I wake up in the morning and as I brush my teeth and comb my hair and run around to start my day I accidentally walk into the kitchen table and I turn around and I say sorry. And I know that the table doesn’t care but maybe the girl I rub elbows with in the hallway at the office cares. And we are each headed on a collision course towards one another as we stare down at the feet of the men who tower above us and when we collide into one another’s fragile bodies we each say… sorry. The day continues and every day is different but one thing always remains the same and it’s the constant apology that escapes from my lips, like water boiling over in a pot, a reflex I just can’t control. Mom and dad were the first words I spoke but sorry must have been the third. Somehow, I learned my validation comes from others approval and I must justify every decision I make with a word that strips me of my power and of my ability to choose, but where were the men when I learned this lesson? Did they all call in sick to school that day? At work, I DREAM of saying “Sir I am so sorry for bothering you and I am sorry if I come across as a bitch but I won’t continue to accept my pay to be any less than that of a man’s”. But who are we kidding, sorry if I fooled you there but even that is too much. Because for me to say that would be going against years of what I had been taught to do, you know Sleeping Beauty would not have asked for a raise but Maleficent, Maleficent just might have, and if you saw that movie you’d know her sorry ass would have paid for it. instead I said, “sir sorry for wearing this shirt today, I didn’t realize it would be a distraction”. Sorry for laughing too loud, sorry for answering the question wrong, sorry I wasted your time and applied for that job I just knew I wasn’t qualified for. Sorry for wearing too much makeup, sorry for not putting any on, sorry for ignoring your booty call, sorry for not wanting to hold your hand, sorry for asking you to wear a condom, sorry for not shaving my legs and sorry about my very hairy vagina. And as my day progresses my sorrys turn to my sorrows as I climb in bed and lay on my back and wonder if I even have a backbone anymore and I am SO SO SORRY THAT MY TIGHT SKIRT HAS TURNED YOU ON, and I know this is crazy and a simple NO should do but I come from a society that has taught me to turn my opinions off and self-worth is a concept so foreign to me that I can hear the words come of my mouth on auto pilot as if I were coached by the generations of women before me who were taught to accept that their only role in life was to please a man… I AM SORRY but I do not WANT to have sex tonight. And it’s not until he says to me “you’d be easier if you were drunk” that tears slide down my face and as I watch him roll his eyes I am finally able to stop myself from apologizing for my thoughts and my feelings and my emotions. And I say nothing… and I get up and leave. The silence where my sorry one was is filled with cheers from generations yet to come that will one day live in a world where their mere existence of being born a woman will not require a sorry.
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