However, I do feel that the answer to that question about levels of meanness is completely dependent on the person under discussion. I know some women have really good relationships with other women. Likewise, I think that women are probably socialized most around other women, therefore our relationships with each other are all we have to base this comparison on. And for a fair comparison, we would have to have an independent surveyor, someone not aligned to any gender. But since no one ever polls the asexual community and we have yet to make contact with martians, I’m pretty sure that we can never really truly know, which gender is more toxic, bitchy or competitive than the other.
But unlike Oprah, who is convinced that men don’t gossip, I can tell you without a doubt that gossip is not exclusive to women. In fact, two of the biggest gossip columnists are Perez Hilton and Fred Mwangaguhunga of Mediatakeout. Last I checked, they were both born male. But outside of the paid hearsayers, recent research has claimed that men, on average, are more prone to gossip, although the chatter between the fellas tends to bring guys closer, whereas our gossip tends to tear female friends apart.
It should also be noted that not all gossip is bad. As another recent study has suggested, the most common form of gossip involves folks relaying warnings to other people about untrustworthy others as opposed to maliciously gossiping to tarnish someone’s reputation. Sort of like this particular episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass where we had women sharing tawdry stories of betrayal from other women, who weren’t in the room to defend themselves. See what I just did there?
Vanzant went on to discuss how we are mirrors of each other and what we put out there is basically what we get back. There is truth to that, but real karma doesn’t need a cause. Sometimes some folks are just rotten. And sometimes bad things – as well as bad folks – just happen. And no amount of self reflection in the world will fix that. Such as this one guest seeking Vanzant’s council, who opened up about being betrayed by a friend who ran and told her business to a bunch of other people and being in the uncomfortable position of having to answer to her personal matters to a bunch of strangers. Vanzant rightly, and ironically, told her to stop thinking of herself as a victim, but instead to realize that her “friend” had a break in character and to use this moment as lessons on how to teach people how to treat you.
“If you don’t want anybody to know it, don’t tell it to anyone,” Word.
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