Lawmakers Plan To Wear Black During State Of The Union

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Some members of Congress will be wearing black for President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, a move intended to show support for victims of sexual harassment and abuse. 

Rep. Jackie Speier told CNN that she and other members of the House Democratic Women's Working Group will be wearing black to express their support of the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements which seek to bring an end to sexual harassment and give victims a voice. 

"This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it," Speier said. 

The California Democrat has been one of the leading voices calling for an overhaul to Congress' sexual harassment policies.

"Many of us in Congress know what it's like, because Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long," Speier said in October 2017, according to Politico. "It's time to throw back the curtain on the repulsive behavior that has thrived in the dark without consequences."

It is unclear how many members, if any, will join the House Democratic women in wearing black. Speier has put out a call on Twitter for men and women from both parties to come together and show their support for victims. 

"My colleagues and I in the [House Democratic Women's Working Group] are calling on our fellow MoCs - women & men, Democrats & Republicans - to wear black to this year's #SOTU in solidarity w/survivors of sexual harassment/violence in Hollywood, politics, the military, academia, etc. #TIMESUP #MeToo," she wrote.

Trump will deliver the State of the Union to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 30.

The decision to wear black was clearly inspired by the sea of black dresses at the 2018 Golden Globes on Jan. 7. As part of the "Time's Up" movement, movie stars elected to wear black dresses, turning what is normally a night of glitz and glam into a strong statement against sexual harassment. 

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"This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment," said Eva Longoria, one of the actresses who helped visualize and kickstart the "Time's Up" movement, according to The New York Times. 

"For years, we've sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour," she told The Times. "This time the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around. That's not what this moment is about."

Sources: CNN, Politico, Jackie Speier/Twitter, The New York Times / Featured Image: Kevin Burkett/Flickr / Embedded Images: Nancy Pelosi/Flickr, Eva Longoria/Instagram

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