Why Are Women So Quick To Apologize (When They Haven't Done Anything Wrong)?

Photo: Tony Rivetti/Freeform.
As the resident TV writer here at Refinery29, my friends usually text me with their biggest television complaints. That’s why one of my fellow Teen Show-loving friends and I talked about the emotional roller coaster that is Famous In Love for about 24 hours. My friend pointed out how lead character Paige Townsen is sorry for well, everything, from her BFF Cassie’s personal decision to work as a topless maid to her dad’s poorly-placed disappointment in his daughter’s acting success. Then I remembered the most blatant, terrible example of this: Rainer Devon’s awful branding necklaces and the subsequent apology for them.
In "Prelude To A Diss," Rainer (Carter Jenkins) attempts to give Paige (Bella Throne) the gift of the century with a surprise "P" necklace to prove his genuine affection for her. "I thought you could wear it on our first date. That was me asking you out," Rainer says with all the hope in the world in his eyes. Unfortunately, the Hollywood heartthrob has given almost identical pieces of jewelry to his famous former flames, which everyone knows, thanks to gossip magazines. For this reason, Paige throws the bling box back at Rainer like they’re playing the world’s most expensive game of Hot Potato.
Paige later complains to Cassie (Georgie Flores) about Rainer’s uncomfortably impersonal gift. "He gave me the necklace," she sighs. "He gave me the ‘P’ and I gave it right back, just like Selena [Gomez, probably] got an ‘S’ and Tangey got a 'T.' And I guess I’m just the next letter in line." Although Rainer later explains to Jordan (Keith Powers) he didn’t know the necklace gift is his "thing," the actor’s behavior still left Paige feeling uncomfortable at her job. Not only is Rainer the most high-profile star on set, his mother Nina (Perrey Reeves) is also the top producer.
That gives Rainer a level of power that puts complete newcomer Paige at a disadvantage — especially when he’s pursuing her sexually or romantically.
That why it’s so good the movie exec’s son decides to offer up a mea culpa the moment he realizes he was a tool to Paige and probably committed sexual harassment. "I want to apologize," he stutters, having never said those words prior. Before he can continue his very necessary statement, Paige cuts him off. "No, I’m sorry if I said anything that sounded rude," she says, ready to carry on with her apology. Thankfully, Rainer cuts off his co-star before she literally rakes herself over coals just for turning down his inappropriate date.
I wish this was just a Paige problem, but it’s a problem for women everywhere. As we’ve noted before, women feel the need to apologize for everything, whether they’re taking time for themselves to get ready or accidentally getting shoved by a man on the street. In January 2016, one R29 staffer apologized a staggering 47 times in one day. Paige’s apology for being sexually harassed is only the most recent egregious instance of this unnecessary sexist tick.
We all deserve to treat ourselves better — and Paige deserves a better necklace too.
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