Women of the world: Stop apologizing so much, urges Alison Fairbrother at Politics Daily. Women tend to apologize more than men, and for far
more trivial transgressions, Fairbrother observes. She spent a week
tabulating her apologies, for bumping into someone, for not buying paper
towels, for her wireless cutting out during a gchat. "The average
person asks for forgiveness four times a week. I do it about five times
per day, mainly because I am one of those super-polite types, forever
trying to smooth things over with my extreme graciousness," she
writes. Does this constant apologizing make women seem weak?
When men do apologize, they often don't know why—they just want to "end the drama." Women shouldn't have to change their behavior to fit in at male-dominated offices, Fairbrother says. "But it seems that if many men are issuing apologies without understanding why, and women are both issuing and demanding apologies with greater frequency, there is an obvious misalignment. This can be dangerous, particularly because of the power relations involved in being the apologizer versus the aggrieved." (This was on full, weird display last week, after Clarence Thomas's wife Virginia called Anita Hill to ask Hill to apologize for testifying before Congress that the soon-to-be Supreme Court justice sexually harassed her.) Basically, the powerless always end up apologizing to the powerful.