House Democrats are stepping up their game in this next round of #MeToo. Yesterday they announced plans to wear black to the State of the Union, following the lead of women at the Golden Globes this past weekend.
Now, survivors of sexual assault will be joining some House Dems as guests as President Trump takes the stage on January 30 for the annual televised speech.
Survivors and advocates will stand side by side with House Democratic leaders and stare down the president, who himself faces accusations of sexual misconduct and sexual assault from at least 22 women.
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Trump may not like getting a taste of his own medicine: before an October 2016 debate versus Hillary Clinton, Trump appeared with three of the women who had accused President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.
Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California is working on a bipartisan bill to strengthen sexual misconduct prevention on the hill.
This is the second high profile protest for the #MeToo campaign. On Sunday, women in Hollywood wore black on the red carpet at the Golden Globes. Winners at the ceremony used their speeches to bring attention to the issues of sexual misconduct, the need for gender parity, and the struggles women face in the workplace across industries.
The movement gained momentum following the Harvey Weinstein scandal last fall, when it was revealed in a series of stunning exposes that the Hollywood mogul had sexually assaulted or raped countless women over the course of his decades-long career, and that the industry had kept the open secret.
Since the revelation, high profile men across the entertainment, tech, and political worlds have been exposed as sexual predators, stepping down one after another on an almost daily basis.
The question on everyone’s mind is whether this wave of accountability will breach the doors of the White House. Men in positions of power previously believed to be untouchable have fallen like a house of cards (including Kevin Spacey, of House of Cards). But somehow Trump remains unaffected even as the accusations pile up.
The House Democrats’ plan will send a powerful message in a very public forum that these women have support in the annals of power and they’re willing to look the abuser-in-chief in the eye. Whether he’ll be able to hold their gaze and still deliver the state of the union remains to be seen.