They’ve taken to social media to express their frustration after the results of the presidential election. They’ve also offered powerful statements of hope and strength to their fellow sisters in the face of uncertainty.
And they are doing so in their pantsuits. What started as a secret Facebook group filled with Hillary Clinton backers looking to support, encourage, and motivate each other to go to the polls on November 8, Pantsuit Nation developed into a vibrant online community that caught the eye of the candidate herself. The group, which was created weeks before the election, now counts over 3 million followers and even got a shout-out from Clinton during her concession speech in New York City. The response was so overwhelming that the group administrators had to temporarily suspend posts while they developed a new strategy to address the thousands of messages and requests from members (the good news: It’s back on!). In spite of the election results, the women of Pantsuit Nation are using pantsuits as weapons of empowerment, tools of self-care, and a message to other women that the fight is not over. Check out the stories of these women who have vowed to continue the campaign against misogyny and hate, one pantsuit at a time.
Photo: Courtesy of Erin Courville.
"Her concession speech was emotional and very touching. I'm wearing another pantsuit today because I just didn't know what else to do." — Erin Courville
Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Stefanski.
"All-black pantsuit for Hillary today. I am a Latina daughter of an Argentine immigrant working towards my PhD in environmental science — feeling unsafe and depressed about my prospects for paying off student debt and being employable in two years when I graduate. The question isn't what we could have done better, but what can we do now?
"Sending hugs and support to all of you wonderful women. We can get through this." — Stephanie Stefanski
Photo: Courtesy of Awah Erickson.
"I almost didn't go to work today. But then I thought,
Why? If Rosa Parks had moved to the back of the bus, would I be here today? I decided not only to go into work, but also to rock my modern-day pantsuit. I wore my suit in solidarity to all the men and women who came before me fighting for justice. I wore it for my 19-month-old daughter, who may one day be president (I still have hope). As an immigrant and U.S. citizen, the election felt personal. It felt like America was saying I am not welcome. Guess what? I am! I am here to stay and make the change needed to heal and move this nation forward! We can do this, my fellow pantsuit men and women! Let's be the change!" — Awah Foncha
Photo: Courtesy of Jess Irish.
"I held my 9-year-old daughter and cried with her this morning when she heard the news. Then, I put on my 'Teach Peace' shirt and pantsuit to boost my spirits. How best to address the shock of this moment with my first-year design students? What do we need to do to create a sustainable future based on empathy and respect?" — Jess Irish
Photo: Courtesy of Hilena Hailu.
"I am immensely grateful for Pantsuit Nation and the love that dwells in the group. When I wore my pantsuit to my polling station here in Washington, D.C., I took all of its members with me, in spirit. Let us keep this sense of unity, love, and support despite the unfavorable result of the election, and let us be the change we want to see in the world." — Hilena Hailu
Photo: Courtesy of Naamal De Silva.
"Last night, I cried. I went to bed mourning the nation that I imagined to exist. This morning, I am no longer crying. That nation DOES exist. I am listening, especially to the genuine fear and worry that lies beneath the hateful language and the lashing out. I am learning. I am thinking about the interplay of justice, freedom, and opportunity. Thanks to the documentary called the
Messy Truth by Van Jones and DC's own Meridian Hill Pictures for a glimpse of the sorts of conversations we need to have. I AM FIRED UP, READY TO GO! The community represented by Pantsuit Nation is inspiring, positive, hopeful. There is an amazing amount of love and caring here for each other, for the nation, and for the planet. We just need to harness this energy! "I am with her, for the oceans, for the land, for biodiversity, for the fragile envelope that surrounds us and enables life. I am with her for immigrants, and as an immigrant, and the daughter of an immigrant. I am with her for minorities, and as a minority. I am with her, for women and as a woman. I am with her for those with disabilities, for the LGBTQ community, and for all that face persecution or oppression. I am with her for my daughter, for your daughters and your sons, for their education and their freedom to choose for themselves." — Naamal De Silva
Photo: Courtesy of Molly Britt.
