Backlash

An unapologetic takedown of the “Just Not Sorry” app

The app was designed to help women be less apologetic.

Last week, Women in the World noted the newly launched “Just Not Sorry” extension for Google Chrome, designed to help women be less apologetic and “avoid undermining themselves” in email. The extension promised users help to avoid words and phrases such as “sorry,” “I’m no expert,” “actually,” and “just.”

A backlash was inevitable. In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Lenny-editor Jessica Grose criticized the app for being patronizing and argued that what we need is not email extensions, but people to stop picking apart the ways in which women choose to communicate. She wrote that communication is “a complicated dance between speaker and listener, writer and reader” and that “in the realpolitik of the workplace” some of those apologetic qualifiers are actually incredibly useful. “My fervent hope for 2016 is that there are fewer articles and tech hacks preaching at women — particularly young women — about how they should be speaking, writing and presenting themselves to the world.” Grose writes. “Maybe if their communications weren’t constantly picked apart, even by well-meaning observers, they’d have more of the deeply felt confidence they need to succeed.” Women’s tech initiative Gadgette echoed Grose’s opinion, tweeting that despite the app’s good intentions “we don’t think women’s voices need any more policing.”

Read the full story at The Independent and The Washington Post.

Related:

New Chrome apps help women avoid “sorry” in emails

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