A Marvel Superheroine, a Courtesan, and a Politician Walk Into a Bar

Wading into the Meanings, Manifestations, Mythologies, and Misunderstandings the Name ‘Kamala’ Has Sparked


My name is Kamala and I’m the leading candidate for U.S. Senate in California, even though polls suggest that more than half of Californians are still learning my name, and how to pronounce it.

I, Kamala, am also a Muslim Marvel heroine, a wrestler, a courtesan in Siddhartha, the German poet Hermann Hesse’s book on Buddhism and enlightenment, and an ape woman (more on that later).

Of course, if you’re …