Why this woman is wearing a pantsuit to the polls
Anyone who knows me can tell you that dresses are my go-to wardrobe choice. But on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, I will make an exception.
On Election Day, I plan to wear a pantsuit as I cast my vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first female presidential nominee for a major political party. Why the sudden change in attire?
Well, besides being an homage to Clinton’s iconic fashion staple, the pantsuit is a political statement, according to Chicago resident Jessie Oliver, founder of the popular Facebook event Pantsuits to the Polls. What began as a simple Facebook status after the second presidential debate is now a bona fide movement — and I’m all the way here for it.
“Every woman I know has been harassed and an alarming number have been abused -- and then to listen to a presidential nominee boast with such hubris that he could just grab any woman he wanted made my skin crawl," Jessie told me. "NPR also played a clip in which Trump started this rhetoric of blaming Hillary for her husband’s infidelity, and I thought to myself, I wish there was a way I could tell the world exactly what I was doing on November 8th."
With campaign paraphernalia being banned from polling sites in most states, Jessie thought wearing a pantsuit would be flipping the proverbial middle finger to HRC’s haters.
“I get to say: I am casting my vote for the first major party female nominee. I am casting a vote for the person who is literally the most prepared person to do this job in the history of the American Experiment," she said. "I am casting a vote for an intellectually savvy mind, and I am casting a vote against someone who is a xenophobic, racist, misogynist, hateful man who seems to embody the worst in humans."
And her stance has caught on. To date, the Facebook group has more than 700 followers and has garnered the attention of local media. But Jessie isn’t doing this for “likes.” As a sexual assault survivor, she’s passionate about raising awareness about women’s rights.
“We can use fashion to show that we are strong, important voters, who are showing up to say I will not stand for this behavior. I will not stand for you dismissing it as 'locker room' talk," she said.
“It’s also a way for us to stand with the women who have come forward and bravely shared their stories of what has happened to them. When we demystify assault we remove the shame that women carry, and that frees us from the cycle of abuse.”
And if we can slay while doing it? All the better.
“I love that people are banding together to say, we refuse to accept this. We refuse to be complacent or complicit in this election, said Oliver. “We will stand for what is right and just, and look fabulous in a pantsuit doing it.
Nasty Women, unite!