I came across this quote from Amy Poehler the other day: “It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for”. When I first read it, I did not think much of it. Then I re-read it, and decided I liked it. The more I started to read and think of this quote, the more it resonated with me.
As a 22 year old woman living in today’s society, I have apologized for countless things. I have been sorry for not working out, eating a whole pizza by myself, being single, watching Disney movies, even reading a book. Yet, I never thought of why I was apologizing for doing things I wanted to do, or being who I wanted to be. Some may call this a feminist rant, others may see this as a problem in society. Either way, I am tired of apologizing.
As women, we are expected to behave a certain way, dress a certain way, talk a certain way.We are scrutinized in everything that we do, we say, we wear, we think. In today’s society being a female means inherently being sorry for who we are.
We are sorry for dressing too modestly, and then even more sorry for dressing somewhat provocatively. If our shirt is too low, we apologize for being distracting. Yet, we are taught that we should dress in short shorts and low cut tops to feel sexy and get a guy.
We are sorry for being emotional, and then even more sorry for when we don’t talk about our feelings. Starting with when we are young girls, we are taught that we are emotional, and like to show our feelings. Then when we do, we get called crazy, weak, emotionally unstable, and apologize for being so.
We are sorry for our physical appearance. We are taught by society that as a female you should be skinny, and we apologize if we are not a size 2. But then we are taught by society that we should have curves, and we apologize if our body is not made in such a way.
We are sorry for not having sex. But, we are taught that being a virgin means that you are pure, and will be respected more. Then we apologize for having sex, because that makes us a slut, a whore, someone who doesn’t deserve respect. But, we are taught that love equals sex, and to attain a relationship, we need to get naked.
We are taught that we should want kids, and then apologize if we don’t have them. We are taught that it is okay to put our career first, and then have to apologize when we don’t want to be a stay-at-home mother. We are taught that we should embrace our natural beauty, and then feel sorry for wearing makeup. We are taught that women are just as equal to men, and then apologize for wanting 21 more cents in our wage.
I am done apologizing for being female. I am not a size 2, but I do not have Kardashian curves either. I do not like to talk about my feelings, but I do have them. I don’t wear makeup, but sometimes I do. My sex life is no one’s business but my own, and I should not feel sorry about that. If I want to wear a low cut top, I will. If I want to wear jeans instead of shorts, I will. If I want to be single, I am not going to apologize for not being in a relationship. I may never want kids, but maybe someday I will have 7.
We are taught to be certain things as females. We are then apologizing for being these things that we are taught. 22 years later, and I am now just realizing that I do not need to be sorry. I am who I am, and I am not apologizing anymore.
Thank you Amy Poehler for teaching me this.