"Mr Vice President, I'm speaking," Kamala Harris, during last night's US VP debate, a lot
"If you don't mind letting me finish..."
Last night, the first US Vice Presidential debate of 2020 took place. Current US VP Mike Pence went head-to-head with Joe Biden's running mate Kamala Harris for a debate that garnered much of the same responses from audiences as the Trump/Biden one did a mere week and a half before.
Although this debate boasted significantly less chaos than that that had gone before it, there was the usual suspects present in most Presidential debates in blatant refusal to answer questions, much sneering, and a whole load of interrupting.
Most of the latter, naturally, came from Pence who despite harbouring a demeanour that was significantly more coherent than Trump's, still took it upon himself to talk over his opponent at any given chance.
So much so, that Harris's attempts to take back control of the conversation quickly became the talking point of the night. Or rather, her repeating of the phrase "I'm speaking" did.
“Mr. Vice-President, I’m speaking," she said as Pence tried to justify his handling of the coronavirus task force in the States.
“Mr. Vice-President, I’m speaking," she said during a rebuttal about taxes.
“I’m speaking. If you don’t mind letting me finish, we can have a conversation, okay? Okay," came the retort a third time, but truly, it was not the last.
"Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking," Senator Kamala Harris says to Vice President Mike Pence for trying to interrupt one of her answers.
— The Women's Organisation (@TheWomensOrg) October 8, 2020
According to Vox, Pence actually interrupted Harris a staggering 16 times during the debate. Which, in fairness, is standard enough practice for a presidential debate in the US.
Unsurprisingly, Harris's successful attempts to take back the conversation were very much the talk of Twitter. That, and the fly that landed on Pence's head mid-debate. But that's another story for another day.
I asked a man I know what he thought of the debate. He said: “The debate was over when she said Mr. Vice President you are interrupting me” #mansplaining
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) October 8, 2020
One takeaway from tonight's debate will be how many times a woman of color, always smiling pleasantly, has to tell a white man, "I'm speaking," in order to STILL get less time than he gets. It is nauseating.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) 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
Choose your fighter
I’m speaking. or Will you shut up
— jai (@abskkyu) October 8, 2020
Pretty fucking stoked to hear "I'm speaking" used to cut off insufferable men on cable news panels, in conference rooms, and in everyday life from this day forward https://t.co/iTIVUihGbk
— Priyanka Aribindi (@priaribi) October 8, 2020
The US Presidential election takes place on November 3.