If there’s one thing influential women like Natalie Barr, Sarah Harris, Melissa Doyle and more can agree on, it’s this: women need to stop saying sorry.
As trailblazing Australian women gathered for The Australian Women’s Weekly’s Women of the Future Awards on Wednesday, many of the most recognisable guests said women need to stop apologising for simply “existing”.
When asked what she thinks women need to stop saying, Sunrise host Natalie Barr says it has to be ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I just got lucky’.
“We’re apologists, we don’t want to make a fuss and we want to apologise all the time,” Nat tells Now To Love exclusively.
“I don’t think we want to blame men for any of that, we want to blame ourselves. I think it’s our own fault a lot of the time, we need to change our language .”
Studio 10’s Sarah Harris agrees that women need to stop saying “so many things” but chose ‘I’m sorry’ as the worst offender.
“To narrow it down, ‘I’m sorry’. We have to stop apologising for speaking, for putting our point of view forward, for existing,” she says.
WATCH: Mel Doyle attends the 2021 WOTF Awards with her daughter. Story continues after the video…
Natarsha Belling felt the same, as did Melissa Doyle, who was at the WOTF event with her lookalike daughter Natalia Dunlop.
“I feel like it’s such a default to apologise if we ask for something, to apologise if we expect something and we shouldn’t. We should just go for it,” she explains.
For decades women have been apologising for everything from sharing ides in the workplace, to expecting certain standards from romantic partner and speaking out against harassment.
They apologise for asserting themselves, for taking up space, for making basic requests of the people around them.
As Dame Quentin Bryce says, “We go ‘oh I’m sorry’, being apologetic for stepping in, or stepping out or doing something that we think wasn’t just perfectly done.”
And studies show that women apologise more than men, with one from the University of Waterloo, Canada suggesting it’s because women have a lower threshold than men for what they consider offensive.
But as stars like Nat, Sarah, Mel and more say, it’s time to stop apologising and start asserting ourselves.
“We’ve got to stop doing that [apologising] and just be,” Sarah says, and aren’t those words to live by.