Women are expected to be these delicate little things, that never curse, that never seem “masculine,” that hate football and video games and love gossiping and doing their makeup, hair and nails on end. We are expected to have dinner on the table for the big, strong man in our life. Women can’t drive. Women can’t understand cars. Women should dress to impress men. Women should be obedient. Women should this, women should that. The only thing women need to apologize for is being something they aren’t. They never ever ever have to be sorry for being them.
Being a total bad ass.
Wonder Woman (GREAT MOVIE 12/10 would recommend) was such a controversial movie because we had this woman at the center of a movie and she didn’t need no man to take care of her. This woman owned that movie. Be the woman who owns her own life. You don’t need a man. Be your total bad ass woman, be a Mulan instead of a Cinderella. No shade, but Mulan saved China at 16 and Cinderella went to a ball and married a prince. You gotta be your own Mulan, save your own China. Own that life. Be a bad ass. You should never feel bad for being a strong woman. You should never apologize for wanting to take care of yourself, fighting your own battles, and loving yourself more than a man/woman could. Be yourself, and be as bad ass as you want. You own your life, and you can fight your battles. Women are impossibly, amazingly strong, and they should never apologize for being bad ass.
Loving their body.
You don’t need to apologize for your body shape, for the way you dress, for anything. That is your body, you can own it. If you want to wear crop tops and spandex even if others think you “don’t have the body for it” love your body and wear what makes you happy. If you only want to wear sundresses and skirts even during the snowy season (which is pretty long in Indiana) wear those. If you are bringing back mom jeans and turtlenecks, own it. Be as bad ass about your clothes as you want. If you would rather sit in sweatpants than slip in six inch heels, do it. If you wanna show skin, show it. Loving your body means that you should dress the way you want, flaunt it the way you want. Do not let others define your body ’cause girl you are beautiful. I get a lot of smack about the way I dress, because I love short shorts and short skirts, and tight tanktops, and high boots. They can say what they want about the way I dress, but that’s not gonna affect my life in anyway. I’m going to wear what I want because I own my body and I am going to dress like I love it.
Being in charge
Like I said above, women are bad ass. But for some reason, women in power scare society. Take charge, own that shit. Girl you deserve that promotion, that management position, anything you want. Climb the corporate ladder. Break the glass ceiling. Women do not need to apologize for being the boss, owning their own company, getting promoted over a man. We are not here to serve men, but rather to own life, and to be the proud leader you are. You don’t have to apologize for being in charge, for having your shit together.
(Not) Wearing makeup
You don’t have to wear makeup. You don’t have to go bare faced. You definitely don’t have to apologize for living life the way you want. Understand that just because a man said he likes “a natural look” you don’t have to give up all the glitz and glamour of makeup. And just because a man said that “makeup is false advertisement,” you don’t have to give up your cateye. May your wings always be as sharp as the comments people make about makeup. But don’t forget if you do wear makeup to wash your face, and save your skin. But on the other hand a fresh face is never something to apologize for. If you don’t have the time, patience, or desire to draw lines on your eyes, contour your cheekbones, or spread lipstick over your lips, we love that too. Just because every time I don’t wear makeup people tell me I look tired doesn’t mean you can’t rock your natural beauty. There is such a negative stigma around wearing makeup, and not wearing makeup that the easiest solution is to wear makeup that looks like you aren’t wearing makeup.
Asking for help.
Women don’t always ask for help because we are already seen as the weaker sex in so many ways. We are seen as delicate little flowers that need protection from a man. And obviously Disney movies don’t help in changing this image (ok, some do but c’mon Cinderella? Moana? Even Moana used a man to cross the ocean.) But we need help sometimes, any one does. I know so many women who don’t want to ask for help because of this image women have of being incapable of doing anything that requires any semblance of strength. Asking for help doesn’t mean we are the fairer sex, or we are incapable of anything, it just means that we are human and humans need help.We shouldn’t have to apologize for not being totally invincible, because trust me if we were, we wouldn’t need help, and we would be taking a lot more risks than I think anyone is right now anyways.
