women

‘Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking’: Women praise Kamala Harris’s response to Mike Pence’s debate interruptions

Minutes into the vice presidential debate on Wednesday night, as Senator Kamala Harris described her view of the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice President Mike Pence and debate moderator Susan Page began to interject.

“Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking. I’m speaking,” Harris turned to Pence and said.

Harris repeated the refrain later in the debate, while rebutting Pence’s claim that Joe Biden would try to raise taxes on Americans in response to a question on the economy posed by Page.

According to NBC News, which tracked the number of interruptions by each candidate during the debate, Pence interrupted Harris almost twice as many times as she interrupted him.

The phrase began trending on Twitter, with Harris’s use of the line sparking support from women who appeared to empathize with being interrupted by men at work.

It even played out during CNN’s post-debate broadcast, when, as political analyst

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women

In Pence’s VP debate interruptions of Harris, women see sexist norms

Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate didn’t descend into the widely panned chaos of the first presidential debate, which featured Donald Trump repeatedly interrupting his Democratic challenger Joe Biden and the moderator. But the one and only meeting of California Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence did rub some people the wrong way.

Specifically, women.

The former Indiana governor, some women said after watching the pair face off, came across as patronizing toward both Harris and moderator Susan Page of USA Today. Pence repeatedly interrupted Harris, and routinely ignored Page’s attempts to cut him off when he spoke past the debate’s agreed-upon time limits.

“He is condescending to women,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a longtime political analyst in the Golden State. “I resented the fact that that he hardly ever acknowledged Susan Page until he was finished saying what he wanted to say, regardless of the timing.”

Former Missouri

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women

Trump’s relentless interruptions in the first debate show what women deal with in work meetings all the time



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: On dozens of occasions during the first presidential debate of the US general election, President Donald Trump wouldn't let former Vice President Joe Biden get a word in edgewise. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images


© Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images
On dozens of occasions during the first presidential debate of the US general election, President Donald Trump wouldn’t let former Vice President Joe Biden get a word in edgewise. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump interrupted former Vice President Joe Biden at least 128 times in 90 minutes in the first presidential debate of the 2020 US general election, according to Slate.
  • The exchanges at times seemed hard to watch, especially for women, many of whom have experience being interrupted by men.
  • A 2014 study by George Washington University found that men interrupted women 33% more than they did men, and other studies have found similar patterns.
  • One researcher wrote that the gendered dynamics of speaking are a show of power.
  • Sign up here to receive our newsletter Gender at Work in your inbox twice a month.

The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and

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