Not sorry for ‘sorry’

We’ve been following CocoaWoman, Carla D. Martin (@carladmartin), since she took the Re;Co stage this past April. She is founder and executive director of an organization focused on identifying, developing, and promoting fine cacao and chocolate. She’s also an anthropologist and lecturer at Harvard. She tweets about food, food systems, feminism and all kinds of intersections — and here is one such tweet that grabbed our attention:


Debbie Cameron is a linguist and in her post discusses “I’m sorry”. She points out that women have been named and shamed as over-apologizers. She’s also points out that making women wrong or deficient in some way — whether it’s their speech, dress, mannerisms, looks, etc. — is a business. Most importantly, she challenges the idea that apologizing is somehow bad.

Cameron argues it’s simply a different style that may, among other things, “…be seen as a form of emotional labour, part of the work of managing your own and others’ feelings’.” She doesn’t tie the subject up neatly with a bow, so it’s worth a full read, but we’re struck by the connection to emotional labor.

Lena Solow had a beautiful post on Facebook recently about emotional labor and how it is the responsibility of all. And, that it’s something that has to be actively pursued. It was a brilliant call to action…so to the extent there is a connection between ‘sorry’ and emotional labor, we’re not ready to abandon this affectation just yet. Sorry.


Laila & Tracy

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