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The call of the white-suited women

House Democrat Congresswomen, wearing white, take their seats on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, before President Donald Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

 

March 06, 2017 | by Cheryl K. Chumley

Dang. It’s almost International Women’s Day — and me without my white suit.

Used to be a time when white was for the period between Easter and Labor Day. That’s it; those who dared to don white, particularly for shoes, were regarded as unschooled in proper fashion. And that, of course, meant you were a second-class citizen and would never get into the right college.

Oh, there was the winter white, of course. But it had to have a distinct yellowish tint to it. No fair sneaking in the bright cotton-look hue and calling it “snowflake” white, hoping the Fashion Police wouldn’t notice (interesting sidenote: they used to be called the White Police, but rushed for a name-change after the unfortunate rioting of Ferguson, Missouri.)

But now?

All the rules of wearing white have been tossed to the curb. We can thank Democrats for that.

Specifically, women Democrats.

After all, if it hadn’t been for the bold stand of Democrat Party women to put on white suits to protest President Donald Trump during his first joint session of Congress speech, the old, archaic rules of fashion might still be in play. But now the white suit has been taken out of its box — during winter. And it has a chance to go global.

Women this Wednesday are going to be protesting around the world, in recognition of the international celebration.

“In the U.S.,” Fortune reported, “women will go on strike in what is billed as ‘A Day Without a Woman.’”

 

In Ireland, women will similarly go on strike, protesting that country’s constitutional ban on abortion.

In Italy, women will celebrate the day with free trips to the museums, to look at feminists through the ages, from prostitutes to goddesses, from intellectuals to mothers.

In Russia, it’ll be like Valentine’s Day, with the onus on the men to make sure the women feel special. And in Argentina? It’ll be a curious mix of gifting-slash-activism, where the men will have to cough up flowers and jewelry but the women will go on strike.

The problem with all these women rights’ events, however, is the message is rather — well, stupid.

For instance, when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rallied all her Democrat colleagues to put on the white, the baffling question that is still unanswered is this: What do you want that you don’t already have? The House Democrat Women’s Working Group put out a statement that said the suits were “suffragette white,” a nod at the voting rights movement of the 1900s. But the group also said the white suits were to show support for Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, abortion and birth control rights, equal pay, paid leave, affordable child care — and anything else that basically helps women live “lives free from fear and violence.”

Like guns?

Oh no, not that. Guns didn’t make the list, it seems.

But do you see the problem with these women rights gatherings? They’re a bit — how would you say — convoluted on the messaging?

Same for the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., right after Trump took the White House. The message seemed rooted in equal rights. But a lot of watchers couldn’t get past the body parts being worn on the hats, so even messages that might have been seen as worthy were sort of shuffled to the side.

Oh well, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Democrat women tried to march their message across the finish line in D.C. in January, and failed. Then they tried to suit up and send across a similar list of demands to Trump during his speech to Congress — again, to no avail. Now? They have a third chance, this time on the global level. Will it be white suits on the picket lines the world over? A nail-biting public can’t wait to know.