top of page
  • Parvani

On Apologetic Females

Image from Time Magazine

A few weeks ago, a friend told me that people in their class were calling me bossy behind my back. To be completely honest, I was disappointed. And that lasted until I started doing research for this article. And then it made my day. Why? Well, it may not seem clear at first, but that’s what this article is going to address.

You may have heard your parents tell you to stop apologizing, or that women apologize too much, but I doubt that you've dug deeper into the subject. The thing is that that’s true, and there’s scientific evidence to back it up. But before I go into that, I have to go into something else: sexism. Even today, girls are growing up in an environment where women are not treated as fairly as others. Sure, we typically can't see the bad things, but they’re there, just hiding. We live in a society that still tries to keep women “proper” and “ladylike,” and when girls follow those rules from a young age, it makes an impact on their lives as adults.

Now, back to apologies. A study shows that women apologize more than men because they have a lower threshold for what counts as bad behavior. There were two parts to this study: the first part being people keeping daily offense diaries where they wrote down any offenses that they did and if they apologized (women said sorry more, but also wrote down more things that they did wrong, making it seem like women feel the need to apologize for things that men don't consider necessarily important to make up for). The second part was where they gave them possible offensive situations to evaluate (as expected, the men rated the offense level lower than women, further contributing to the hypothesis of lower thresholds for the female gender). And no, not all people in a gender group will be like this, but the majority probably would. Why? Probably because society has made women feel like they need to apologize.

On the other hand, is saying sorry necessarily a bad thing? The world needs more apologies, right? That's the argument a New York Times article brings up, and yes, I agree for the most part, but you do not need to apologize for things that aren't offensive! Why apologize when you did nothing wrong, huh? I'm just asking. Watch this (in my opinion) unbearable skit about women saying sorry too much.

Another article, however, proposes the idea that women are really trying to be assertive but are expressing it through the word "sorry." Interesting, right? The writer says that instead of just not saying sorry, you should actually say what you want.

But what does this have to do with my being bossy? Well, that's another thing. There are many things that shape the way people perceive you, and how you apologize is one of them. At least for women. What do I mean by that? Well, have you ever heard a man be called bossy, even if he would fit in that category? I don't know about you, but I haven't. As far as I know, "bossy" is a word reserved for females, because when men are assertive they're suddenly "leaders", but women are suddenly "bossy" when they use the same tactic. Hidden sexism alert! And that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be kind, just be careful of the terms you use and their real meaning. So yes, you're considered to be bossy when you don't apologize, and when you do? Soft, overly kind. That's kind of how people see you. So yeah, some people called me bossy. Thanks for the compliment.

158 views0 comments


bottom of page