Katy-Perry

Photo: courtesy of Universal Music

Concessions to the Patriarchy is a regular feature about the battles, big and small, we women choose not to fight. This installment: apologizing.

We ladies LOVE to apologize. Don’t believe me? Here, let’s do a SUPER SCIENTIFIC survey. Take out your phone and do a cursory scan. I bet you’ve sent/received the following texts to/from your girlfriends: “I’m so, so, so sorry, but …” “I really hope you’re not mad, but …” “Please don’t be mad at me, but …”

Yup! We’re all living in fear of RUINING EACH OTHER’S LIVES by missing brunch.

More problematically, we apologize for things we really, really shouldn’t be sorry for. Like, having opinions.

A couple weeks ago, Katy Perry sent this incredibly innocuous tweet about a song she heard:

Now, I think we can all safely agree that on the Inflammatory Tweet Scale (not a thing), this ranks pretty low. My other gig is as a music journo and, let me tell you, I’ve signed my name to much worse.

Here’s what the writer of said song, 17-year-old rapper Chief Keef, tweeted:

You know, how normal people respond to (extremely minor) criticism.

That delightfully misogynistic bon mot was followed up in quick succession with:

And …

Perry responded, well, like a woman. In a hyper-apologetic three-parter, no less.

Oh for fucks.

A dude spews gross, misogynistic vitriol at a woman and SHE APOLOGIZES. It kills me. But it sure as shit doesn’t surprise me. Perry shouldn’t have apologized — she had absolutely no reason to — but I completely understand why she did.

On one level, it could be simply that Katy Perry’s a nice girl and that’s just what nice girls do; remember, it’s of utmost importance that she appear ‘classy,’ even if that means apologizing for huwting the feefees of an angry child with a criminal record.

On another level, it’s entirely possible she felt threatened. As easy as it is to make fun of douchebags being douchebags, his tweets were violent and aggressive (see also: criminal record).

It’s likely she REALLY didn’t want to get into it with him, so she defused a potentially escalating situation the same way so many of us were taught: she played nice. (Of course, the Internet seems fixated on her pot/kettle criticism of his song; after all, she herself has written songs about partying so therefore her opinion is invalid. Also: she’s a stupid bitch for apologizing, so.)

This acceptance of blame makes me sad. So, too, does the chronic qualifying language many of us, myself included, are guilty of using. “I’m so sorry to bother you …” “If it’s not too much trouble …” “I hate asking this, but …” “Can I ask a stupid question?” “This probably sounds dumb, but …”

Just as we think we’re ruining the lives of our friends because we broke a plan, we also seem to believe that everything from sending a shitty latte back to asking for a raise is the WORLD’S BIGGEST INCONVENIENCE. We’re fearful to demand ask politely for better because we’re expected to be grateful (and ideally silently so) for the scraps we’re given.

Well, allow me to politely suggest, if it’s not to much to ask, that we all say FUCK THAT. Let’s stop apologizing. We have absolutely nothing to be sorry for.*

*Unless you have something to be legitimately sorry for. Nobody likes an asshole.