Lena Dunham says it’s time for women to stop saying sorry.
In a new essay for LinkedIn entitled “Sorry, Not Sorry,” the 30-year-old Girls star takes aim at women’s tendencies to say sorry even when situations do not warrant an apology.
“Apologizing is a modern plague and I’d be willing to bet (though I have zero scientific research to back this up) that many women utter ‘I’m sorry’ more on a given day than ‘Thank You’ and ‘You’re Welcome’ combined,” Dunham wrote, adding:
“So many of the women I know apologize like it’s a job they were given by the government (we’ll save the whys of that for a massive sociology text). We rush to say it when we’re interrupted. We scream it across a crowded restaurant when someone else arrives late so we’ve lost our table. We mutter it when a man walks too close to us on the street. As I write this, a Mister Softee truck is singing its grating tune right below my window and I want to run and apologize to the driver for how insane he’s making me.”
The actress credits Beyoncé’s Black Lives Matter-inspired album Lemonade and its song “Sorry” with waking women up to how often they apologize over trivial things.
Dunham says that she became aware of her tendency to over-apologize in the six years since she became a showrunner on HBO’s Girls.
“It’s hard for many of us to own our power, but as a 24-year-old woman (girl, gal, whatever I was) I felt an acute and dangerous mix of total confidence and the worst imposter syndrome imaginable,” she wrote. “I had men more than twice my age for whom I was the final word on the set of Girls, and I had to express my needs and desires clearly to a slew of lawyers, agents and writers. And while my commitment to my work overrode almost any performance anxiety I had, it didn’t override my hardwired instinct to apologize. If I changed my mind, if someone disagreed with me, even if someone else misheard me or made a mistake… I was so, so sorry.”
Dunham added that a challenge from her father ultimately convinced her to attempt to stop apologizing, after which she found out that it is possible to replace constant sorries with “actual expression of your needs and desires.”
“I won’t say my father’s experiment cured me. After all, I’ve been apologizing profusely since 1989 — like pigs in blankets and reading celebrity gossip, it’s not a habit easily broken,” she concluded the essay. “But it illustrated a better way. Something to strive for. When I replaced apologies with more fully formed and honest sentiments, a world of communication possibilities opened up to me. I’m just sorry it took me so long.
Dunham’s essay on apologies comes just a little over a year after a man that the actress falsely accused of rape pleaded with her for an apology for months, but never received one. As Breitbart News previously reported, it took Dunham a full two months to apologize for failing to clarify that the name of the man she accused of raping her in college, “Barry,” was, in fact, a pseudonym.
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