women

Kamala Harris and the stereotypes we place on Black women

When society responds to Black women’s presence, it tends to respond with discomfort, neglect, hostility, and expressions of danger. This public dismissal is consistent with the broad marginalization that Black women have encountered politically. In 1973 Dr. Mae King of Howard University called such marginalization “a policy of invisibility.” 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwo ethics groups call on House to begin impeachment inquiry against Barr Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis McGrath: McConnell ‘can’t get it done’ on COVID-19 relief MORE’s rhetoric toward Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisMcConnell challenger dodges court packing question The Hill’s Campaign Report: Barrett hearings take center stage | Trump returns to campaign trail The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Sights and sounds as Amy Coney’s Barrett hearing begins MORE (D-Calif.) continues the legacy of public shaming and insulting Black women. Trump’s hostility towards high-profile

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beauty

Kimora Lee Simmons On Baby Phat Beauty, Voter Suppression, and Kamala Harris

When I hop on the phone with businesswoman and cultural icon Kimora Lee Simmons to discuss her new beauty line, she surprises me with the first question. “How do I say your last name?” she asks, before pronouncing it perfectly.

Simmons has done this for over 20 years: Make women of color feel seen and heard. Since Baby Phat’s launch in 1999, Simmons has celebrated diversity and body positivity, long before 15 percent pledges and black squares on Instagram.

Justyna Fijalska

DIVINE Shimmer Dreams Set

Her newest venture, Baby Phat Beauty, is an extension of the brand’s 2019 re-launch, but Simmons is no stranger to the beauty industry. “If people remember, we had a very big beauty business in fragrance—the Golden Goddess, Seductive Goddess, Fabulosity, Dare Me, Love Me. I also had KLS cosmetics,” she says. “It’s not something that we’re new to, and it just seemed like a great

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women

Kamala Harris on the debate stage: Sight of pride and hope for women of color

On Wednesday night, the American people heard a debate and not a shoutfest. Pundits called it a return to traditional debate, but for millions of women of color, it was anything but that. Sen. Kamala Harris, a Californian whose family story includes both Black and South Asian roots, took a place on a stage that had, until now, been reserved almost exclusively for white men.

We do not agree with everything that was said on Wednesday’s stage. Our own vision of justice, dignity, and equity may not align precisely with anyone on the national ticket. We cannot, however, allow these differences to obscure what should be celebrated, not just by South Asian and Black women, but by the entire country.

Regardless of one’s personal politics, South Asians took pride in seeing one of our own on a national ticket. When Harris shared her family’s migration story, we saw our own

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women

Women’s groups band together to defend Kamala Harris

Anticipating that Harris will face even more vicious attacks due to the double-barreled biases that Black women experience known as misogynoir, women’s groups banded together this summer to bolster her. Combining their efforts and $10 million in digital advertising, four political action committees — BlackPAC, Planned Parenthood Votes, PACRONYM, and WOMEN VOTE!, an affiliate of Emily’s List — are amplifying positive Harris messaging in key battleground states.

“This level of collaboration is new,” said Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC. “These are the lessons from 2016, without a doubt.”

They have their work cut out for them.

President Donald Trump, known for belittling caricatures of his opponents, already has described Harris as “angry” and as a “madwoman” and called her primary debate performance “nasty,” the same term he memorably flung at Clinton in 2016.

In a phone interview on Thursday morning on the Fox Business Channel, the president called her

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women

Did Kamala Harris’s debate performance energize women voters?

With all the post-debate chatter about whether Vice President Mike Pence patronized and “mansplained” to California’s U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and whether her “I’m speaking” was powerful or not, perhaps the most consequential point is this: Did the first woman of color on a presidential ticket do enough to energize women to vote?

With less than a month remaining before the Nov. 3 election — and with a polarized nation eagerly taking sides — it’s difficult to find any voter who is truly undecided. But with the gender gap widening when it comes to presidential preferences, the power of the women’s vote, especially if the election is close, is all the more consequential.

“This election is very little about changing people’s minds. Most people are where they’re going to be,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Politics and Women at Rutgers University. “The question is, can part

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women

Kamala Harris: The sexist history of calling women ‘unlikable’

To historians who study women in politics, it was obvious.

