Why Democratic Congresswomen Plan to Wear White to Trump's State of the Union Address

A group of Democratic women in the House are calling on fellow lawmakers from across the aisle to wear white to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in a show of support for women's rights.

The House Democratic Women's Working Group has launched the effort, asking lawmakers to don the same "suffragette white" that several members of the group wore to Trump's State of the Union address in 2017.

At the time, members of the group had explained that they had chosen to wear white not only to honor the memory of the women's suffrage movement, but also to send Trump a message that they would be willing to fight for issues including equal pay, reproductive rights and affordable healthcare.

"I'm looking forward to wearing suffragette white to #SOTU next week with all @HouseDemWomen!" Democratic Representative Lois Frankel of Florida said in a Twitter statement on Wednesday. "We'll honor all those who came before us & send a message of solidarity that we're not going back on our hard-earned rights," she said.

I'm looking forward to wearing suffragette white to #SOTU next week with all @HouseDemWomen! We'll honor all those who came before us & send a message of solidarity that we're not going back on our hard-earned rights!https://t.co/CVPLLIunde

— Rep. Lois Frankel (@RepLoisFrankel) January 30, 2019

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon said she also planned to wear white, writing on Twitter: "While I usually wear various shades of blue, I am looking forward to paying tribute to the countless women who came before us as we stand in solidarity."

Wearing all white has become an increasingly common way for politicians to make a statement in support of women's rights.

New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore white to the new member swearing-in ceremony earlier this month, explaining the decision in a tweet: "I wore all-white today to honor the women who paved the path before me and for all the women yet to come. From suffragettes to Shirley Chisholm, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the mothers of the movement."

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also chose all white as her outfit of choice when she accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

The former Secretary of State also wore an all-white pant suit to Trump's January 2017 inauguration, in what many interpreted as a clear statement to the U.S. leader.

"I'm here today to honor our democracy and its enduring values," Hillary tweeted that morning. "I will never stop believing in our country and its future."

Ivanka and Tiffany Trump also picked all white as their outfits of choice for their father's swearing-in. It is unclear whether their outfits were similarly chosen to represent a show of support for women's rights.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, awaits the start of the 116th Congress on the floor of the US House of Representatives at the US Capitol on January 3, 2019 in Washington,DC. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images