Why as women do we constantly feel the need to apologize?
It is something I have thought long and hard about. Especially with amazing women like Jennifer Pastiloff have begun a dialogue about it. In fact, Pantene has just released a new commercial about women over apologizing.
I admit, I am well known for over apologizing.
At least, I used to be.
It was about four years ago when I first started seriously delving into yoga that one of my instructors, a woman, discussed throughout the practice how women over apologize.
And we needed to stop.
It got me thinking all the times I have apologized needlessly.
When my sister died. I apologized.
When I cried because I was heartbroken. I apologized.
Anything to do with my grief or her, or someone not being able to handle the fact that I needed to talk about her. I apologized.
My eating disorder. I can not count how many times I have apologized for that.
Taking up space on the subway. Oh yes to the apology.
Turning guys down at the bar. Not only have I apologized, I also blamed it on my inadequacy, apologizing profusely to somehow save THEIR male ego.
Creepy guys on the street, those who have touched me inappropriately. Yup. Apology. Because of course it is my fault they can’t control themselves.
Getting bad grades even though I have been a straight A+++ student in almost everything but math. But of course math equates failure, equals an apology.
Every time I have been yelled at, someone has screwed up my order, the clerk in the ritzy store, professors, boyfriends, exes, family, friends, strangers on the street. I have apologized.
There have been so many instances, I can not even Remember them all. Sorry.
Why am I sorry? Does it affect you if I don’t remember them all? Does it make me any less of a human being or a writer?
No it doesn’t.
Why as women do we feel the need to apologize so much. To feel like we take up space and we need to make ourselves smaller. And when we do make ourselves smaller because society tells us we are fat or need to squeeze into a corner. Or I bought you a size two damn it, you will fit into it. We are the ones who apologize and go about changing.
I am not trying to go all women’s lib here.
But from the beginning of dawn we have been conditioned that it is our fault. Our children are screaming or behaving badly. We are the ones to fix them.
Anything goes wrong in the home it is our fault.
We get raped, molested, groped, or sexually harassed in anyway, nine times out of ten it is OUR fault.
We promote that with our apologizing.
By apologizing we are admitting we are at fault for taking up space, for eating food, hell for fucking breathing.
It isn’t our fault.
We have just as much rights as anyone else to live guilt free.
Everyone makes little oopses here and there.
Unless you murder someone (and take it from me, even then, you won’t get an apology) why are we so focused on that two syllable word with the fake vowel at the end?
Women change their clothes, their habits, because sorry we are promoting guys to look at us. Yet, women are perfectly content in controlling ourselves when George Clooney or Bradley Cooper take their shirts off.
Oh sorry we shouldn’t have been looking.
Sorry we must be whores or sluts.
Not like everyone else. We couldn’t possibly compare to our male counterparts.
But we do. And we need to stop saying sorry for that.
We need to stop saying sorry for being strong. For being beautiful. For being fat or skinny or hell maybe just average.
We are all unique. That does not need to be apologized for at all!
Unless you are into Justin Bieber and then yes apologize away.
As much as I have tried to stop apologizing. I have found I still come back to that word.
Someone takes something the wrong way. I blame myself. In awkward times, it is s crutch. What do I say? I will apologize.
Someone is having a shitty day. My fault.
And honestly as one of my teachers always talks about, that is just ego. The world doesn’t revolve around us and others mistakes are not our mistakes.
Some asshole calls you the C word and talks about how sweet your P@#$% is, do not apologize for flipping them off, or telling them to wash their mouth out with soap, or worse apologize for how you look, or walk, or color of your hair or skin.
You did nothing wrong. He did.
I wrote a blog post awhile back titled Dear World, Kiss this Apology. It was saying everything I wouldn’t apologize for. It was one of the hardest posts I have written, and I am sure the baristas at Starbucks were concerned I was going crazy because I got awfully emotional. I didn’t apologize for it.
I wanted to.
Dear God I wanted too.
But I didn’t.
There have been times when I am talking, or texting, or writing letters, I have had to stop myself from saying that five letter word.
It is like a bird just waiting to take flight. Except unlike a bird, it isn’t a positive but a huge negative. A word that promotes my inadequacies. Takes away MY rights as a human. As a woman.
The fact that I have the nerve to breathe.
Or take up space.
The truth is, I have every right. And I will never apologize for that ever.
Using a phrase from the amazing Jennifer pastiloff, Fuck it Sorry. You have no hold on me anymore.
Read the amazing Jennifer Pastiloff’s piece right here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-pastiloff/what-i-will-no-longer-apologize-for_b_5481355.html?utm_hp_ref=tw )
For the Pantene commercial Go here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/18/pantene-not-sorry-shine-strong_n_5507461.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063
And last but not least the Piece I wrote last September: http://smalltownasanas.blogspot.com/2013/09/dear-world-kiss-this-apology.html