Lawmakers invited to support #MeToo at State of the Union
Some members of Congress plan to make a statement during President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address later this month by wearing the color black.
The gesture is meant to show support for the anti-sexual harassment #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, which has spread across the country. The sexual harassment scandal has plagued Congress in recent weeks, forcing several members to resign from office as a result.
Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California, who has led the #MeToo movement on Capitol Hill by sharing her own story and encouraging fellow members and staffers to do the same, is part of the group planning to don black ensembles on January 30.
“This Is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it,” Speier told CNN.
The congresswoman’s office said she and the other members of the House Democratic Women’s Working Group are inviting men and women, and both Democrats and Republicans, to dress in black.
The announcement came just days after black dresses ruled the red carpet at Sunday’s Golden Globes in a show of solidarity for the movement, which has also deeply affected Hollywood. A-list stars also took activists for the cause as their guests to the event.
This won’t be the first time Democratic women in Congress have dressed alike to show solidarity at an event on the Hill.
Last February at Trump’s first joint address to Congress, many of the 66 female representatives and delegates who made up the Democratic Women’s Working Group at the time wore white clothing, dubbed “suffragette white” in a nod to the women’s rights movement in the early 1900s, which encouraged its supporters to dress in white as a representation of purity.
The Democratic members wore white to show support for Planned Parenthood, affordable health care, reproductive rights, equal pay, paid leave, affordable child care and “lives free from fear and violence,” said a statement from Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, the chair of the group.