The media has been聽all over聽women in the workplace this year. From how we negotiate (or don鈥檛 negotiate, depending on who you ask) to the jobs we choose to how we speak, it seems聽like there are constantly new聽ways we鈥檙e being told to change聽the ways we navigate the corporate world. And to be honest, it鈥檚聽exhausting.聽


That鈥檚 why Just Not Sorry, a new app that underlines (with the dreaded red dots) words like 鈥渏ust鈥 and 鈥渟orry鈥 in women鈥檚 emails and encourages us to delete them, feels like yet another attack. Okay, so maybe that鈥檚 a BIT dramatic, and we do respect a fellow #girlboss鈥檚 tech hustle, but there are way聽better solutions to聽women not being taken seriously at work.

Instead of policing how women speak, how about we try something crazy: accepting that women are socialized to act differently from men in some ways and that聽鈥斅爃ere鈥檚 the key聽鈥斅爐hat鈥檚聽okay. Maybe in the future if we can get things right, all kids聽will be raised the same way so that聽these kinds of differences won鈥檛 show up at work. For now, the best way to show women we鈥檙e valued in the work we do is to accept the聽way聽we do it. And聽that means accepting that the way we communicate聽is valid.


Another thing to think about聽鈥 since when is speaking (or emailing) in a nice, accommodating聽way such a terrible way to do business? Not everyone has to or needs to have聽the mentality that everyone around them is competition we need聽to squash聽to get to the top of the ladder.聽Freelance writer, podcast host and all-around badass feminist聽Ann Friedman wrote an oft-cited column last year titled 鈥淐an we just, like, get over the way women speak?鈥 In it, she interviewed Robin Lakoff, a linguistics specialist.

Here鈥檚 what Robin聽had to say:聽鈥淩ather than being weakeners or signs of fuzziness of mind, as is often said, [words like 鈥榮orry鈥 and 鈥榡ust鈥橾 create cohesion and coherence between what speaker and hearer together need to accomplish 鈥 understanding and sharing.聽This is the major job of an articulate social species. If women use these forms more, it is because we are better at being human.鈥

Hear that, critics? Some people think women聽can be聽better at being human聽when we say 鈥渏ust鈥 and 鈥渟orry.鈥 So next time you鈥檙e beating yourself up about being 鈥渢oo nice鈥 at work, give yourself a break. You鈥檙e doing just fine.

Would you use Just Not Sorry? Tweet us about it @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)