“Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking. I’m speaking.”
This quote from Kamala Harris was one of the best things to come out of the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Mike Pence and the California senator. But, the fly landing on Pence’s head is definitely an honorable mention.
Pence seemed to follow Trump in suit with his debate tactics last week. Those tactics being, paying no regard to the predetermined and agreed to debate rules, as well as interrupting not only Harris, but debate moderator Susan Page as well.
However, Harris did not simply allow the vice president to speak over her. Multiple times when Pence attempted to interrupt and speak over Harris, she either continued with her sentence or simply told the Vice President, “I’m speaking.”
While some might not view this as a big deal, it struck home with a lot of women in America. So often, women are constantly talked over, interrupted and sometimes even completely ignored. Women in STEM, politics and business are continually treated as less in comparison to men. Their opinions, statements and contributions to the discussion are regularly dismissed. It’s infuriating and demeaning.
Whether you’re in STEM, politics or business, if you’re a woman, you have probably experienced this. You’re having a conversation with other men and when you attempt to contribute to the conversation you are completely ignored. Or when you’re halfway through your sentence, they will begin speaking over you, completely disregarding what you have to say. Many times when this happens to women, they simply stop talking and don’t get to contribute to the conversation.
But, Harris showed women there is another way.
Harris spoke for every woman in America when she did not allow a man to speak over her and make her feel inferior because she is a woman. She did not let the vice president discourage her. She stood her ground and told him, “I’m speaking.”
Despite whatever political views or reservations you may have, you can’t say Harris isn’t a strong, empowered woman who is setting an example for young women in America. She is showing women in America that what you have to say is just as important as what a man has to say. She is showing them that they have to keep talking, and keep showing men they are speaking and will be heard.