"I'm wearing my pantsuit today for strength and grace after [the election]. I'm also wearing my courageous face. My WE'RE NOT DONE face. In many ways, this is what Susan B. Anthony and suffragettes must have felt like after defeat. But like them, and all the generations of women before us, we will not give up. We will keep going. We will hold our heads high. We will get there. We will shatter that glass ceiling." — Molly Britt
Photo: Courtesy of Rorie Hanrahan.
"I refuse to believe this is an American tragedy or a world crisis. I believe there's been a deep and persistent infection in this country that this election brought to the surface. I mean, for fuck's sake, how much despair, cynicism, and anger at the establishment must you feel that you'd believe that Trump as president would make you feel better and make your life and the life of your family better?
"For me, it is now a time to turn away from the outside clamor of politics to pray, journey, and meditate for the healing that so clearly needs to happen. "And so, I leave with my all-time favorite saying, 'God bless the whole wide world, no exceptions.'" — Rorie Hanrahan
Photo: Courtesy of Rozita Nelson.
"Many of us are feeling devastated today behind last night's election results. And many of us are wondering...
What can I do? First, realize that you are not alone in this situation. And I would encourage you to be nice. I'm not talking about turning the other cheek, but rather let's just continue being kind to one another. "As I venture out into the world today, I'm wearing one of my best smiles. Because I refuse to allow anyone to see me feeling low or defeated. All throughout my neighborhood are those 'Groapman' signs. It's disgusting! But still, I'm smiling and thinking to myself... You're the suckers in all of this! Especially the women! "In closing, I encourage you to involve your children in the conversation. They are mirrors of us, and they are feeling and reeling from it, too, although maybe not as hard as us. Peace." — Rozita Nelson
Photo: Courtesy of Roxanne Mendez Johnson.
"This is me walking out of federal court, where I just represented one of my clients. After court, his mother and I spoke. She thanked me for representing him and not giving up on him. With tears in her eyes, she thanked me for not giving up on her son. THIS is why I do what I do. To make a difference. To speak for the marginalized. To be a voice for the voiceless. I will not stop. And neither should you. I wore my gray pantsuit today." — Roxanne Mendez Johnson
Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Benjamin.
"I promise to go high and rock my pantsuit in every election for the rest of my life. Honoring the incredible women like Hillary, my own aunt who lobbied for Planned Parenthood for 30-plus years, and my mom, who does not quite agree with me politically but who raised me to have a confident voice and a kind heart. This is just the beginning of the #pantsuitnation." — Whitney Benjamin
Photo: Courtesy of Nejlah Hummer.
"Fighting back tears, but wearing my pantsuit anyway." — Nejla Hummer
Photo: Courtesy of Melissa Hunt.
"I'm angry today. I'm angry that this country is either blind to the hate and misogyny that Trump is, or they chose to turn a blind eye. Either way, I'm angry and I'm disappointed in my fellow Americans. I've stayed out of politics because I was disillusioned by the whole business when I was in law school. But today, I woke up and decided to use my anger constructively. And I hope many of us in the Pantsuit Nation decide to do the same. This morning, I joined the local chapter of the DNC, I signed up to volunteer, and I plan to be active. I'm also scoping out the local branches of politics in my area, and I'm planning a strategy to run for something so I can make a difference. So I can end this hate. Today, I wore bright blue proudly and I promise to start making a difference." — Melissa Hunt
Photo: Courtesy of Satya Vessey.
"Today, we put on our pantsuits and we respond with compassion. This world, this country, this society needs love. Love will always trump hate. I know many of you are still grieving. I am, too. There is a bigger picture, though. We have so many people to reach out to. Share love and be love. What will you do today to touch someone's life? How can you show up for yourself today, and then how can you encourage others? It all starts with the self. One breath at a time; we are stronger together." —
Photo: Courtesy of Kimberly Jacobs Pope.
"Yes, my heart is heavy. Yes, I am disappointed, but let us take this opportunity to take action. Let us NEVER tolerate hate, racism, and sexism. Now is the time to stand up for what you believe in. What can you do? Educate, volunteer, motivate — be the change. Now, more than ever, we need to do the right thing, say the right thing, and act with love and kindness. Be the best that you can be...with grace and peace." — Kimberly Jacobs Pope
Photo: Courtesy of Vu Willey.
