" Often A Malicious Mind ", Our Slow Slide Backward, Or, Gossip And Other Female Weaponry

JPK Huson 1863

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#1
gossip painting crop.jpg

Post war by less than a decade, this 1873 painting by ( Bodini? ) may seem charming but should make your skin crawl. Title a giveaway, " Gossips ". Someone is being torn to shreds, only difference between then and now is we had to be in the same room. Paintings of we girls busy slandering each other while hunched over keyboards would be less picturesque, don't you think?

So we've been at this for awhile. It's a little disappointing. Ok, a LOT disappointing that we girls can't manage to not only get along but be supportive of each other. Our common experiences seem not-enough to convince anyone we're all in this together. As ever, snips taken from papers published 1861-1865.

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Pull up any, era magazine or newspaper. ' Gossips ' figure large, denounced on the grounds it was not only harmful and hurtful but pretty trashy. No one, said these authors, with the smallest claim to the word ' lady ' would indulge in underhanded, back-stabbing, poorly intended attacks on another woman. What's so remarkable is how single mindedly feminine was the practice. Oh well, if equality between the sexes has progressed it's made a shambles of the idea men didn't do it too.

gossip evil 2.JPG


Am very short on time this morning or would include more. Maybe there are aspects of life 150 years ago we wouldn't care to experience but at least this proclivity towards tearing each other to shreds was frowned upon. In 2019? Like a hobby. Nice to see some protest about the whole thing 150 years ago.

gossip use 1.JPG

... lack of honor. Indeed.

gossip stool.jpg

Yes, the ducking stool and scold's bridle were barbaric, frequently used to shush women who were disliked. As awful as it was at a time when women could be shoved around, having no rights whatsoever, bet it had one beneficial effect. Bet it cured gossips.

May be able to find one on Ebay.



gossip snip.JPG
 

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#3
If this thread seems pointed, it is. Mary Lincoln died a broken, tragic figure- because we do this ridiculous thing. Lesson there somewhere, like we're all in this together.
Yes, we are all in this together. Many lives are lost because of gossip, which is a tool of a bully. I see much gossip today, on social media, destroying lives.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Yes, we are all in this together. Many lives are lost because of gossip, which is a tool of a bully. I see much gossip today, on social media, destroying lives.

You know, if there's one thing I've tried to work towards it's understanding our commonality. We're all in this together in 2019 and were in 1861. In 1861 we were split in the most extreme way but the struggles were so similar- men at war, making ends meet, being somewhat powerless over destinies. Nope. We allowed ourselves to be divided. IMO it's a very handy tool, isn't it? Keep all of us witching at ( rather, about since this vile occupation is generally outside the target's knowledge, in dark corners ) each other, we sure have no collective power.

Look at Mary Todd Lincoln and to a lesser degree Mary Randolph Custis Lee. BOY were they handy targets for other women- 150 years later I'm reading nonsense about them by women of their era. You take one female, collect a bunch of like minded turkey vultures and they have a blast picking flesh from another woman's bones. Why? Good Heavens, I don't want to know, it'd be too scary. The thing is, why hasn't it changed? Why are we still at it in 2019? I have a ' thing ' about this stuff anyway. How we're responsible for making the attempt NOT to intrude on other people's lives in a negative way. What gives anyone the right to do so is a big puzzle.
 

Northern Light

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#5
I had an email from Country Living magazine this morning that had a list of 20 things to give up for Lent. Gossip was in the first five.
The thing is that when woman do it, it is gossip, but when men pass stuff around, it is conversation. Whatever, it is a bad habit. Alice Roosevelt used to sat, "If you haven't got anything nice to say, come and sit by me." As humorous as that might be, I prefer what my mother taught me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything".
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JPK Huson 1863

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#6
I had an email from Country Living magazine this morning that had a list of 20 things to give up for Lent. Gossip was in the first five.
The thing is that when woman do it, it is gossip, but when men pass stuff around, it is conversation. Whatever, it is a bad habit. Alice Roosevelt used to sat, "If you haven't got anything nice to say, come and sit by me." As humorous as that might be, I prefer what my mother taught me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything

Yep. That's a wonderful post, thank you! We had the same mother- we weren't allowed to gossip, as in ever. Mom? If she caught one of us doing it while on the phone, she'd go cut off the call- it was that hard and fast a rule. I do remember her reinforcing the lesson by making us say out loud how we thought someone would feel, if they knew. And how someone else's life was not our business.

I'm a little smitten by a 2019 list including gossiping- makes me want to send an email saying thank you and renew my subscription to that magazine.
 

Northern Light

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Yep. That's a wonderful post, thank you! We had the same mother- we weren't allowed to gossip, as in ever. Mom? If she caught one of us doing it while on the phone, she'd go cut off the call- it was that hard and fast a rule. I do remember her reinforcing the lesson by making us say out loud how we thought someone would feel, if they knew. And how someone else's life was not our business.

I'm a little smitten by a 2019 list including gossiping- makes me want to send an email saying thank you and renew my subscription to that magazine.
I found it quite surprising too, JPK. It prompted a lengthy discussion over dinner about the nature of gossiping versus passing on news. Thanks for this very thought provoking thread.
 

AshleyMel

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#8
Great thread JPK! Very relevant. Gossip is timeless.
One of the things I always try to ask myself before speaking is: is this information beneficial to the one who will receive it? Is it is harmful? Is it is at someone else's expense? If it is not my story to tell, then I best not share it with others. I have failed and will, most likely, continue to fail as I journey through life. The best part is, I can always try to do better and ask for forgiveness when I fall short. And, I have told many young ladies who have come to me about this issue to remember there is always, always something positive to say first! Set the example!
 



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