SOTU Address


Sam Stone

Tuesday, February 5th, President Donald Trump addressed the 116th congress in his State of the Union. A speech reserved for addressing the country and laying out his intentions for the session, became its own political playing field outside of simply what the President calls for.

Even before the speech began, President Trump’s entrance raised a few questions and wonder. Were all the justices at the SOTU? (4 out of 9 were) What will the President Trump say? And, why are so many people wearing white?

The Democratic women wore white, creating a sea of the pure color in the audience. Speak Nancy Pelosi joined in, a white blip on Trump’s right side which had formerly been where Paul Ryan sat during the first SOTU.

“I felt kind of like a child, all giddy about seeing it. It’s a moment in history, seeing it [the contrast] made me so happy. We haven’t had this before. Just the sheer amount of women [in Congress],” Senior Era Baki had to say about her initial realization of the trend.

This is not the first time that women wore white to the State of the Union. Last year, they did the same. The color is that of what the suffragettes wore in the early 20th century. The aesthetically pleasing and non-alarming color has since been cemented as a symbol of women’s rights. 2019 marks a 100 years since the 19th Amendment was introduced, preventing the denial of the right to vote based on sex.

The move to wear white was led by Florida House Representative Lois Frankel. They have taken the original symbol and flipped it to fit modern moves in women’s rights. Rights including closing the pay gap, the disproportional representation of sex in government, reproductive rights, and paid maternity leave.

“Tonight when President Trump gives his State of the Union and when he looks at the Democratic side of the House he will see a wave of suffragette white as Democrats promote a crucial piece of our “For the People” agenda,’’ Frankel said to USA Today. 

A sea of white expresses the agenda of these women: they will not lose this progress made.