Women and mothers everywhere have one message: I'm speaking

Senator Harris showed the world that women are done being interrupted.

kamala harris debate

The first and only Vice Presidential Debate was last night, and there were a lot of memorable moments (ahem, #fly).

But perhaps the most significant for women, regardless of where our political affinities lie, was the sheer number of times that Vice President Mike Pence interrupted Senator Kamala Harris. "I'm speaking," she said politely, yet firmly. "I'm speaking." Over and over again. The interruptions were relentless.

Last night, we witnessed in real-time how women have been talked over and minimized for decades by mansplainers and men in general.

Unfortunately, no woman watching was surprised—being talked through and over is a part of our daily lives. To be a woman is to be constantly subverted, belittled and hushed by men. Our authority questioned, our ideas devalued.


It happens all the time.

The realtor who interrupted my sentence to tell me "something he just thought of." His thought was clearly more important than mine.

The family member who dismissed my well-researched explanation with a casual, "Yeah, maybe." His opinion was clearly more valid than mine.

The plumber who looked past me to talk to my husband. My husband is clearly more equipped to talk about piping than I.

The man who, moments before I walked onto the stage to give a TEDx talk, said, "Vavavoom!" (I was wearing a jumper), "Are you going to tell sex jokes?" he asked. Yes, because clearly that's what women do when they give TED Talks.

My midwifery client's partner who, midway through his girlfriend's push, asked me if I could get him some water because this was really hard for him. (I don't even have a quip for this one.)

Men interrupt, cut off and attempt to supersede women all. the. time.

The thing is, I don't think that many men even realize they're doing it. Interrupting has become such an ingrained part of acceptable behavior that even good, decent men who try to respect women do it. And that represents a huge problem.

At its core, interrupting someone means that we believe that what we have to say is more important than what the other person is saying. That men constantly interrupt women therefore means that men think their voices are more important than women's. Our society has done nothing to combat this behavior. From the gender pay gap to the deficiency of attention paid to women's health to the total lack of regard and support for mothers, we are regularly bombarded with a very clear message: Men are more important than women.

Last night, this notion was center stage. Vice President Pence repeatedly interrupted and talked over not only Senator Harris, but debate moderator Susan Page. He made it abundantly clear that his words were above theirs—above the rules of the debate, even.

(Speaking of Page, did you notice that every time she tried to reign the conversation back in she apologized? "I'm sorry, Mr. Vice President, your time is up." She felt the need to say she was sorry for doing the job she was hired to do.)

Should Senator Harris or Page have behaved as Pence did, the morning's headlines would be full of slams accusing them of being unstrained, too emotional and unhinged. But a man did it, so instead, we just roll our eyes and get on with our day—or do we?

Senator Harris made major strides in the current groundswell of women's empowerment we are experiencing. She stood up for herself in public. She (calmly, because of course) demanded that she be given equal mic time. She inspired a new rallying cry for women across the world who are fed up with being told and shown that they are less-than.

"I'm speaking." She said. And we heard her, loud and clear.

Let us not lose the momentum Senator Harris created last night.

Men, please pay attention to how you use your voice when a woman is speaking. You may not have created the culture that has allowed this to happen, but every time you cut a woman off, you perpetuate it and benefit from it. Check yourself, and check other men too—the next time you hear another man interrupt a woman, say, "She was speaking."

Women, and everyone of any gender who has had their voice oppressed, quieted and devalued, stand your ground.

I'm speaking.

You are important.

I'm speaking.

Your words and thoughts are valuable.

I'm speaking.

You are worthy of equal mic time.

I'm speaking.

And come November 3rd, vote.

We're speaking.

In This Article

    14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

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    Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


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    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


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    WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

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