Politics

Democratic women wore white at State of the Union to honor suffragettes

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other female lawmakers cheer during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. A group of female Democratic lawmakers chose to wear white to the speech in solidarity with women and a nod to the suffragette movement. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other female lawmakers cheered during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.

WASHINGTON — The women of the House wore white. The men wore dark suits. And the contrast laid bare the growing gender gap between Democrats and Republicans.

Wearing the color of the suffragists, the Democratic women of the House put on a stunning display of solidarity during the State of the Union address Tuesday.

They paid tribute to the women who came before them and gave a nod to their own achievement, as more women than ever are now representatives in the House.

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There were white pantsuits, of course. But also sheath power dresses. Even a puffy zip snow vest. Hats for some. Shawls and scarves.

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In the chamber, there has long been a growing gender divide as Democrats elect far more women than Republicans. The House now has more than 100 women in office. But the vast majority of them, about 90, are Democrats. House Republican women number just over a dozen.

Even when the senators join for a moment like this one the gap comes into view — with the sea of dark suits on one side of the aisle, and the diversity of colorful suits and dresses on the other.

When President Donald Trump saluted the record number of women elected to Congress in the November elections, Democrats in white leapt to their feet, high-fived each other and chanted, ‘‘U-S-A!’’

‘‘That’s great,’’ Trump said. ‘‘Very great.’’

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A few of the Democrats’ male colleagues joined them in white. Many other men wore white ribbons of support.

On Tuesday, the women’s place in history, in white, stood out.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) watches President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. A group of female Democratic lawmakers chose to wear white to the speech in solidarity with women and a nod to the suffragette movement. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listened to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.