General Question

Marrakech's avatar

Why do some women gossip so much and try to damage the reputation of other women?

Asked by Marrakech (139points) January 18th, 2010

I know a group of women who do nothing but gossip and run down certain women. It is pointless, petty, damaging, hurtful, mean and destructive. Why do they do it? What do they gain from it? and How would you put them in their place?

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55 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

They put others down in order to make themselves look or feel better about themselves. Jealousy is an ugly emotion.

Violet's avatar

My friends and I all “gossip”. I don’t think it has to be “pointless, petty, damaging, hurtful, mean and destructive”.
It is fun to exchange interesting information among friends. It’s part of normal conversation. I think everyone gossips.

Marrakech's avatar

Thank you Violet. I agree everyone gossips. However, those who engage in destructive gossip are not just exchanging information, they are using it as a tool to harm others.

Violet's avatar

By destructive gossip, do you mean lies? Could you please give me an example of destructive gossip?

ucme's avatar


Marrakech's avatar

Well, you just have to look at some of the gossip about film-stars on the TV, ie She’s a marriage breaker (after other people’s husbands), she’s a liar, she is not who she says she is, she’s a ‘bitch’, she thinks she is someone special, but she isn’t!...... Need I say more?

Violet's avatar

ohhh, well I think celebrity gossip is on a different level. If your original question was about celebrity gossip, than I agree with @PandoraBoxx
I do watch a bit of celebrity gossip shows. Most of it is crap (Brad and Angelina type gossip), but some of it can be interesting.

chelseababyy's avatar

They’re jealous and unhappy with themselves (most of the time). Hurting others makes them feel better. Sick and sad, but true.

Marrakech's avatar

@chelseababyy. Yes, thank you. I would agree with that. @Violet Unfortunately, I think harmful gossip is just that, whether it is celebrity or not the offenders still use the same tactics.

SABOTEUR's avatar


Marrakech's avatar

@SABOTEUR LOL. Entertainment?!! They must be really deprived! I guess it takes all sorts.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

For some reason, people feel entitled to know things that are none of their business. What they don’t know, they make up, or guess at.

Violet's avatar

@Marrakech I think gossip is a big part of being a celebrity. Celebrities know that they are going to be gossiped about by millions.
Gossip among friends is probably more hurtful, because it is much more personal.

bean's avatar

Clearly, they are just horrible people with nothing better to do…

Marrakech's avatar

@bean. I think you have hit the nail on the head!:)

SABOTEUR's avatar

I have co-workers who routinely bash other co-workers.

It’s not unreasonable to assume that when I’m not around, I get my share of bashing too.

But I’m particularly close to one lady, and we often speak frankly concerning certain things. If I catch her at the right time, in the “right” frame of mind, I’m sure she’d readily admit she talks about other people just to have something to do.

In fact, the practice is much like people asking and answering questions on Fluther! Is this something we really need to ask? Is it really necessary to add my 2 cents?


It’s probably safe to assume that at least 75% of the activities we engage in are for entertainment purposes only.

bean's avatar

@Marrakech haha, thank u…. pretty sad why people do things like this and feel satisfied by it..
and maybe they pick on some one who IS better than them… a bit twisted too if some one became happy by hurting others

nebule's avatar

…it’s jealousy and ultimately all part of the need to survive…go one, two or three better than someone else… I hate this insidious behaviour… when will we women learn that the behaviours that got us here as women today (on a genetic and evolutionary psychological level) are not necessarily the behaviours that will ensure our future survival…individual and as a species

Marrakech's avatar

@SABOTEUR Yes, gossip is an idle form of entertainment and probably an important part of any community. It can be positive. However, I am specifically interested in those who go out of their way to harm others through gossip. Is it insecurity? Is it an inferiority complex, jealousy, nothing better to do, vindictiveness, lack of culture…....? If one knew the reason, perhaps one could prevent it more effectively.

Marrakech's avatar

@lynneblundell Yes, I think jealousy is a big factor.

SABOTEUR's avatar

One other thing…

…being an observer of such things…

it’s nothing personal.

You’ve just listened to a lady describe in minute detail how ignorant some other lady is, and 5 minutes lady they’re laughing and joking and bashing somebody else. Funny as hell, if you ask me, ‘cause you know that they know what’s going on and it doesn’t change a thing.

SABOTEUR's avatar

In direct response to you question, @Marrakech

it’s nonsense.

You can’t make sense out of nonsense.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Marrakech's avatar

@PandoraBoxx And that says it all.:)

Axemusica's avatar

I’m so glad I’m a dude in this department. The only thing guys gossip about is, “Dude remember that time Bill did that 4 bank shot on the 8 ball? Do you think he’s some sort of wizard or something?” It’s just not something we get into and frankly I used to have quite a bit of female friends that did this whole rumor / gossip thing and I dropped every single one like a bad habit, because it was pointless and my quality of life improved.

Cruiser's avatar

Tell them flat out to mind their own damn business and hit them in the face with a pie!

