CHICAGO — If Donald Trump's so-called "locker room talk" made you angry, you aren't alone.
The Republican front-runner's 2005 comments about sexually assaulting women led to a painful debate, vanishing endorsements and sinking poll numbers. But for Chicagoan Jessie Oliver, it led to an idea she hopes will encourage women to vote proudly (and colorfully) for Hillary Clinton.
In Illinois, political T-shirts, buttons and other campaigning garb or accessories aren't allowed within at least 100 feet of polling places (possibly further if that place is a church or school), but, as Oliver points out — pantsuits are fair game.
On Monday, Oliver began spreading the word about "Pantsuits to the Polls" on Facebook. The event encourages women to, well, wear pantsuits to the polls.
Linze Rice talks about the pantsuit voting revolution.
Clinton has sported pantsuits in various colors for decades, and has been mocked for her style by Trump and others along the way. Frustrated by that rhetoric, Oliver hopes a large group of women showing up to the polls in pantsuits will send a powerful message.
"Just the sheer fact she's being described as having both 'grit' and 'grace,' you'd never apply that terminology to a man," Oliver said. "So for me ... I don't actually own a pantsuit, but I was like, I'm going to get a pantsuit and I'm going to go vote in that pantsuit because I thought it was a really subversive way to make it quite clear what you were doing in that moment. ... There is no rule stating you can't wear a bad--- pantsuit."
Oliver, a voice teacher in Ravenswood, said Trump's comments weighed on her and her friends, several of whom have been victims of sexual harassment, abuse and cheating. After some hardships in her personal life recently, she felt extra bothered by his language.
Sunday's debate, which included a pre-debate news conference where Trump took no questions from reporters but served as a platform for four women who alleged sexual abuse and misconduct by former president Bill Clinton, was the final straw for Oliver.
"It's making the victim of the action into the problem, that I was just like, this is absurd," Oliver told DNAinfo. "A man who has cheated ... is sitting there blaming Hillary for her husband's cheating."
Oliver said though the event is meant to drum up support for Clinton, it's also more about taking a stand against the marginalization of sexual assault.
Her "secret hope" is that the event will be embraced nationally and would inspire people to vote — not for Trump.
"Whether you're fully 'with her', or you 'guess you're with her', or, 'she's not him'...I don't care," Oliver wrote on the event page. "What I care about is usurping fashion as a statement that women are more than p------ to grab by abusers."
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