Ahead of President Trump’s second State of the Union — which closely follows a 34-day government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history — the Democratic women of Congress all dressed in white. In a press conference shortly before the president’s address, the congresswomen delivered speeches about gender equality in the county, and how Trump failed to address the issues facing so many Americans.
“Today we stand together wearing white in solidarity with the women of the suffrage movement who refused to take no for an answer,” said Representative Brenda Lawrence, who is also the leader of the Democratic Women’s Working Group. “To an administration that has closed its eyes to women, we will be seen.”
Their all-white outfits spoke to pivotal moments in history — from the suffragette movement to more recent events. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore all-white for her swearing-in ceremony earlier this year, the women of the Democratic Party wore white in 2017 during Trump’s first State of the Union, and who could forget Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit during the DNC in 2016.
Ocasio-Cortez’s outfit featured an additional message; one of remembrance for Jakelin Caal, the young girl who died in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol shortly after arriving in the United States.
“Tonight, we expect the occupant of the White House to utter the customary phrase, ‘The state of our union is strong,’” said freshman Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley during the press conference. “If that is true, it has nothing to do with the Trump administration. If our union is strong, it is because of our resilient people, who have succeeded in spite of, not because of, the actions of this administration.”