Lena Dunham penned an impassioned plea for women to stop saying sorry and apologizing for their existence in a new post on LinkedIn called "Sorry Not Sorry." The Lenny Letter creator cites Beyoncé's "Lemonade" as well as a challenge from her father as the reasons she began eliminating apologies from her vocabulary.
"Apologizing is a modern plague and I'd be willing to bet (though I have zero scientific research to back this up) that many women utter 'I'm sorry' more on a given day than 'Thank You"' and 'You're Welcome' combined," Dunham wrote. "So many of the women I know apologize like it’s a job they were given by the government (we'll save the whys of that for a massive sociology text)."
The 30-year-old creator of "Girls" writes that working on the HBO show made her acutely aware of her tendency to apologize, despite the fact she had the final say on all major decisions.
"It's hard for many of us to own our power, but as a 24-year-old woman (girl, gal, whatever I was) I felt an acute and dangerous mix of total confidence and the worst imposter syndrome imaginable," Dunham said. "I had men more than twice my age for whom I was the final word on the set of 'Girls,' and I had to express my needs and desires clearly to a slew of lawyers, agents and writers. And while my commitment to my work overrode almost any performance anxiety I had, it didn't override my hardwired instinct to apologize."
When Dunham's father told her to stop apologizing, the actress said that something astonishing happened when she substituted the word "sorry" with something else. Dunham discovered that by not saying sorry, one is able to voice "an actual expression of your needs and desires."
Comedian Amy Schumer tackled the epidemic of women apologizing in a hilarious, but serious sketch for her Comedy Central show in 2015. The "Inside Amy Schumer" bit shows a panel of female innovators -- among them a scientist, Nobel Prize winner, Pulitzer Prize winner and an inventor -- who can't help but apologize for everything that happens during the talk.
As HuffPost's own Emma Gray wrote, "The sketch is funny -- this is national treasure Amy Schumer we’re talking about -- but 'I’m Sorry' is more sobering commentary on the ways in which women are taught to constantly apologize than it is laugh-out-loud comedy. It’s slightly uncomfortable to watch, because it feels too familiar. For many women, our default is to apologize without even realizing it."
To read more of Dunham's post, head here.