Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

I asked women to tell me about a time a man apologised to them. Genuinely, taking responsibility for his actions/words, acknowledging damage done.



I received one story about an apology followed by remedying the situation. Another spoke about apologies becoming excuses to turn the blame onto her. One spoke of a true apology that nevertheless saw a repeat of the bad behaviour later, followed by more apologies. One said she couldn’t remember but she was sure she knew some men. If it’s so hard to think of a case, doesn’t it mean it’s too few and too little?

I received a lot of responses from women saying they had NEVER received an apology from a man and did not believe them capable of it. Which is what I want to focus on because that is the majority.

When I watched the film Thappad, I kept thinking “He didn’t apologise.” Not once. Yes, he’s a nice guy. Yes, he doesn’t do this all the time. But he did it that once and he never apologized. Everybody around colludes in ensuring he never has to. So the victim has no choice but to resort to the extreme of divorce.

Was it too much? Perhaps. Who is to blame? The person taking the action? Everyone who left them no choice? Or the person who created the issue in the first place who has still not taken action?

You cannot grant forgiveness to someone who isn’t sorry. And when forgiveness is demanded, it makes it hard to feel even empathy. An insult becomes exploitation.

Ever heard “Angrez chale gaye, sorry chod gaye”? Notice how it’s only used when uppercaste, wealthy men are called to account? Sorry is just a word in one language. But taking responsibility for oneself is universal to the act of being human.

We need to normalise men saying sorry. So many women lace their speech with “Sorry but…” apologising for existing, that it is a trope now. And so few men have apologised in their lives that most women can’t even remember a single instance. How is love, trust or respect to happen without it?

The test of a man is his willingness to take responsibility especially in a world that tells him he doesn’t have to.

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SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD I asked women to tell me about a time a man apologised to them. Genuinely, taking responsibility for his actions/words, acknowledging damage done. I received one story about an apology followed by remedying the situation. Another spoke about apologies becoming excuses to turn the blame onto her. One spoke of a true apology that nevertheless saw a repeat of the bad behaviour later, followed by more apologies. One said she couldn't remember but she was sure she knew some men. If it's so hard to think of a case, doesn't it mean it's too few and too little? I received a lot of responses from women saying they had NEVER received an apology from a man and did not believe them capable of it. Which is what I want to focus on because that is the majority. When I watched the film Thappad, I kept thinking "He didn't apologise." Not once. Yes, he's a nice guy. Yes, he doesn't do this all the time. But he did it that once and he never apologized. Everybody around colludes in ensuring he never has to. So the victim has no choice but to resort to the extreme of divorce. Was it too much? Perhaps. Who is to blame? The person taking the action? Everyone who left them no choice? Or the person who created the issue in the first place who has still not taken action? You cannot grant forgiveness to someone who isn't sorry. And when forgiveness is demanded, it makes it hard to feel even empathy. An insult becomes exploitation. Ever heard "Angrez chale gaye, sorry chod gaye"? Notice how it's only used when uppercaste, wealthy men are called to account? Sorry is just a word in one language. But taking responsibility for oneself is universal to the act of being human. We need to normalise men saying sorry. So many women lace their speech with "Sorry but…" apologising for existing, that it is a trope now. And so few men have apologised in their lives that most women can't even remember a single instance. How is love, trust or respect to happen without it? The test of a man is his willingness to take responsibility especially in a world that tells him he doesn't have to. 🎶: SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD: Elton John #theideasmithy

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on July 28, 2020, in Battle of the sexes, Men, men, men and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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