#Momala aka Senator Kamala Harris did not come to play last night. Hopefully you were able to watch the one and only vice presidential debate before the election. If not please pull it up on YouTube and watch it. While Kamala’s faces were a whole black mama mood and Vice President Mike Pence’s pink eye and flying hair accessory made us take a second look, I want to touch on something else.
From politics to pop culture, women are made to feel less than anytime we raise our voices. We are often ostracized for being too radical or worse; we’re dismissed as being too “emotional.” The fact that Senator Kamala Harris, a black woman, has been elevated to a place in society where she is in a position to be able to tell this white man, “I’m speaking,” is definitely our ancestors’ wildest dreams in and of itself. Yet, the sad reality is that for far too many women, we will continue to remain in silence and never elevate our voices for fear of some form of criticism or attack. And, these attacks don’t only come in the form of verbal assaults of our expertise, credentials, or character, they can also be physical. Again, from the boardroom to the bedroom, women are faced with the sometimes daily challenge of choosing to speak up against their male counterparts.
For me, the most important takeaway from last night was Pence’s inability to show respect by adhering to the time limits, not be interruptive and to not be dismissive. I don’t know about you, but it felt like a board meeting gone bad as Pence continued to interrupt and overspeak both women while trying to get his point across. Many on the right may have considered this to be a display of strength but it simply was not. It was distasteful, arrogant, and disrespectful. Had Harris done the same, she would have been relegated to the typical angry black woman stereotype. A stereotype that pervades boardrooms and conference meetings all across America anytime a black woman attempts to elevate her voice to get her point across.
American culture has conditioned women to stay silent and remain prim and proper but that has not worked out well in the 21st century. Considering the original intention of the forefathers did not include the rights, wants, or needs of women and slaves, every opportunity we have to bust down doors and shatter glass-ceilings, (hello equal pay) we need to blow it out of the water EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
“I’m speaking” isn’t trending just because Kamala Harris used it to assert her authority and let Mike Pence know he was rude AF. It’s trending because ALL women (I think it’s safe to assume) have experienced that moment where they were reduced to their physical attributes, dismissed, overruled, or flat-out ignored by some pompous a**hole of a man. And honey it was shining all over Pence like the Shekinah Glory. This administration has done nothing but disrespect, dismiss, and disregard women from day damn one so I’m glad Kamala channeled her inner #momala and let Pence know #whatyounotfinnado in the most Clair Huxtable way possible.