Five Things You Should Apologize for if You’re a Woman

1) Raising your hand too much in class.

Feminist writer Lily Myers asked “five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word ‘sorry’.” And why shouldn’t she? There is such thing as a stupid question and the chances that none of the five fit into that category are pretty slim. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance the guy opening up his Lyn’s breakfast sandwich will ask the professor to repeat that last part, especially since he showed up late to class. Again.

2) Taking one slice too many at the GBM.

Lily also didn’t know the requirements for the sociology major because she spent the entire meeting “deciding whether or not she could have another piece of pizza”. “Who cares? It’s just a slice of pizza,” umm, you should care. That girl on board went out of her way to figure out whether we would need two boxes or three (“Don’t guys usually eat more than girls?”), and a serving is technically 1.5 slices but you already kind of had dinner, and formal is next week and you really want to look good in that dress for your date (he’s really cute and a little out of your league) but that guy just got up to get the last slice, his third, so I guess now you’re off the hook. It’s a hard decision to make, but you really should consider how much is at stake.

(Maybe just grab a fruit cup at the cafe downstairs next time.)

3) Drinking too much at the BYO. 

I get it—you’ve had a rough day. Yeah, you asked your boss to meet with you about your research idea for the third time and got turned down, but at least he complimented your necklace at the lab meeting. Sure, you got cat-called twice on the way there, but it’s your fault you dropped the pin a little too far from your actual pick-up location (and you wore those tight leather jeans—maybe you could have listened to your roommate when she said they show off your butt a little too much). And, okay, maybe you want to catch up with the others because you showed up a little late—maybe it took the entire office hour for your TA to get to your question (breakfast-sandwich guy missed a little too much class). But was your question even that important? The whole situation really could have been avoided, so there’s no reason for you to fill your glass to the top.

4) Not drinking enough by the time you get the “wya” text.

I know, it’s midnight and you’re really killing it on this problem set. You spent the past 3 hours researching the answers to all the questions you had on the material (you know, the ones you would have raised your hand to ask but wrote down instead) and now you’re feeling as productive as ever. But it’s Friday night. What’s a cute girl like you doing alone in her dorm, studying, especially while her roommates are all out?

Based on his recent snaps, in about 2.5 hours, that guy you’ve been talking to is probably going to hit you up. You have just enough time to meet up with your friends, take a few shots and send a response that has just enough typos for him to ask you to hang out. Just make sure there aren’t too many typos—he might get worried that he’d be taking advantage of you or something. Balance is key.

The most important part is making sure you’re at the same level.

5) Apologizing too much.

There are a bunch of things women should say sorry for. But don’t forget—you can only apologize so much before it gets annoying.

And after all—in addition to all these things—women also have to empower all other women! A couple of easy ways to do so right off the bat include: growing out your armpit hair, making a bonfire out of your bras and starting a grunge-ey Insta.

(Feminism is in style, in case you’ve been living under a rock.)

Because it’s not like saying “sorry” too much is anything more than a little habit (here’s a WikiHow on breaking habits). It’s not like we’ve been conditioned by our mothers and teachers and girlfriends and classmates to act this way. It’s not like it’s difficult to do all these things and be powerful and successful AND empower other women. We obviously have all the resources and support that we need to do whatever we want, so we should be grateful for what we have—

And apologize when we ask for too much.