When you hear the term “gossip,” or “gossiping,” there’s a good chance it’s said in a pejorative tone, or you have an immediately negative connotation in your mind. What if I told you, though, that it used to be something totally different, and that men throughout recent history have demonized the practice for very specific reasons?
These are the sorts of topics that Lara Lee Kelly, aka Lanthane Radium, tackles on her TikTok account – things she calls “deeply engrained misogynistic propaganda.” The 20-year-old took on the roots of the term “gossiping” and how it’s changed over time in a 2-part video series, and more than 4 million people have since tuned in.
Lanthane begins by talking about a piece of art in Montreal known as Les Chuchoteuses. The statue was created by Rose-Aimée Bélanger and depicts three women absorbed in conversation.
She says that the statue brought her so much joy that she decided to research the history of gossip – and what she found was that the term used to simply mean “close female friends.”
Women used to spend a lot of time together in their communities as they performed tasks like laundry and caring for children, or perhaps assisting at the church.
The deep understanding of their communities threatened men, and so they decided to stigmatize women spending time together just talking.
The the Church got involved and this barbaric mask was created to help women hold their tongues – and it worked, because it would literally slice your tongue if you tried to talk while wearing it.
That feeling you’re getting? It’s rage.
The stigma continued through the decades of witch hunts, which targeted female friendships and encouraged them to turn on each other in order to save or elevate themselves.
So that idea you’ve always had that women are catty and just don’t get along?
You can thank a man, not reality.
Until fairly recently, “gossip” has always been healthy and good for communities as a whole.
She goes on in her video to talk about how gossiping can benefit small and larger groups, and can also help us learn more about ourselves in order to improve.
You should definitely watch the entire thing if you find this all fascinating – I know I did.
#greenscreen follow me here & on insta to unlearn some more stuff the patriarchy has taught us! Pt. 2 is up!
#greenscreen Pt. 2! follow me here & on insta to unlearn some more stuff the patriarchy has taught us!
After that, you should grab some friends and go for a coffee or a walk or a drink, talking all the way.
Do it for the world.
And because the men hate it.