A thing that happened in my childhood which I realised is bizarre embarrassingly late in life is that I, among a lot of other young girls around me, was told not to laugh too loud in public. Because it was supposedly an…invitation?…To boys that they can flirt? While that problem is more than solved now, I internalised the expectation to be ‘proper’ and now I say sorry to the table if I hit it.
That’s an actual thing, women apologising to inanimate objects – people have analysed it. So, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some things that women need to stop saying sorry for. Here we go.
1. For being sexy/sexual.
The world loves to sexualise women but God forbid if she decides to dress sexy. It’s like, “you ideally need to be covered from head to toe, and then, we will reduce you to an object meant for sexual gratification”. It’s the strangest, most offensive thing. You go and have fun with whatever you want to wear and never, ever apologise for it.
2. For not being into sex.
So many women feel the need to say sorry for not being interested in sex and feel less than for the same reason (this could be true for people of all genders but it’s more common in women). That’s totally unfair. No woman should ever feel like it’s her job to please someone.
3. For putting career first.
They get to you, don’t they? The family, the partners – a lot of times the level of gaslighting and manipulation is astounding, often making even the most headstrong among us re-evaluating their life choices. It’s the single most unfortunate thing to see and it needs to stop. You don’t need to feel sorry for wanting to make it big professionally.
4. For not having kids.
Having a child is a choice, and deciding against it should not come with a sense of shame attached to it. You are no less of a woman without a child or a partner.
5. For not being able to take care of ALL of it.
In countless households, women are ‘allowed’ to work on the condition that that will not keep them from performing their familial duties. So, the woman busts her ass off at the office, only to come back home and look after the house. I don’t even need to say that everything about this is unjust, you don’t need permission to work and you definitely don’t need to be solely accountable for the smooth functioning of the house.
7. For your body weight.
No one has any right to tell you that you weigh “too less” or “too much”. If they do that, please ask them to fuck off (politely, if needed, your discretion). There is nothing wrong with your body.
8. For being messy.
Good lord, so what if you dropped that mustard sauce on your shirt? It’ll get washed. You don’t need to profusely apologise for accidentally spilling things. You don’t need to be the epitome of grace with a feather touch. It’s all chill.
9. For being opinionated.
Fight, fight, fight for what you believe in. Don’t give up, don’t give in. It’s necessary to be open to ideas, that’s obvious, but women are penalised for expressing themselves strongly. This is funny because men are out there one step away from grabbing each other by the throats and no one seems to care. You say what you got to. They’ll adjust.
10. For not being able to ‘fix’ your partner.
This is very common, especially in heterosexual relationships. This idea is wrong, to begin with, and its entire premise is flawed/toxic. Partners help each other grow but you are not hired to make them overcome their shortcomings.
Never feel guilty for doing what you want.