Women say sorry a lot. That’s not just a feeling. It’s a phenomenon that’s been quantified over
and over again in multiple studies. Some people suppose that its due to women actually feeling
sorrier about minor slights or that its a more socially acceptable way to disagree or express displeasure about something.
While doing research for our episode about apologies I realized that so many of the apologies I
gave were given from a place of smoothing over or avoidance instead of meaningful remorse.
And that’s not right especially when dealing with issues like race.
I want my apologies to actually mean something. And part of making an apology mean
something is finding a way to fix the problem. This especially hits home as a white woman who
works to unpack her internalized racism and misogyny. A white person apologizing for slavery
on Facebook isn’t really useful except to make the individual apologizing feel better. It’s
something that happens all the time too … super woke white person posts a self-flagellating
post about how awful white people are looking for those super-woke ally cookies.
You know what is useful? Working to solve the problem. And its harder to do because you have
to recognize your own complicit behavior. There are tons of resources on specific ways to do
this. One thing I’ve started doing is consciously trying to create and hold space for women of
all colors to speak and not automatically defer to the men in the room. I work to decolonize my
views of the work. Hardest of all? I’ve let go of being a nice girl and stopped saying “Sorry, I
think that might be racist”….