I keep thinking about Kamala Harris’ performance during the Vice Presidential debate last week.
It was such a familiar scene. A woman of color who is clearly the smartest and most qualified person in the room but has to bend over backwards to showcase her confidence and her expertise in the most delicate way possible, lest her strength be used against her.
We saw it in her smiles. We saw it in her measured tone. We saw it as she calmly reminded her opponent that she was still speaking and that she would be heard.
Even as she took up her rightful space, she still had to do it on society’s terms.
I saw a post debate commentary that said that Harris “played it safe.” But all of us know that she did nothing of the sort. She walked that fine line of being assertive but not seen as aggressive, smart but not intimidating, firm but still pleasant.
It’s the same tightrope that so many of us walk each and every day. In our workplaces, in our business relationships, in our volunteer organizations, at the damn PTA.
It’s not just you, sis. And it’s not your fault.