I’m drawing a blank on what her name is, but the woman who co-hosts “Morning Joe” on MSNBC had a ‘bit’ on the show this morning that featured a speech she gave somewhere about female empowerment. I’m all for female empowerment, I think that women should be strong, and independent and self-sufficient and I believe that little girls should grow up to not ‘need’ men or anyone else in order to feel good about themselves. But, this woman, in her speech, was encouraging women to lose the word ‘sorry’ from their vocabulary, saying that women say ‘sorry’ too much. She gave an example, “When I walked in, another woman was walking in at the same time. She backed away, and said ‘Oh, I’m sorry!’. What was she sorry for? Ladies, stop with the “sorry”, you don’t need to apologize!”.
So, I get what she’s saying. Women are conditioned to be apologists, but let’s hold up on encouraging women (or anyone) to not apologize at all. Apologies do have a place in the world. Society as a whole is becoming ruder, and ruder as time goes by. There are so few “sorry’s” as it is, I don’t think encouraging anyone to cease apologizing is doing anyone any favours.
If I bump into someone, no matter who, I should say I’m sorry. If I hurt someone, I should apologize. If someone mis-understood my intentions about something, an apology may very well be in order.
We do need to make distinctions about what we should be sorry for, and what we don’t have to be sorry for, but saying that we should eliminate the word “sorry” from our vocabulary is doing us all a great disservice.