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January 30, 2018

The Cut: 15 Congresswomen on Why They’re Wearing Black to the State of the Union

The Cut: 15 Congresswomen on Why They’re Wearing Black to the State of the Union


By  Katie Van Syckle | JANUARY 30, 2018 6:07 PM


In a testament to the reach of the #MeToo movement, Democratic women in the House of Representatives were inspired by women in Hollywood to wear all-black to tonight’s State of the Union address. (Last year, this same group, the Democratic Women’s Caucus, wore all-white in honor of women’s suffrage President’s joint address to Congress the group.)


Many Congresswomen will also wear a red pin honoring Recy Taylor, a black woman who was raped by six white men in 1944, and died this past December.


Members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group told the Cut they will be participating in tonight’s protest for a myriad of reasons, including #MeToo, the 19 women that have accused President Trump of sexual assault, the crisis of missing and indigenous women and all of the survivors who have come forward to share their stories.


See all of the Congresswomen’s reasons below.


Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)


“We are supporting the brave women in every industry and every corner of the country who are making their voices heard. We are at a watershed moment in the nationwide fight against sexual harassment and discrimination, and we must continue to keep up the drumbeat of action for real change.”


Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)


“I wore black today because I wanted to send a clear and unambiguous message: Sexual harassment and sexual assault is unacceptable anywhere and everywhere. No woman – whether she works in Congress, in a hospital, in a restaurant, on a campus or on a farm – should have to endure sexual violence. I want women across the country to know that we hear them, we see them, and we will fight for them. Time’s up. I am also wearing a Recy Taylor pin. This pin makes a statement that our efforts to end sexual violence are intersectional. And this issue is personal to me. My great-grandmother was a domestic worker who was raped by a white man. This is something that I’ve known since I was young. So Recy Taylor’s painful story is, sadly, a familiar story to many African American women. In uplifting Recy Taylor’s story, we’re shedding light on a reality that has been ignored for too long. And this pin is also a commitment, from myself and many others, to ensure that more stories like Recy Taylor’s are heard and remembered.”


Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán

(D-CA)“I am wearing black to stand with the brave women who have come forward to share their story of sexual assault and say #timesup. I am proud to be part of the #MeToo movement. I’ve shared my story, share yours. There is a huge amount of work to do to end sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. Much of that work involves changing the culture around these issues to say that sexual harassment and assault are always wrong and that we have to believe women and men who come forward. I will continue to work to make progress on these important issues.” READ MORE