Congresswomen to wear black during State of the Union address

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Many U.S. congresswomen are planning to wear black to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address later this month to show support for victims of sexual harassment and assault — including, presumably, the more than a dozen women who have accused the president of sexual misconduct.

U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, told NBC News on Tuesday that she and other members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, which includes all Democratic women serving in the House, were calling on lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to wear black for the upcoming State of the Union address. The protest would mirror a similar demonstration made in support of the #MeToo movement that was carried out by Hollywood actresses at the Golden Globes on Sunday, where all but four women at the event were reportedly seen wearing black.

“This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it,” Speier said.” And it’s not the first time a group of women in Congress have coordinated their wardrobe to send Trump a message. Last February, during Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress, a group of congresswomen dressed in all white to pay tribute to the legacy of the women’s movement. The coordinated effort was a tribute to the suffragettes, who nearly 100 years ago fought for and won the right to vote with 19th Amendment.

Members of congress react as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump’s first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The #MeToo movement has already forced a reckoning in Congress. It led to the resignation of Senator Al Franken of Minnesota following accusations that he had groped women during photo ops, and the retirement of Representative John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, after it emerged that he had allegedly sexually harassed numerous staffers. Blake Farenthold, a Republican from Texas, also chose not to run for re-election to the House of Representatives after it was discovered that he had settled a sexual harassment case from a former aide with $84,000 of taxpayer money. Republican Senate candidate’s Roy Moore failure to win in the deeply conservative state of Alabama was also in large part impacted by women who spoke out about Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct with a number of women, including five teenagers.

In December, more than a hundred Democrats called for a Congressional inquiry into Donald Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct. “The #MeToo movement has arrived, and sexual abuse will not be tolerated, whether it’s by a Hollywood producer, chef of a restaurant, member of Congress, or the President of the United States,” U.S. Representative Lois Frankel of Florida, chair of the DWWG, said at the time. “No man or woman is above the law.”

Read the full story at ABC News.


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