Pantsuits: Hillary Clinton’s outfit of choice, an outfit not allowed in the senate until 1993 and now a symbol of power amongst women. Pantsuit Nation is a “secret” Facebook page, with around 3.9 million members, that started with the goal of getting people to wear Pantsuits on Election Day, but it has become a place of connection for Clinton supporters. The group has always been a place of hope, but since the election results came out negatively for Clinton, it has a new sense of unity.
“I joined Pantsuit Nation (because of) a recommendation by my mother after the election as a way to see other people feeling the same way I was with the result,” Anna-Dixon Harkey, a group member from North Carolina, said.
Members of the group who choose to post typically share a story of some sort of adversity or hardship they’ve had to face and how they overcame it or speak on an event in which they’ve been lashed out at in post-Trump America and how they defended themselves, or not. Sometimes people will tie their story into how Clinton has motivated them to do whatever it is they do, but sometimes they’re just looking for good company and advice.
“I think Pantsuit Nation provides support and a safe space to share and listen to the stories of others whose voices are being silenced (or) will be silenced by the new Trump administration,” Sofia, a group member from New York, said. “It shows people of all religions, races, sexualities and genders that they have allies and are not alone.”
The invite-only group includes people of all races, genders, sexualities and abilities and their stories are inspiring. Posts typically get well over a thousand likes and comments, and the moderators of the page are quick to delete negativity.
“Although the Republican campaign was run on hate, division, and fear-mongering, the members of (Pantsuit Nation) realize that we are all much more alike than we are different, that there are more of us than there are of them, and that we truly are stronger together,” Ms. Matthews, a member from Maryland, said.
The moderators are fairly strict about what gets posted on the page – personal stories only, no unoriginal content, etc. Even though most of the members are united by a support for Clinton, it’s not a political group. Clinton, however, posted in the group herself and gave them a brief shout out in her concession speech.
Regardless of the politics related to it, Pantsuit Nation has become a symbol and forum for love, connection and hope.
“I think at this particular time in history, a lot of marginalized groups are feeling unsafe being who they are, because hateful people feel emboldened by the new administration to be blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and threatening,” Sofia said. “Pantsuit nation provides a space where these people can feel safe and free from this kind of hate; the comments and likes of likeminded strangers provides support and reassurance that there is a community of people who will work together to combat the hateful policies (and) rhetoric of the Trump administration and the aftermath of his election.”