"I am an immigrant from Turkey, raising my children without any specific religion. We teach them to be honest, fair, and empathetic. It's not the time to lose hope or get disheartened — like our Secretary said, it's time to watch out for each other. Do not stay silent when someone is being harassed or bullied for any reason, especially because of their race, creed, nationality, sexual or gender orientation. We have so many of us, #strongertogether.
"The future is bright, this is just a setback." — Vu Willey
Photo: Courtesy of Laura Lee Washburn.
"I'm tired of distractions, of bread and circuses. I'm tired of fear. People say the only hope is love. People say we need to educate. So, I'm promising myself right now, I need to reconsider everything I teach. And if I don't, you ask me why I haven't. Hold me to this. And I hope others will think hard, too. Why this book instead of that one? Why this theme instead of that one? Which one helps people learn the things I think matter most to our lives as citizens? What teaches cynicism? Why in bloody hell are you teaching children
The Hunger Games? Do you want them to be disaffected? How do we raise consciousness? "Let us teach how to understand and value difference. People must learn how to evaluate sources. I want to teach them confidence. I want my students WOKE. Because what we're doing now, whatever it is we're all doing now, it really hasn't worked. And I know teachers work hard and care and pay attention to the world. This is not our fault. But this is what I can do. I need to reach harder. Because I don't know how to un-militarize our police. I don't know how to take power from racists. I don't know how to get the children refugees out of detention centers. I don't know how to stop rape culture for good. I don't know how to fix what's most broken right now with government." — Laura Lee Washburn
Photo: Courtesy of Aimee McCutcheon Nash.
"I think we need more suit jackets and power poses, folks — and I hate to admit it. But I'm leaning in for my daughter and for me." — Aimee McCutcheon Nash
Photo: Courtesy of Amy Walton Groome.
"I practically skipped to the polls first thing yesterday morning — in my pantsuit — and took my place in line at an Upper West Side community center in Manhattan. I was was waiting my turn to vote…vote for love, freedom, equality, sound judgement, a chance to be a part of history and on behalf of my two boys, ages 8 and 13.
"I carefully filled out the little circles on my paper ballot with a black ballpoint pen, a weirdly tangible and analog experience, and then walked it over to the scanner. I fed my paper into the machine and stood there staring at the thing for a moment, overcome with gratitude and giddy with anticipation about the day to come. "Neighbors asked why I was so dressed up. Why the outfit? Did I have a 'thing' today? A class coffee? A parent-teacher conference? I thought they knew the code. "I wore my pantsuit all day long, from 6:30 in the morning until midnight last night, doing errands, opening mail, loading the dishwasher, picking up the kids from school, sitting on my sofa making calls to Pennsylvania. "More than once, I felt a lump rise up in my throat when I connected with someone who had already gone to the polls and cast their vote for HRC, the kind of emotion that burbles up when you can’t believe you get to stand witness to this moment in time. "I changed my Facebook profile photo to one of me in my pantsuit. And my 80-year-old mom in California sent me this one of her wearing hers. "Today, we know that not everyone got the memo about wearing their proverbial pantsuits. But I think we know that we are all still wearing ours. And we know that the Hillarys of the world never, ever stop wearing theirs. "A pantsuit pal sent me a text this morning with a Mexican proverb that couldn’t be more true: 'They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.' "Here’s to growing all the goodness that’s sprouted in #pantsuitnation. And here’s to peace and positivity, the only way I can think to move forward from here." — Amy Walton Groome
Photo: Courtesy of Annie Georgia Greenberg.
"I am an avid HRC supporter who was assigned to cover the Trump campaign party — live. I was conflicted about what to say and how to act, but when it came time to decide what to wear, the decision was obvious and immediate. A white pantsuit was the only option. This aesthetic symbol was my non-verbal mode of communicating defiance and strength. When I put it on, I felt armored, ready, and connected to the network of countless other women who strive to support (and channel) Hillary. I didn't need to say where I stood, because my outfit already spoke volumes. Tuesday was a traumatic, unthinkable night that I'll never forget. And I'll never forget what I wore, either." — Annie Georgia Greenberg