Somewhere in the sometimes eye-roll inducing pop-feminist rhetoric that lives between my ears, there lives a plea for women to stop apologizing all the time. Can’t remember what we’re supposed to say instead: excuse me? You’re in my way? Fuck off?
Saying sorry connotes submission. It perpetuates latent guilt that lingers and makes you seem weak in the workplace. But removal of superfluous sorries is meant to pertain to learnable, earnest mistakes, or when you’ve done nothing wrong at all, or had an opinion for merely existing. Even when used “correctly,” despite its good intentions, sorry can still fall flat on the hearts of those grieving.
Yet the only thing I have to say right now is that I am sorry. I am sorry for the data that exposed a racist-tolerant, homophobic-tolerant, xenophobic-tolerant and sexist-tolerant America. I am sorry that there are Americans so frustrated with the state of our country and political policies that they made history with those numbers. I am sorry that they felt like they couldn’t say these things earlier — that someone had to speak their mind for them. I am sorry that people did not vote as a way to protest both candidates because they felt conflicted.
I am sorry for every person who identifies as a minority, who feels more alone in this country than they have ever felt before. I am sorry for those who didn’t feel like a minority at all until this morning. I’m sorry for the generations below us and the ones above us. I am sorry for my mother.
Something that we as women are supposed to say is that “it’s going to be okay.” You can add “honey” if you’re feeling especially maternal. We are going to be okay, for every reason Leandra already said. We can handle four years, and we can use that time to get involved, take action and make important changes. We are resilient. We have to be. But right now, at least this morning, it is also okay to not be great. To mourn, to press mute. To be sorry.
And then tomorrow: a new day.
Photo by Verena von Pfetten via Instagram