Crying. OK personally I hate crying in public. And I apologize every time I cry over something dumb, which knowing me is a lot, I’m kind of emotional over super dumb things. But I also know crying is often involuntary. If you apologized for every involuntary action you would be apologizing for every heartbeat, every breath you take, and every single time you blink. Personally that would get annoying. In my case, if you added that to how often I already say sorry, I would be saying sorry more than doing anything else. I also know that crying is actually super good for you. Studies have shown that crying releases tension and stress, and may result in a calmer life. So maybe watching the Notebook is the solution to everything. I’m not saying sobbing on the subway in New York or the floor at your office is your best solution, but a little bit of crying here and there will save a lot of energy, time, and anger in the long run.
Putting themselves first.
Women do not always need to put others first. Raise your hand if you are expected to put your man’s career before your own. Raise your hand if someone has told you to raise a family instead of getting a good paying job that requires an education. Raise your hand if someone has told you that if you don’t need to this because someone else can do it for you. Or because having an education isn’t something a women needs. Raise your hand if someone has talked to you like it’s still the 1950s and you can’t vote and you should have a hot meal on the table for your husband because he’s the one who works. Listen, if the life for you is staying at home and raising a family, don’t apologize for that, and certainly don’t think that I am knocking that lifestyle.
Simply remember, if you are going to be a stay-at-home mom do it for you, not because someone told you to. My mom was one of the best damn stay-at-home moms you will ever meet, and she was always there for us, but you best believe she never wanted to apologize for doing it because no one ever told her she had to. And if you want a career, don’t apologize for going to school, getting an education, and earning a place above the glass ceiling. My career and my education come before anyone else. I will gladly skip something for someone else to get an A on a test. There’s got to be a balance between trying to please other people all the time and apologizing for every single action, and taking charge and getting a life and loving the life you have. I’m not knocking any lifestyle, except the lifestyle that makes you unhappy.
Not talking to a man.
Ok not all men are terrible, I do know a few who are fantastic. But I work in a gym, and I have met my fair share of creeps. Some of them are 40 years old and inviting me to their house (I really wish I was kidding, for reference I am just now 19), or 60 and may or may not have taken pictures of me. Some of them are young, and even though all my nametag says is Alex, they find my Instagram. I live in a big city, that takes a lot of dedication to go through every Alex on Instagram to find mine with a picture that isn’t 100% guaranteed to be me. You don’t have to talk to any man that comes up to you. Men can be total creeps, and if you ever work in customer service, you know that what you thought was bad can only get worse, because you have to be nice to all of them even the ones who seem to be totally terrible people. You don’t have to apologize for keeping to yourself, for ignoring texts and DMs, and for ignoring every single cat call. You don’t have to apologize for any of that.*PSA this applies to creepy women too, of course, it’s just usually men!
Being a feminist.
We all know what happens when you tell someone who doesn’t understand feminism that you are a feminist. For one, they usually assume that means radical feminism which scares a lot of people (including me, but girl you do you). Or they assume that means you believe women are better than men. Which isn’t what feminism means. They assume that because men don’t feel as though they can wear makeup or dresses, women shouldn’t be able to receive the same amount of money as a man.
I am a white woman so I don’t understand the further pain of women of color, but feminism simply just says all men and all women should be equal. No one should apologize for wanting equality. No one should apologize for wanting to get rid of this ridiculous pink tax. No one should apologize for expecting women and men to be equal since we have been making so much progress in that way anyways, that making everything completely equal should make sense. NO woman, man, or child should apologize for expecting something so basic, ever. That’s like apologizing for needing food.
Breaking Gender Norms
There is no reason to apologize for breaking gender norms. Women are expected to dress feminine (or at least that seems to be the generalized opinion), but if you never want to wear a dress don’t. If you want to wear a tux to prom, go ahead. If you would rather be in anything but a skirt, rock what you wear. I am not going to criticize what you wear because it isn’t something “a girl should wear.” If you want to shave your hair and have a buzz cut do it. If you want to have this very “masculine” look to your style, do it. Don’t apologize for it because it doesn’t meet people’s shallow expectations. Just rock it. Wear what you want with confidence.
What do you think women should never be sorry for? Tell us in the comments!
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Mia originally lived in Salt Lake City with her two dads and two dogs until she moved away for college. She is currently attending Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado and is studying English with a minor in Business. Someday she hopes to move to a big city to write about all of the light and people.