I’m Speaking

“Mr. Vice President, I’m Speaking.”

“If you don’t mind letting me finish, we can then have a conversation, OK?”

These two phrases (and the fly) are what struck me the most during last night’s Vice Presidential debate.

I’m speaking.

Such a powerful statement in two simple words.

As an educated woman with a career, I was never taught or encouraged to say those two words. Though, I’ve thought them every time a man spoke over me or interrupted me or refused to pay attention as I spoke. I’m not alone in this. Every woman in America is familiar with the silent seething that accompanies these moments.

At the end of the debate, I sent a co-worker a text saying I was going to order us shirts that say “I’m speaking” for us to wear to meetings.

Senator Harris exuded power and confidence as she refused to yield her time or voice to the white man who, without a hint of shame or hesitation, worked to overpower and silence her. She didn’t flinch. She looked him dead in the (pink) eye and said, “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.”

When my daughter is older, I will play her clips of Senator Harris during last night’s debate. Our voices as women matter. Our words matter.

Thank you Senator Harris for reclaiming your time and asserting your voice.

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