Date: December 16, 2017 01:10PM
I agree that gossip is everywhere there is a tight group. It is our nature. It is also the source of much power for women, as I recently learned in the book, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, by feminist Phyllis Chesler. Comments from this site are below.https://www.amazon.com/Womans-Inhumanity-Woman-Phyllis-Chesler/product-reviews/1556529465/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_paging_btm_3?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&pageNumber=3
“Man’s inhumanity to man”--the phrase is all too familiar. But until Phyllis Chesler's now-classic book, a profound silence prevailed about woman’s inhumanity to woman. Women's aggression may not take the same form as men's, but girls and women are indeed aggressive, often indirectly and mainly toward one another. They judge harshly, hold grudges, gossip, exclude, and disconnect from other women.
Second Wave feminists have for 30-plus years operated under the assumption that sisterhood is powerful. Indeed, women acting in concert have forced society to redefine gender, domestic relations, and the workplace. Still, despite huge gains in public visibility, female ascendance has been hampered by a rarely acknowledged reality: women often betray, hurt, and humiliate one another. Mothers stymie daughters, biological sisters compete, girlfriends gossip maliciously, and women bosses exert arbitrary and capricious authority. Chesler (Women and Madness, etc.) has been studying this phenomenon for 21 years, and her research is fascinating, resonant, and unsettling. While the book focuses on psychological rather than political factors and pays too little attention to race and class, it is nonetheless a groundbreaking look at how women perpetuate oppression. Anthropological, biological, literary, and sociological theories are also tapped, giving the book added heft. Although the text is somewhat repetitious and self-congratulatory, it is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries. Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, NY
She wrote in her Introduction to the 2003 edition of this book, “a long time ago, I believed that all women were kind, caring, maternal, valiant, and ever-noble under siege---and that all men were their oppressors. As everyone but a handful of idealistic feminists knew, this was not always true… like men, women are really human beings, as close to the apes as to the angels, capable of both cruelty and compassion, envy and generosity, competition and cooperation… Psychologically, seemingly contradictory things can be true. Women compete mainly against other women and women mainly rely upon other women; women envy and sabotage each other through slander, gossip, and shunning, and women also want other women’s respect and support… In addition, women, like men, have internalized sexist beliefs… We tend not to forgive women when they fail us. We tend to have more compassion for male failure or imperfection. I know this now but… I clung to my original view of women as perfect victims. Why? Because women are both oppressed and maligned and I did not want to expose us to any further harm. Because it was---and still is---problematic, even dangerous, to challenge the politically correct feminist view of women as morally superior…”