On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump stood in front of the joint members of Congress and delivered a speech that was surprisingly devoid of spluttering, anti-media invective and cries of “fake news”to a room full of sycophants and stony-faced detractors. Perhaps you caught a glimpse of white, sprinkled throughout the dark suits and the somber faces.
Those were the Democratic women lawmakers, dressed in their best suffragette whites, in support of women’s rights. Members of the House Democratic Women’s Working Group said in a statement that their sartorial choice was intended to “show their commitment to protecting women’s rights,” a fight that is becoming more and more important as the Trump administration continues to get comfortable.
Out of the 66 women who are members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, a fair number of them showed up dressed in support of their message. “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,” Congresswoman Lois Frankel said in the statement. “We will continue to support the advancement of women. We will not go back.”
Trump’s tone—though not, perhaps, his speech—was far less aggressive than his previous public remarks, so much so that the talking heads on the broadcast I watched could barely contain their awe that he managed to read a fucking Teleprompter without spinning out. He hit all the major talking points he’s been yawping about this whole time and even threw women a bone, promising to reach across the aisle “to invest in women’s health.”
What a curious promise, though, from someone who signed an executive order that cuts federal funding from NGOs if they even whisper about abortion two days after he was inaugurated into office, and who willingly selected a man who is actively hostile towards reproductive rights as his second in command.