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In Reflection of the State of the Union: How the Women in White Stole the Show

The recent State of the Union Address was a whirlwind to say the least. With what started out as a promotion of nonpartisanship and unity between Democrats and Republicans soon transformed into an attack against investigations. The President stated that, “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation;” an interesting phrase to come from the President who’s administration is currently under investigation for countless reasons.

And of course it wouldn’t be a Trump speech if the US-Mexico border wall was not brought up. After a painfully long government shutdown, 35 days to be exact, Trump is still throwing a tantrum over the border wall, with no end in sight. In his address, Trump described the border as a “very dangerous southern border” and even went as far to say that “In the past, most of the people in this room voted for the wall- but the proper wall never got built. I’ll get it built.” So it seems the border debate isn’t quite over yet.

As dramatic and border-like childish many of Trump’s statements have been (and probably will continue to be), Trump’s antics were overshadowed by the sea of white in the audience. The female Democratic congresswoman showed up to the SOTU dressed head to toe in white, a tribute to the suffragist movement. When the suffragist movement began in the early twentieth century, suffragists cloaked in white dresses protested and fought for women’s right to vote, eventually achieving their goal in 1920 with the passage of the 19th amendment. And the striking white attire was not the only feminist statement being made. Trump also unexpectadly praised the recordbreaking number of women in politics, a result of the 2018 midterm elections. The President announced in his address, “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before — and exactly one century after the Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before,” as the mass of white rose to their feet in an explosive applause. While Trump basked in the applause clearly loving the attention, it was obvious that those in white were applauding themselves and the strong women surrounding them and not the president himself. Many of the women in white, including Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, have already announced that they will be running for president against Trump in 2020, and others, such as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, have openly spoken out about their distrust and disapproval of President Trump. The applause and chants, along with the monumental outfit choice, symbolized the regaining of power and equality for women across the country. The women in white truly did steal the show.



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Sofia is a sophomore at Wake Forest University originally from Long Island, New York. When she isn't writing, Sofia enjoys dancing for the Wake Forest Dance Company, as well as being a member of Tri Delta and Girl Up.
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