As a woman, sometimes it feels nearly impossible to get through a day in the world without apologizing for one thing or another. The reality is, however, that I’m not sorry. I’m not doing anything wrong — I’m simply existing and living my life, and I will never again apologize for any of these 8 things:
- Demanding respect for myself. I, and all women, deserve respect from both our loved ones and from strangers. If someone is being a pig or making derogatory comments about other women, I will call them out on it, unapologetically.
- Going after everything I want in life. I won’t be made to feel guilty for “wanting to have it all.” I’m equally as entitled to having a family, career, friends, and hobbies as any man is. Sure, maybe I’ll fail along the way while trying to juggle 100 things, but I won’t feel bad about going after something that I want.
- Refusing to settle for less than I deserve. I will say no to any man, friend, or salary that is less that what I deserve. The myth is that women are bad negotiators when in reality, they are often treated like bitches for going after what they deserve. I know what my worth is, and I won’t say sorry for refusing to accept less.
- Standing up for myself. If you don’t stand up for yourself, who will? I won’t tolerate being catcalled, sexually harassed, stereotyped, talked down to, etc. etc. I’m not the losers for standing up for myself, the person who did those things in the first place is the loser.
- Having a bad day. Don’t tell me to smile because I look unhappy. I won’t do it and I won’t say sorry for not being in a good mood. I don’t bother anyone or lash out when I am unhappy, so don’t expect me to go out of my way to put a big phony happy face on for no reason. If someone is really that uncomfortable with the idea that I might not be happy all the time, that sounds like a personal issue. Don’t involve me in it.
- Encouraging open, honest conversations about serious issues. Sure, not every conversation is sunshine and rainbows. In fact, some topics are downright painful to talk about. I won’t avoid them altogether for the sake of being pleasant, as I believe having open conversations is a necessary part of change.
- Expecting change in the world. We can and should do better. I’m not sorry for being unhappy with the current status quo, and most people are unhappy with it as well. I don’t believe the answer is to just accept how things are and move on, and I won’t apologize for saying so.
- Causing discomfort. I occasionally make comments that cause people to be uncomfortable. I call people out when they’re being racist, sexist, or homophobic. I tell them when their views can be disproven with facts. It generally doesn’t go over well, but I won’t apologize. Those kinds of hateful comments make me uncomfortable, and I don’t see any reason why I should roll over and allow hate speech to hurt me just for the sake of keeping everything light and pleasant. I’m not sorry for making these people uncomfortable, I’m just sorry I had to spend time around them in the first place.