Fierce

Women Are Sharing Their “I’m Speaking” Stories After Kamala Harris’s Iconic Quote Took Center VP Debate Stage

In last night’s first Vice Presidential debate of the 2020 election, Kamala Harris added to her historical firsts as being the first woman of color in a presidential debate. Unfortunately, this moment that’s a cause for celebration also came with common stereotypes women are all too familiar with.

When Joe Biden chose Senator Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate, the social significance for women of color across America was undeniable as Harris became the first woman of color to be nominated for national office by a major political party.

Harris, 55, is the first Black woman and first person of Asian and Indian descent to be nominated for vice president and national office altogether. She is only the fourth woman in United States history to be chosen to be on a presidential ticket.

The VP candidate, whose record as a prosecutor, can be found problematic by many is nowhere near perfect, but the historical significance of her name on the ballot is undeniable.

Harris’s presence on the debate stage was a huge symbol of representation for women of color.

“Black women are sick and tired of being considered the backbone of the Democratic Party,” Karen Finney, a Democratic strategist stated. “We want to be recognized as leaders.”

While Harris removed herself from the presidential running bid earlier in the year, her presence on the Biden-Harris ticket is a timely representation of what this country converses about wanting to see in light of injustices of systemic racism and underrepresentation of people of color across the board.

Twitter reacted wildly to Harris’s facial expressions by either applauding her, criticizing her, or making memes.

Harris had multiple facial expressions while listening to Vice President Pence speak.

Many women across the United States found Harris’s expressions super relatable.

Women were connecting with Harris and sharing anecdotes of times they made those same faces.

On the other hand, other tweets were a clear example of utilizing the damaging stereotype of the angry Black woman.

What’s also not a good look is continuing to perpetuate these toxic stereotypes that only seem to apply to women of color, more specifically Black women.

Kamala Harris’s famous “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking,” was a phrase overwhelmingly trending and echoed by women.

Thousands of women took to Twitter and other social media platforms to discuss how they know all too well what it is like to be mansplained, talked over, or not given as much agency as men in meetings.

The relatability to this moment was abundant.

The debate was, for the most part, quieter and with less interruptions or talking over eachother than last week’s debate. However, Pence did interrupt or speak over Harris, almost twice as much as she did.

Despite countless interruptions, Harris asserted she wouldn’t stand for this lack of respect.

It was important to see Kamala Harris tell Moderator Susan Page “He interrupted me and I’d like to just finish please,” and demand “equal time.” This was a clear Calladita No More moment for the vice-presidential candidate.

Experts noted the pressure that fell on Harris to carry herself differently than Trump, Biden, or Pence would so to not fuel the “emotional woman” stereotype.

Bipartisan-wise, different people across the board shared their opinion on who was winning the debate as it was going on.

Yet, some comments undeniably pose the question if certain comments were an attack on her as a debater or her as a woman and woman of color.

While Vice President Pence didn’t interrupt Harris nearly as much as Trump interrupted Biden in last week’s debate, Pence’s ability to cut off Harris and the female moderator, Susan Page, is an indication of a commonly accepted norm, something that several people from all ethnicities commented on.

The gesture is all too common among women across all backgrounds.

But viewers cheered on Kamala for not taking a back seat and fighting the macho behavior.

Kamala is not one to stand for a mainsplainer. When Pence tried to lecture her about law and order, Harris responded with a reminder to her days as a prosecutor and attorney general. “I will not sit here and be lectured by the Vice President on what it means to enforce the laws of our country.” The irony of Pence bringing up her record as attorney general is that she was actually tougher as a prosecutor, something that some young voters criticize hurt many in the Black community and on the other hand you’d think both Trump and Pence would find favorable.

She also said she was insulted by both Trump and Pence pinning her and Biden as people who would attack someone’s Christian faith when discussing Judge Amy Barrett. “Joe Biden and I are both people of faith, and it’s insulting to suggest that we would knock anyone for their faith,” Harris said. She wanted to set the record straight.

Kamala’s little anecdote on her mother immigrating to this country hits close to home for many women of color and their immigrant mothers. If you missed it, check it out below:

Kamala Harris’s mother Shyamala immigrated here from India.

“I thought about my mother who came to the states at the age of 19, gave birth to me at age 25 in Kaiser of Oakland, California. The thought that I’d be sitting her right now, would make her proud,” said Harris. She added she feels her mother, who died of colon cancer in 2009, is looking down on her.

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