#iamspeaking: Kamala Harris merchandise spells it out


The United States vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris did not just spark one meme, #flygate — there was also #iamspeaking, which is now on T-shirts, hoodies, mugs masks, available to buy online.

On more than one occasion during the debate, Harris, to stop Pence from interrupting her, said: “I am speaking, Mr Vice President, I am speaking.”

The tactic and her look worked, and Pence stopped immediately. It became a buzzword within minutes and many cheering it online, especially women.

A study on interruptions and gender differences by Carol Kennedy and Carl Camden, published in 1983 in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, found that women were interrupted significantly more often than men when they did not look at the speaker.

Women were also more likely to be interrupted when smiling than were men, and women smiled significantly more when speaking, the study found.

Harris had to use the phrase “I am speaking” a few times during the night, as Pence interrupted her 10 times in the debate.

Harris’s tactic to stop Pence from interrupting her — and her look! — worked. He stopped immediately.

It became a buzzword within minutes and started appearing on T-shirts, hoodies, and mugs online. The most relevant commodity these days, masks, with ‘I am speaking’ on them also became available for purchase.

Kamala Harris’s sister Maya Harris, who was constantly tweeting from her handle @mayaharris through the debate, went online and got the “I am Speaking” T shirts organized right away.

Maya’s daughter and Kamala’s niece, Meena Harris, runs the Phenomenal Woman clothing brand.

Election merchandise has been popular in spite of the pandemic, and many name brands offer general ‘vote’ products, as well as party and political figures specific merchandise, increasingly called ‘merch’.

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden used the #flygate to run a small $ amount fundraiser. In jest, Biden put out a photo of him holding a fly swatter with a title, “Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly!”

The squatter sold out in a few hours.