At the Out of the Binders Symposium (known on Twitter as #BinderCon) this weekend in downtown Manhattan, apologies were in the air. “Sorry!” for stepping on my foot accidentally in the bathroom line. “Sorry!” when I accidentally cut someone off while grabbing a sandwich. “Sorry!” when a presenter realized the room was too packed for folks squeezing in from the hallway. Sorry, sorry, sorry. It seemed everyone was sorry for something. But at a conference for women and gender non-conforming people, I found this less than surprising.
One of the pat pieces of advice often offered to women is to apologize less. Instead of excusing ourselves for bumping into someone, we apologize for taking up any space at all. Instead of standing behind our statements, we apologize for rambling on too long. Instead of stating our feelings, we apologize for hurting someone else’s.
This is madness, and it must be stopped. Right?