The truth is I'm deeply self-loathing and guilt-ridden. But I am rarely sorry for anything. When I dig deep, I discover that any impulse I have to say "sorry" is just an impulse to placate someone else for no real reason, and not because I did something wrong and need to take responsibility. (Which, by the way, I have no problem doing when the occasion actually calls for it).
Today in Salon, the ever-incisive Amanda Marcotte pointed out something interesting that's caused me to modify my view a bit. She was reviewing Fox News' coverage of a new app called "Just Not Sorry," which is a Gmail plug-in that edits your lady-emails for words like "just" and "sorry" that convey a "lack of confidence." Here's Marcotte's point:
It’s easy to see why so many women fall for claims that you can manipulate people into taking you more seriously by eliminating the word “sorry” from your vocabulary . . . . but the sad fact of the matter is other people’s sexism is outside of your control. This is especially obvious when it comes to the issue of women and language. Because, the fact of the matter is there is no “right” way for women to talk or write that will prevent other people from using it as an excuse to argue she should be silent instead. If you use “soft” language, you are called weak, for sure. But use “strong” language, and you will be called a bitch. The game is rigged.I think she's right, but that doesn't mean I couldn't use the "Just Not Sorry" app, or one like it. However, my version of this app would be called "Motherfucker Cocksucker Douchebag Fuckstick Shitstain Asshole!!!!"
See, my world can sometimes get adversarial, and I often find myself needing to edit out the non-lady-like curse words that appear unbidden in my lady-emails and all of the exclamation points that follow.
So although I can't manipulate anyone into taking me seriously, perhaps I can manipulate them into thinking that I'm not actually a foul-mouthed rage packet hell-bent on verbally castrating people who piss me off in writing.