I once told my grandmother that I rarely scream but can always find the words that will truly hurt. It’s a flaw I’m trying to fix, trust me. When I make that snide comment is when I want to push the reset button. I want to get back to the factory setting where the cynicism is less blatant and patience is more present. But reality bites and here we are. I’m just trying to be better.
As I grow older though, the less I want to apologize. Of course I feel guilty when the conscience kicks in. I don’t have the right to hurt people’s feelings. It’s immature and inconsiderate but the snark is part of who I am. As Carrie Bradshaw would say, there is the time when you don’t shut the fuck up (context: season 6, she gives Berger constructive criticism about the scrunchy). The ability to speak up is useful when standing up for what you believe in and is part of being comfortable in your own skin. When you don’t suffer fools. I’ll just learn when to keep it to myself and to know the distinction between wit and negativity. Afterall, it is not my job to enlighten the whole room, I’ll leave that to Gwyneth Paltrow.
I find there are so many words that are used to define assertive women who are not afraid to tell it like it is when the occasion calls for it. Hint: it starts with a B and rhymes with witch. Obviously there are negative connotations associated with it like being a nag, bossy and unladylike. There are also ways to own it like being capable, decisive and goal-oriented. How many B words describe men who behave in a similar way? Bold, brash, beautiful, brave even when they are deserving of the description of bully. Perhaps it’s because they don’t make excuses and their socially constructed gender gives them more leeway to go after what they want.
Earlier this year Hillary Clinton mused on her experience with youth and gender: “and it’s always surprising to me how many young women think they have to be perfect,” Clinton said. “I rarely meet a young man who doesn’t think he already is.”
Hell, if appearing to be perfect and leveraging my abilities and intelligence allows me to win, I’m all in. Is that what it takes? No apologies.