“Likability among male politicians is pretty exclusive,” said Claire Bond Potter, a professor of history at the New School and the author of a book on political engagement. “This is part of a bigger problem that women have — a permanent outsider status in politics. They are always in the process of gaining entry.”

One of the ways to deny women entry is to deny anyone would want to be around them in the first place. The suffragists felt this wrath. So did Hillary Clinton. And now Harris is, too.

The code words are everywhere.

“One of the things that a man has to do to become likable is to be perceived as the kind of guy you want to have a beer with,” Potter said, referring to a phrase that was often used to describe Bill Clinton, George W.

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women

Opinion | Kamala Harris’s facial expressions at the debate were her strength

Vice President Pence wasn’t following the rules — not about timing, not about interrupting — during Wednesday’s debate. Moderator Susan Page’s efforts at polite shushing, uttering repeated “thank you’s,” was about as effective as a cafeteria monitor trying to halt a food fight. It fell to Harris to remind the vice president, “I’m speaking” — something he already knew but chose to ignore.

If Harris had raised her voice in those moments, she would have been labeled shrill. If she had frowned, she would have been labeled a scold. If she had raised a hand, she would have been called angry or even unhinged.

So she smiled as she held her ground — and of course they called it a smirk, a grin that by definition comes off as irritating or smug. But it was more than that. Harris gave Pence “The Look” — and you don’t have to look

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fashion

Kamala Harris’s Debate Fashion Statement Was So Subtle, You Likely Missed It

Photo credit: ROBYN BECK - Getty Images
Photo credit: ROBYN BECK – Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Just before the start of the vice presidential debate last night, I came across a tweet from actor and director Elizabeth Banks. “I hope Mike Pence smiles enough, is likable, and doesn’t comes (sic) across as angry,” she said, in the sarcastic missive that went viral. “Also, OMG, like, what’s he gonna be wearing?”

It was a searing critique of the double standards women are held to, a funny-because-uggggh-it’s-painfully-true summation. Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee and the first Black and South Asian woman on a major party ticket, faces a particularly unfair and difficult tightrope in her bid to appeal to the American electorate—and that includes her choice of campaign clothing.

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fashion

Why Kamala Harris’s Remarkably Unremarkable Fashion Is Revolutionary

Photo credit: Alex Wong - Getty Images
Photo credit: Alex Wong – Getty Images

From Town & Country

Kamala Harris is not afraid to make a statement—she just doesn’t do it with her clothes.

The Vice Presidential candidate arrived at last night’s debate prepared to lacerate her opponent with her notoriously incisive arguments, wearing an outfit designed to shrink into the background. Placed side-by-side onscreen—she in her black pantsuit, black shirt, pearls, and flag pin; he in his black suit, white shirt, red tie, and flag pin—Harris’s clothing almost blended into Pence’s, notable only in its somber simplicity.

Save for a few exceptions (the bedazzled rainbow jean jacket she wore to a Pride parade, for instance) Harris’s fashions seem almost designed to resist interpretation. Her blazers, pantsuits, understated pearls—yes, even her oft-noted Chuck Taylors—stare blankly back at us when we hold them up to a microscope, offering nothing but a vague, down-to-earth professionalism.

Photo credit: ERIC BARADAT - Getty Images
Photo credit: ERIC BARADAT
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women

Kamala Harris walked a fine line familiar to many women of color during the debate

In a vice presidential debate marked by at least some adherence to the rules, Sen. Kamala Harris found it necessary to ask Vice President Mike Pence not to interrupt her multiple times. She reminded him — sometimes with a hand up, crossing guard-style, other times with raised eyebrows — “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.”

At other moments as Pence spoke, Harris’ face flashed a catalogue of looks in his direction that seemed to communicate irritation, disbelief and distaste all at once, the kind of repertoire developed when one often cannot say everything one thinks.

Throughout, Harris worked to claim, then hold, new ground.

Harris, the first woman to serve as California’s attorney general, is the first woman of color to run on a major party’s presidential ticket and therefore the first to appear in a vice presidential debate. She arrived Wednesday with a complex set of challenges, expectations and demands.

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