Women in Black: Congressional Democrats Make Powerful Statement for #MeToo Movement
"I am wearing black to #SOTU in support of victims of sexual violence, including the 19 women who have accused @realDonaldTrump of sexual misconduct," tweeted Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA).
They may not have been wearing designer gowns, but the room full of congressional women who showed up for the State of the Union address on Tuesday night outfitted in all-black ensembles as a gesture of solidarity with victims of sexual harassment gave us flashbacks to Jan. 7's Golden Globes, when Hollywood's brightest stars turned the red carpet black.
Representatives including Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Lois Frankel (D-FL), who orchestrated the #SOTUBlackout, as well as Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other members of the Democratic Working Women's Group gathered early Tuesday to pose for photos in their black pantsuits and skirt suits to show support for the victims of sexual misconduct — including the 19 women who have accused President Donald Trump himself of sexual harassment.
Also spotted on the women supporting the #SOTUBlackout were the Time's Up pins designed by costume designer Arianne Phillips (pins can be purchased online for $12 each, and all proceeds benefit the organization which provides legal aide to women battling sexual harassment in the workplace), as well as red pins reading "Recy" in honor of the late Recy Taylor, whose niece joined the members of Congress for the group photo. Taylor, whose courage in standing up to the six white men who raped her in 1944 helped provide a spark for the Civil Rights movement, was lauded by Oprah Winfrey during her Golden Globes speech.
An honor to meet #RecyTaylor's niece today and use the #SOTUBLACKOUT to remind the world of her aunt's story and the far too many marginalized women who have spoken up and have long been ignored. #TimesUP #SOTU pic.twitter.com/w9GNIYzIBu— Carolyn B. Maloney (@RepMaloney) January 30, 2018
Purple ribbon pins were also spied on the lapels of some congress members in recognition of the opioid crisis.
"We wear black to send the message that we support the right of everyone to work and live in an environment where they feel safe and are safe," wrote Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) on Twitter. "I’ve been humbled by the brave women who came forward and shared their stories of harassment."
Women weren't alone in wearing black. Some male representatives, including Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD), followed the ladies' lead by wearing black suits and Time's Up pins.
It has become crystal clear that sexual harassment is rampant throughout all industries in our country. So to show solidarity with all workers who have experienced sexual harassment, I’m wearing black to the #SOTU and saying #TimesUP. #SOTUBLACKOUT pic.twitter.com/cutVORNNzE— Rep. Suzan DelBene (@RepDelBene) January 30, 2018
My Democratic colleagues and I agree that The #TimesUP for sexual harassment & gender inequality!— Gregory Meeks (@RepGregoryMeeks) January 30, 2018
We’re wearing black today in solidarity with all the courageous women who've spoken out against sexual harassment and assault. #MeToo #SOTUBLACKOUT pic.twitter.com/7ir3X2c80w
Joining my colleagues in wearing black to #SOTU in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment and assault. We’re saying #TimesUP for sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. #SOTUBLACKOUT pic.twitter.com/ZaO6nfdLaS— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) January 30, 2018
Sexual harassment knows no party or industry. Wearing black to tonight’s #SOTU to show solidarity with workers across the country demanding safety & equality. #TimesUp #SOTUBLACKOUT pic.twitter.com/U92skeE7aD— Rep. Ted Lieu (@RepTedLieu) January 30, 2018