"Mr. Vice President, I'm speaking" was the line of the night.

Morgan Noll
Oct 08, 2020 @ 11:09 am
kamala harris "i'm speaking"
Credit: Alex Wong, Getty Images

Compared to the chaotic, interruption-rampant first debate, the perspective seemed to be that last night's vice presidental debate between Senator Kamala Harris and Mike Pence seemed like a relatively civil conversation. However, viewers were quick to notice how often and carelessly Pence interrupted Harris while she was talking—and how the California senator and historic vice president nominee was having none of it. When Pence cut into her time, Harris said calmly and clearly, "Mr. Vice President, I'm speaking," and continued to repeat similar assertions when interrupted throughout the night.

While this soundbite may seem like a small takeaway from a night of discussing various important matters such as climate change and police violence, many women are noting how monumental it was to see a woman—especially a woman of color—standing up for her right to speak on a national platform.

During the debate, Emmy award-winning actress Uzo Aduba tweeted about Harris' "I'm speaking" phrase, writing, "I hope every little girl heard that."

While Harris was in a unique role sitting on a national debate stage, her experience of being talked over by a man felt universal, as it happens to women everywhere, in classrooms, the workplace, relationships, and daily life. One Twitter user pointed to this shared experience, writing, "When Kamala said “IM SPEAKING” every single woman felt THAT."

See what more on Twitter were saying about the moment below.

It's worth noting that Harris wasn't the only woman Pence continued to talk over during the debate. As moderator Susan Page repeatedly said "thank you" to wrap up the VP as his two minutes of uninterrupted time were up, he often ignored her, only talking louder to make his point.

Harris' "I'm speaking" assertion has already inspired an array of merchandise—from T-shirts to mugs to face masks—online, and we are so here for it.