International Women’s Day 2021 is approaching and March gives us all the more reasons to talk about various things related to females and celebrate womanhood. But first thing’s first! Are you apologising way too much? How often do you find yourself saying ‘I am sorry,’ for things that you actually should not? Sometimes, as women, we often experience unnecessary guilt for things we say, or feel. And while pointing this out, it might just prompt another apology from you (not necessary, though!). Even researches and studies have found that women did indeed apologise more than men. For women to achieve all those ambitions, it is significant to make conscious strides to overcome the need to apologise. So, are you ready to adopt a ‘sorry, not sorry,’ attitude? Here are nine things, you should stop apologising for.
1. For Liking ‘Manly’ or ‘Girly’ Things
Hey, it is 2021, and no one tells each other what is the ‘appropriate’ thing to do, based on gender, to say the least. You can be a woman and be an auto mechanic. Same way, you can be a woman and your favourite colour could be pink. There is nothing ‘girly’ or ‘manly,’ associated with any work, behaviour, or even colour choices. So, let’s stop feeling less of a woman for not knowing how to sew but repairing a punctured tire, or not knowing any of them or both of them.
2. Asking Questions
There are no stupid questions, so please, ladies, ask away! Prefacing your question with ‘sorry,’ is not needed, because your whys and whos are essential. At times, it might take you a while to process an entire discussion, before several questions run on your head. The more you ask, the more you learn! Besides, when you ask, you free others to ask their own, all of which are likely to be geared toward achieving a shared objective and a confident world.
3. For Saying NO
A no, means no, and there should be no guilt attached to it. Whether it is sexual consent, or refusing to help a friend, or telling a guy you don’t want to date him, or saying that word to your partner. No matter how big or small it is, if you don’t feel like saying ‘yes,’ no one has the right to force you.
4. Setting Boundaries
Setting boundaries are a part of self-care. They are normal and necessary. It is important to prioritise being firm over being polite. While people should always be respectful of what you are, if they are not okay with it, it is absolutely not your responsibility to make sure they do. And when they cross the line, don’t ever think you own them any apologetic explanation.
5. For Loving Your Bodies the Way It Is
It is one whole skin, and all of us must embrace it. By now, you might just be done with other’s views and comments such as “too skinny,” “too fat,” “muscly,” and what not! Some may have forgotten that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colours; you certainly should not. You are sexy, and you know it!
6. For Not Knowing Everything
Not everyone learns in the same way, and there is no age to learning as well. We are continually learning something—even the most clever of us. So, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Remember that being sorry for lacking knowledge about a few things is like apologising for not seeing the landmark in a city you have never travelled to.
7. Reporting Sexually Harassment After Years
It is never late! With the #MeToo movement, many cases came out of woman openly speaking about sexual harassment and violence. It is unfortunate when we hear women filing complaints after years, but one must not overlook the many stigmas and stereotypes attached to it. Just as how Supreme Court magistrate noted in the verdict of MJ Akbar’s complaint of defamation against Priya Ramani, “Woman has a right to put her grievance at any platform of her choice and even after decades.”
8. For Being Emotional
Human beings have emotions, and everyone knows it. Women are often stereotyped as being emotional, thus irrational. It is untrue and further emphasises the outdated belief that emotion is a sign of femininity and weakness. Breaking down in front of someone else is an incredibly vulnerable act. You might find yourself apologising for subjecting the other person to a potentially uncomfortable, raw display of emotion. But as awkward as it might feel, there is nothing to be sorry for!
9. For Being a Homemaker
There are no ‘typical’ homemakers or stay at home moms. We are all different, with different lifestyles and circumstances. If a woman chooses to be at home, and look after her family, that in no way means she is insulting anyone who is working so hard in the outside world. Similarly, some women enjoy every traditional bit, wearing a touch of sindoor on her forehead, a mangalsutra, keep fast for the husband and so on. Feminism is meant to give women the right to choose, not dictate or restrict the choices we can make. We should not feel sorry for all the lifestyle choices we make for ourselves!
These are a few situations, where you often find yourself apologising; even deep down, you know you should not. So this International Women’s Day, woman up, and stop apologising for being a woman!
(The above story first appeared on Morning Tidings on Mar 05, 2021 06:04 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website morningtidings.com).