You know you’re living in a deeply stupid era when every time a woman in power has to firmly ask a man to stop talking over her, it becomes a meme.
Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris had her own “reclaiming my time” moment during the vice presidential candidates’ debate. While Mike Pence didn’t quite reach Trump levels of shouting over his opponent and moderator, the VP refused during almost every single one of his answers to acknowledge moderator Susan Page’s polite requests that he stop talking when his time was up, and interrupted Harris when her time was not.
Her firm response, repeated at least four times over the course of the 90-minute debate: “I’m speaking. Mr Vice President, I’m speaking.”
By the end of the debate, “I’M SPEAKING” was trending on Twitter with over 44,000 tweets quoting Senator Harris’ words.
Surprising no person who has been spoken over in a meeting or life in general, women were especially heartened by the sight of a female candidate refusing to let an older white dude steamroll her time.
I’d like to shout out my fellow women in male dominated fields. You know what it’s like to say “I’m speaking” when a man interrupts you. Keep speaking up and advocating for yourselves.
— Alexa Ross (@AlexaRossTV) October 8, 2020
“I’m speaking.” This should be a 101 taught to all young girls. Nobody taught us this in the ’80s.
— Elizabeth Hackett (@LizHackett) October 8, 2020
In mixed gender groups, men almost always talk and butt in significantly more, then accuse women of filibustering and interrupting.
Even with Kamala handling it beautifully, asking for her time, saying “I’m speaking,” she still had to smile and accept LESS time.
I’m sick of it
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) October 8, 2020
I hope every woman who has been interrupted when she’s speaking in a meeting takes note and goes out and votes in her own self interest.
— Monique Woodard (@MoniqueWoodard) October 8, 2020
“I’m speaking, I’m speaking.”
– women everywhere, every day lol
— Maddy Skye (@MaddySkye) October 8, 2020
Young girls watching: you’re allowed to say “I’m speaking” when someone interrupts you. “I’m speaking” is a full sentence. And you can use it, even when they try to tell you to be silent. Keep talking.
— Jordyn Rowland (@RowlandJordyn) October 8, 2020
“I’m speaking. I’m speaking. K?”
Anyone who has ever texted knows that “K” is brutal.
— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) October 8, 2020
Kamala Harris “Me Vice President I’m speaking. If you don’t mind letting me finish, we can have a conversation, OK?”
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) October 8, 2020
When Kamala Harris said, “I’m Speaking”,
I felt it.
You felt it.
Your mom felt it
Your grandma felt it.
Everywoman on this earth alive or dead felt it.
Because we know what it means to be talked over, interrupted, disbelieved.
Do not be afraid to say,
“IM SPEAKING” pic.twitter.com/sZzDPnw0qq
— Fiona Adorno💧 (@FionaAdorno) October 8, 2020
People also questioned Pence’s cunning strategy of… talking over two women for an entire debate.
I’m getting really tired of Pence interrupting and talking WAY over his time…Women everywhere have had to endure this type as a boss or colleague…
— Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) October 8, 2020
For the record: Numerous studies have shown that men interrupt women in mixed-gender settings much more often and more consistently than they do other men, and much more often than women interrupt anyone.
Is it any wonder that when a woman calmly pushes back, it hits a nerve?
UPDATE: Oct. 8, 2020, 2:21 p.m. AEDT Incredibly, during post-debate analysis on CNN, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum literally interrupted the one woman on the panel with him while she was discussing the “I’m speaking” moments. You won’t believe what happened next.
Gloria Borger, the sole woman on a panel, talks about how she related to Kamala Harris as a woman who gets interrupted by men … only to be interrupted by a man.
— The Recount (@therecount) October 8, 2020