Please Don’t Apologize for Breathing: A Feminist Look at the Female Habit to Apologize for EVERYTHING

There are good habits and bad habits.

​Habits tend to blossom within groups of people that are close enough to share them for reasons that are beneficial to them. Sometimes they are good habits, like taking your shoes off in a home you’re visiting or rinsing off the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.

​Sometimes, however, there are bad habits, and I think that plenty of women would agree that a good amount of ladies are apologizing way too much.

​And honestly, who has time for that?

​Blogger’s Note: not all people that apologize too much are ladies (i.e. my husband), but I’m coming at this from a lady perspective and will probably reference several lady things.

Now, I could point out that a person apologizes when they’ve done something wrong and feel guilty about it. Ultimately, this means that I could also point out that we at some point were made to feel consistently guilty for causing even the slightest inconvenience to anyone, and as a consequence learned to apologize for every transgression against someone, even if we did nothing wrong.

​It’s incredibly sad that we automatically apologize for situations that do not warrant them in the slightest and even sadder to imagine incredibly damaging that is.

But, we aren’t going to focus on that.

​Instead, I’m going to point out that feminism, at it’s core, is about equality.

​So, let’s look at a situation where I’ve found myself blurting “SORRY” for literally no reason at all on the literal daily:

Walking towards someone and getting caught in the “I’ll go this way, you go that way” human flail fest that occurs when two people attempt to move around each other in a hallway.

​This is something that I do compulsively. In the event of a human hallway jumble, my conditioned response has become to apologize and nod my head a lot. A bit like a crazy person, really.

​Now, this is absurd for several reasons (and I don’t just mean the fact that I look damn close to Oliver Twist asking for more porridge), but the most prevalent one has to be the fact that there is literally nothing to apologize for here. Think about what it would take for this to be a situation worth feeling guilt over.

​I mean, sure, if I had psychic abilities and actually saw what direction you were going to travel in and then intentionally stepped that way regardless, I should feel guilty.

​Otherwise, nope.

​Besides, in the spirit of equality, if I should feel guilty for the mishap that I had no control over, then so should the other person. Of course, no one should feel guilty because this is literally just humanity’s punishment for not having a hive mind (yet), but I digress.

​Basically, don’t apologize if there’s nothing worth apologizing for. When you apologize, make sure that you did something to warrant the apology. Do not apologize for being in the way. Do not apologize for being noticed. Do not apologize for existing. Do not apologize for being excited about something you like. Just don’t do it.

​You’ve fought and earned your place just like everyone else.

​You deserve your space, and you deserve to be heard.

​So don’t apologize unless you really, really should do it.

​If someone died… it’s generally a good idea to apologize.

​Especially if you killed them.

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