Inside Higher Ed, #Manterrupting:
Yes, there was a fly on Vice President Mike Pence’s head during this week’s vice presidential debate. But before the insect stole the show, social media was already abuzz with comments about Pence’s multiple interruptions of his opponent, Senator Kamala Harris, and his refusal to stop talking when moderator Susan Page called time.
Page signaled to Harris to stop talking 13 times. She had to signal Pence 45 times.
In a bonus round of what’s been called “manterrupting,” former politician Rick Santorum interrupted commentator Gloria Borger while she was talking about Pence’s interruptions on CNN following the debate.
These scenes resonated with many of the female academics watching.
“The moderator verbally admits Pence has had more time than @KamalaHarris but still gives him more time,” Anne Charity-Hudley, North Hall Endowed Chair in the Linguistics of African-America at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said on Twitter. “This is the story of Black women in a nutshell.”
Anna Meier, a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, tweeted, “I have never gotten dirtier looks in any scenario than in academic settings after I’ve asked men who’ve interrupted me if I can finish.”
Kathleen Belew, assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago, joined in, writing “that for every time we ask if we can finish a thought, there are a hundred times we don't bother to bring up being interrupted.”