It really bothers me when people, especially women, apologize for no reason. For example, yesterday I was at the gym and I sat down on a bench to take off my sneakers, and the woman next to me said. “oh, I’m sorry.” I looked at her and said, “for what?” and she said, “for taking up so much room.” She wasn’t; only the amount of room that her rearend covered, which was average-sized.
I started noticing a few years ago how often women do this, and it pisses me off.
My standard answer has become, “for what? Don’t apologize!” Maybe I can change the world, one woman at a time. But I doubt it.
Women apologize for taking up space. Even the way they – we – sit is apologetic, arms & legs folded to as small a shape as possible. I notice that men, when they sit, sit with their legs apart & take up as much space as possible. Without apology.
When women are in front of you in the grocery store line and need to put all their groceries on the belt to get rung up: “I’m sorry—I have so many things.” It’s a grocery store! I expect you to be buying food! And lots of it, because grocery shopping stinks, and you should get it over with!
If you step on my foot, run into my Achilles tendon with your cart, ding my car with your SUV, then you should apologize. Don’t apologize for being in line in front of me, getting to the door just before me, or breathing the nearby air. Really, it’s OK; you have a right to be there.
It bothers me when women act weak. Although ... some women over-compensate for the implied vulnerability of our gender by being overly abrasive or tough. But that’s a topic for a different day.
For today, let’s focus on feeling OK about the fact that we live on this planet and to do so, we sometimes need a little bit of room.
(This piece was originally posted at 11.5)