Kamala Harris speaking in Las Vegas

Nice to See Sexism Alive and Well With Last Night’s Debate

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So many people were tweeting what they thought were “hot takes” about Kamala Harris at the vice presidential debate when, in reality, it’s just a lot of systemic sexism rearing its ugly head. During the VP debate, Kamala would turn and listen to Mike Pence, take notes, and prepare for rebuttal—if he ever shut up. But somehow, that was seen as “mocking” Pence, and yet, I didn’t see too many people pointing out that Pence was barely giving Harris the time of day—which, in my opinion, is rude as f**k.

For many online, they took the faces she would make as she would listen as something derogatory and started to make comments rooted in sexism. It got worse when polls began to come out after last night and there was a clear divide between men and women and how they thought the debate went. (Men thought Pence did a good job, while most women who have had men just talk over them over and over again thought that Pence did a terrible job.)

There is something so frustrating to me to look at these “report cards” for the debate and see the disparity between how men saw Pence vs. how women saw him, and maybe that’s because men haven’t had a man just constantly talk over them despite being asked to stop. To help infuriate us all, here is just a series of racist and sexist tweets about Kamala Harris from right-wing Twitter because they don’t even try to hide it. And yes, before I get a litany of tweets/emails about it, women can be sexist. That’s the patriarchal society we live in, folks!

There were also lots of “hot takes” from actors like Matthew Davis (sorry to ruin Alaric for all the fans of The Vampire Diaries), who don’t know how politics work—especially when it comes to picking running mates and cabinet positions (or primaries, for that matter). And why waste money if you know you’re not the frontrunner in this case? (I mean, I took civics in high school and realized what Harris and everyone dropping out of the race were doing, but then again, I’m also not a racist, sexist monster voting for Donald Trump.)

Decidedly not shockingly, one of the biggest offenders of the sexist and racist takes were white women. Jessica Anderson wrote for CNN that Harris’s performance “showed progressives like Harris still have the same goals as ever — but now they’re using Biden to achieve those goals,” and then Anderson went on to write that “Mike Pence, in contrast, offered a clear vision for America.” So, you know, Jessica Anderson clearly needs to go back to school and take debate class again because there is absolutely no way that Mike Pence won that, especially when he just kept repeating himself like a broken robot.

Megyn Kelly also definitely thought she was saying something with this, but instead, it was proving her subscription to the church of institutionalized misogyny.

As women, we shouldn’t have to sit there and just take whatever a man (or anyone, for that matter) is saying to us. Mike Pence was lying about Harris and her beliefs and did so regularly. She had the right to make whatever face she wanted at him, and telling her to “take it like a woman” is telling her to be submissive, Megyn.

And now, in yet another sexist move from the president of the United States, he has called Kamala Harris a “monster” twice.

It was interesting to see many witness in real-time what women go through daily (especially Black women) in this country.

The moment that spoke to so many women in the United States, though, was when Kamala Harris was talking and had her time, and Mike Pence tried to cut her off with a lie. Instead of just letting it happen, she simply pointed out that she was speaking.

It’s so bad that even when REPORTING on the fact that Harris was constantly interrupted, a woman was interrupted by Rick Santorum so that he could make a point that there wasn’t a problem with interrupting. (Insert that upside-down face emoji here.)

To be quite honest, it was frustrating to watch if only because it’s clear that so many in this country do not realize just how sexist and racist they’re being, or they don’t care, and that speaks to the core problems we have as a nation. Senator Kamala Harris was poised, knew what she was talking about, and was smart in how she answered questions even when Mike Pence tried to bait her, and I’m proud to be voting for Harris and Joe Biden on November 3rd.

(image: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.