On Tuesday evening, as President Donald Trump addressed Congress for the first time, several of the 66 members of the House Democratic Women’s Working Group wore “suffragette white” as a show of solidarity for women’s rights.
The decision to wear white clothing was a nod to similar clothing choices from the suffragette movement in the early 1900s, when women were encouraged to wear white as a symbol of purity as they campaigned for their rights.
“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,” Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, the chair of the working group, said in a statement.
“Tonight, our Democratic #WomenWearWhite in support of women’s rights — in spite of a @POTUS who doesn’t!” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted.
The response from Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Republican Conference, was a call for unity.
“You know, I think this is an important time for us to be coming together,” she said, adding, “Typically, when a president is elected, you have that coming together as a country, which we haven’t had, and I’m hopeful that people will listen to his message tonight and that they’ll be willing to come together, find the common ground, so that we can do the important work that the people expect us to do.”