The mainstream media settled on a theme after Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate: “mansplaining.”
The Urban Dictionary describes “mansplaining” as follows: “When a man explains something to a woman in a patronizing tone as if the woman is too emotional and illogical to understand.”
Though the speaking time at the debate was roughly even, according to CNN — and Democratic candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) spoke for more than three minutes longer than Vice President Mike Pence, according to ABC — pundits claimed Pence tried to exert his masculinity.
George Stephanopoulos, for example, claimed that “a lot of people” had noticed “some mansplaining going on tonight.”
ABC's George Stephanopoulos:
"A lot of people were noticing some mansplaining going on tonight." pic.twitter.com/5FtQlyxL9p
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 8, 2020
Ironically, his female guest disagreed.
The hook for the “mansplaining” claim appeared to be a moment in the debate when Harris claimed: “Mr. Vice President, I am speaking,” when he interrupted her.
Why Kamala Harris saying "Mr. Vice President, I am speaking," struck a chord with so many women during the vice presidential debate. https://t.co/TP3g9E8afP
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) October 8, 2020
Harris’s repeated refusal to let Pence talk over her led to these quotes trending on Twitter on Wednesday night. And many tweets featured other women calling out how often they have experienced similar interruptions in their lives, particularly at work.
However, a closer look at the video reveals that when Harris made that remark, she had already been interrupted by moderator Susan Page because the time allowed for her answer had expired.
Pence then tried to answer, and Harris deployed her line.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.