The SheHawk: A list of things that women do not have to apologize for


Genevieve Guenther

Cierra Noffke, Staff Writer

For most of history, women were encapsulated in a variety of boxes, and a lot of these boxes were decorative and placed on shelves for admiration. Women themselves have been decorated, infantilized, marginalized and sexualized, usually for the appreciation of men.

Although serious gains continue to improve the world for women, there are still lingering conceptions about what it means to be a woman.

Here is a list, for a friendly reminder, of things women do not have to apologize for:

  1. Basic bodily functions

It continues to appall me that we expect women to have perfectly shaved legs and armpits. Hair is a natural part of life. In fact, the human body is actually covered in hair, and the idea it must be waxed, shaved or lasered away to mold into a societal expectation of beauty is ridiculous.

Also under the umbrella of basic bodily functions are sweating, acne, burping, etc. It is often assumed that women should apologize for these functions or attempt to hide them. These bodily functions are natural and deserve to be recognized as such when applied to women.

  1. Menstruation

This falls under the category of bodily functions, but deserves its own place on this list. The period stigma is still very much prevalent in our current society, as explored in this article by fellow Seahawk staff writer, Veronica Wernicke. Women should not be shamed for a natural and beautiful component of the life cycle and human body.

  1. Their romantic and sexual life

We tend to focus a lot on the romantic relationships of women in a way that we do not with men. Women are criticized for not finding partners and criticized for combing through a variety of partners. The bottom line is that women do not have to feel guilty for their preferences in the world of sex and relationships.

  1. Wearing or not wearing makeup

If a woman chooses to decorate her face and body, that is her prerogative. They do not have to apologize for the amount of makeup they wear. They do not have to apologize for not wearing any makeup at all.

  1. Their emotions

The emotions of women are often dismissed because they are perceived as over-dramatic and, therefore, less relevant. But women do not have to apologize for feeling overwhelmingly sad, anxious, happy or angry.

Emotions are a part of what it means to be human. They are couriers of empathy. They are an intrinsic piece of our nature.

Just because some people feel more strongly than others, it does not mean they are weaker.