this EO was popular in news stories when it showed Trump surrounded only by other 50 plus year old straight, white, men.  

There are almost three times as many democratic elected women in congress than there are republican; 76 and 28 respectively.  Sadly, women only make up 19.3% of the United States Congress.  Interestingly enough, there were no female republican congresswomen wearing white on Tuesday.  They instead opted to wear the color purple, which symbolizes bipartisanship.   

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Laura Hayes
A New York native, Laura Hayes is a senior graduating from Bryant University in just three years with her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a double minor in Management and Women's Studies.

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