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For International Women’s Day, Freeform Isn’t Letting Female Characters Apologize for Nothing


To celebrate International Women’s Day, the cable channel Freeform is censoring out every utterance of the words “I’m sorry” from a  female character.

A lot of attention has been focused lately on the female apology epidemic. And while personally, I’m in the camp of believing that men, in general, could learn to apologize more often for offensive behavior, that’s not actually how women frequently use the words. It’s all too apparent in Freeform’s video above that rather than saying “I’m sorry” to offer a genuine apology for some wrong that’s been done, it’s used to couch women expressing an emotion or as a marker for sarcasm. Oftentimes we say I’m sorry when what we really mean is Thank you. How many times has someone bumped into you and an “I’m sorry” slipped from your lips? Why do we apologize when what we mean is “please apologize to me”?

The not-sorry “sorry” is a tough habit to break. (Hell, it even sneaked its way into one of our headlines today.) And sure, sometimes, like when used in sarcasm, it’s a deliberate choice to highlight just how not sorry you might be. But aren’t there far stronger insults we could whip out than an apology?

For many of us, we’re not even conscious of how often we utter the words. I’m sure I wouldn’t have caught every instance of it in that video above if they hadn’t been bleeped out. Freeform will be doing their apology censoring all day, from 11am to 11pm Eastern, as well as keeping track of its usage. They’re estimating about 50 sorries will be said. I’m not sorry for thinking that’s far too many.

(image: YouTube)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.