Axemusica's avatar

YEAH! A PIE! lol

Marrakech's avatar

@Axemusica That is very good advice actually. I have done a similar thing and life is verging towards bliss. Unfortunately, there will always be the odd one that pops up somewhere!

Marrakech's avatar

@Cruiser. LOL Good one!:)

Your_Majesty's avatar

It’s about competition among women. It’s just the way it has to be. Another reason is that it’s a good way to know/realize other people’s negative side,changing interesting information is quite interesting among women.

dpworkin's avatar

Women are, and have always been, vain, shallow creatures, not quite as smart as men, unable to strategize, unable to contain petty jealousies, grossly materialistic, and used to using their sexual allure to compromise men. This is why we do not let them vote, or run for public office.

janbb's avatar

@pdworkin What are you, a Male Chauvinist Pig?

dpworkin's avatar

i resemble that remark

bean's avatar

@pdworkin excuse me… men can be just as cruel as woman can be… and not every one is a heartless simple minded bitch. Men especially can be just as engrossed in the materialistic world at times even worse than some woman, some don’t exactly use their head to make wise choices, especially when they use more of downstairs to do the thinking… but you shouldn’t make such over exaggerated assumptions about woman…
shallow creatures? ha! what man created is no where near perfect…

speak for your self…

dpworkin's avatar

You mean I might be wrong? Jeeze, and I’m so ingrossed in being right all the time.

bean's avatar

awww…. where’s the snappy comeback… thats just humoring me… im disappointed D:

bean's avatar

I’m a quick writer I make mistakes…. so what…. engrossed

tinyfaery's avatar

Removed by me

Silhouette's avatar

We all talk about the people who come in and out of our lives. We don’t all try to damage others reputations. Stay away from the malicious gossips, they do it for the meanness, they enjoy it. It makes them happy in their pants.

daemonelson's avatar

Same reason guys do it. Funny as all hell.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Destructive gossip serves two purposes in a group that encourages it.

The speaker increases their sense of social power by crushing some absent other person’s reputation.

The group increases its cohesiveness by sharing knowledge of the absent person’s secret shaming.

So it is about power and belonging.

YARNLADY's avatar

Am I missing something here? How is this question any different than the people it describes?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I was not trashing gossipers, I offered an explanation for the occurrence of such behavior.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This is about how women are socialized (what a shocker answer from me, I know) – women are taught to be more sociable, to be able to communicate with others – gossiping is an ugly part of all that comes with having to be ‘the social gender’...not only that but given systemic sexism, it is harder for women to achieve what they need and when they do achieve it, other women misplace their anger at the system and put it towards other women…this is unnecessary…gossip is unnecessary…I don’t understand why people can’t share other things…

read more here

avvooooooo's avatar

Do you think its only women who gossip? Men are some of the worst gossips in the world.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@avvooooooo oh completely agree – but society expects it more of women (expectations don’t equal reality)

Axemusica's avatar

@avvooooooo wtf, really? I’m sure glad I don’t have any that do. Of course I’ve learned to avoid people that gossip.

Remember, if someones talking behind someone else’s back, they are probably doing the same to you.

sexyscanner's avatar

I’ve been the victim of nasty lying gossip by mostly insecure women in unhappy relationships. I’ve not realised this until they’ve moved on to another man even though married by lying about the fact I’ve never wanted to be in a relationship or married again. I must’ve been a real threat for these women to lie so much about me. I’m a decent lovely lady who wouldn’t cheat on anyone who has made a lovely wife now to a lovely man(theyare hard to find the ones who dont want lying married women!! or ones who are a bit dusty on the shelf!!) and so Happy. I’m so disappointed that most women are so nasty that they need to lie about other women to get what they need without being a grown up woman and admitting what insecure little poxy little girls they are! Please explain yourselves you selfish women(cant say ladies out there) cos I’d like to know why you all do it? love a decent faithful lovely LADY. xxx

SABOTEUR's avatar

I’m surprised no one has emphasized that this practice of malicious (or any other type of) gossip is not limited to women. Now that cell phone use has become an acceptable and ever present form of communication, you’re just as likely to hear men unabashedly maligning someone’s character as women.

(And paying good money to do so, too!)

Just_Justine's avatar

I realize this question is old, however what amazes me is the idea that only women gossip. Men are worse!

Axemusica's avatar

@Just_Justine not in every click I’ve ever been in. We always refrained from talking shit, it’s more fun to just be guys. No one wants to bitch and moan about this or that. Just grab a beer, STFU and lets play some games!

whatevergals3's avatar

dear goodness not everyone of us need to worry about gossip. For some people it really is discouraging to want to have a better outlook with people. If we notice MOST and I say most of the time these gossips lurk at the job, church and at public places. When will it stop for us whom just want to be better? Huh? Your damaging alot of people by doing this.

Now for younger folks yeah guess it is a need for survival but you have to understand why you feel the need to do this Popularity gain?

I think grown up people need to stop it though or they will get the same thing back a big finger a eff you and call a just junk car. The end. You alls are disgusting!

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