The Time’s Up movement has reverberated through every industry, from Hollywood all the way to Washington, D.C.
Members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group attending this evening’s State of the Union address are expected to wear black in solidarity with the #MeToo movement. In an interview with Vox, Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., stated that their goal was to send “a message of solidarity with those who are seeking economic security and a cultural shift that enables men and women to work side by side, in safety and dignity, free of sexual harassment, and be paid fairly for the value of their work.”
My colleagues and I in the @HouseDemWomen are calling on our fellow MoCs – women & men, Democrats & Republicans – to wear black to this year’s #SOTU in solidarity w/survivors of sexual harassment/violence in Hollywood, politics, the military, academia, etc. #TIMESUP #MeToo
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) January 10, 2018
— Rep. Norma Torres (@NormaJTorres) January 30, 2018
Color-wise, the all-black statement will stand in stark contrast to last year’s unofficial all-white dress code inspired by “suffragette white” of the 1920s. The 2017 all-white dress code was adopted by a small faction of Democratic women as a silent protest against President Trump’s stance on women’s rights issues. However, in the wake of the sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the culture since last October, women have adopted the more somber, striking hue, taking a cue from the Time’s Up organization spearheaded by Hollywood heavy-hitters Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria, who championed this month’s Golden Globes blackout.
In another nod to the Globes, members of the Congressional Black Caucus will be wearing red pins in honor of Recy Taylor, according to Racked. Taylor, a black woman whose white rapists were never prosecuted following her brutal attack in 1944, was commemorated in Oprah’s Golden Globes speech. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., will bring Danielle McGuire, a historian who studied Taylor’s life, as a guest, while other members of Congress will be accompanied by sexual assault survivors.
The sartorial statement will also serve as a reminder that the Democratic women in D.C. stand in solidarity with the 19 women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct, assault or harassment.
According to Time, congresswomen, including Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., will be skipping the address altogether as a separate form of protest.
On the other side of the aisle, spectators will be closely watching to see what First Lady Melania Trump wears to the SOTU. Last year, Melania arrived in a glittering black Michael Kors suit, standing in literal contrast to the Democratic women in white.
Melania’s appearance, however, will also mark the first time that she has attended an event with the president since the news of his affair with porn star Stormy Daniels broke earlier this month (she canceled her trip to Davos, Switzerland, in the wake of the scandal). An all-black ensemble, should she choose to wear one, could be seen as a statement of her own to the president.
There’s an ongoing debate regarding the effectiveness of wearing pins and political clothing on the red carpet; however, the migration of the trend to the Hill — where the important decisions are actually being made — is an argument in favor of it. We’ll be watching at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT to see how it goes over.