How female apologies can’t be like J Biebs
“I, like, just want to say that I think this might be the wrong direction for the company.”
Who did you picture saying that sentence? I bet it wasn’t a man.
If you read any kind of magazine, follow women bloggers, or watch popular news outlets, you’ve probably heard about the newest hot topic on the forefront of feminism: over apologizing. Turns out, women apologize a lot. Like a lot, a lot. Usually, it’s just so they don’t seem like a “bitch.”
Lindsey Stanberry, who writes for Refinery29, had a few of her coworkers keep track of how many times they apologized in a day. One of them recorded apologizing 47 times, and although she was training someone in, that’s a lot of sorries in the span of eight hours. Did she do 47 things wrong? Probably not, but she felt bad for seemingly inconveniencing another person.
Although the Refinery29 piece was essentially a how-to for women who apologize too much, the New York Magazine took it another direction. In her piece, “Can we just like, get over the way women talk?,” writer Ann Friedman puts the blame on listeners. “But are women the ones who need to change? If I’m saying something intelligent and all a listener can hear is the way I’m saying it, whose problem is that?” she asks.
She goes on to say that no one should tell a woman, or anyone for that matter, how they should or shouldn’t speak. It’s just like telling someone their clothes are too revealing or their hair is too short. But many women who hear, “Speak up and say what’s on your mind!” see it as female empowerment.
The New York Times hit on the issue, too, saying, “[B]eing perceived as rude is so abhorrent to women that we need to make ourselves less obtrusive before we speak up. According to a 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science, ‘[W]omen have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior,’ making them more likely to see a need for an apology in everyday situations.”
So really, our gender just has it worse. But why are we so afraid of conflict? How is it our nature to make ourselves seem like a non-threat? Let’s be honest. I know a lot of girls out there who should be considered a threat. They are strong and smart and work harder than half the people they speak to.
So why are we still being generalized into this category of small, nonconfrontational people? I’m gathering a lot of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” here. So read these three articles, form your own opinion, and go keep on being the boss ass bitch you are. Go tell your boss, “I, like, just want to say that I think this might be the wrong direction for the company,” and mean it.