The Issue with Apologies

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Sylvia Pankhurst
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The Issue with Apologies

Post by Sylvia Pankhurst »

This post is the amalgamation of several posts I made on discord earlier.

Repeatedly, after causing harm to others in the community, qb men have decided to make a pages-long forums post to explain away their misconduct by walking the community through their thoughts and feelings; why they did what they did. In the hopes of nipping tendency in the bud, I wanted to talk about the harm that those apologies perpetuate.

First and foremost: 90% of what is included in any of those posts do not matter. The explanation for those thoughts is useless, it's a virtue signaling paragraph that attempts to paint the harmful actor in the best light. This is the only part of the post that matters: You thought you were doing right, you were wrong. All that’s left is to apologize and actually commit to breaking down the implicit biases that lead you to commit whatever misconduct was done.

i have no interest in reading long apologetic rants from men who have misbehaved. Your thought process does not matter to me. Why you did what you did does not matter. You caused harm, you should apologize and reflect internally, not externally. Save those thoughts for your therapist and work through why you caused the harm you caused in a place where that's actually appropriate, it has no place in an apology. That's called an excuse, not an explanation.

In qb, as in the world, the thoughts and feelings of men have ALWAYS been prioritized over the thoughts and feelings of the women they hurt, that is part of the problem. Thinking that anyone wants to read that many words about why your actions felt right at the time is part of the problem. When you’re writing one of those long rants, think about who you’re talking over. Does your apology actually help the conversation? Or are you still centering yourself and your own experiences over those of the people you’ve harmed? If the conversation would not benefit from your voice, maybe it’s time to sit down and let others have the space to talk.

Cut the shit, men of qb. Stop virtue signaling and finally listen to what we’ve been screaming for years.
Lauren Onel
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UC Lab 2016
Kenyon 2020
UChicago 2022 (likely)

WINNER -- 2017 ILQBM MEME OF THE YEAR
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Perturbed Secretary Bird
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Re: The Issue with Apologies

Post by Perturbed Secretary Bird »

Thanks for posting this, Lauren. I've definitely considered doing the same but not getting the momentum to follow through. I also wanted to add that the wants and needs of the person who was harmed should always take precedence- maybe they do want a long public apology on the forums, maybe they don't. Here is an affirmative guide of suggestions of what to do when apologizing. It's one guide/POV, and I'm not trying to position myself as an authority on apologies or communication because lord knows I make many mistakes too, just as we all do. I wanted to put it out there to give people a small starting point.
https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/maki ... ve_apology
Athena Kern
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Washington University in St. Louis, MSW '19-'21
University of Chicago Class of '18, Team VP '15-'17
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