Ask The Good Enough Guy: Do Guys Gossip?

 men-talking

Dear Good Enough Guy:

Last year I bought some friends a gag gift for Christmas (a DVD teaching them how to belly dance). I bought it on my lunch hour while at work where a male co-worker saw and commented about it. I then made the mistake of going along with his joke, telling him it was for me and that I bought the DVD to learn how to belly dance so I could perform at the company Christmas Party. Will, by the end of the day, at least five guys came up to me asking and teasing about me being the entertainment for the Christmas party

Then a few months after that I was in the break room talking with a female co-worker about having new tiles put in my kitchen and bath. One of the guys, who had teased me in the past, overheard us talking. Two hours later, someone came to my desk and said he knew a guy who would do the tiles for me in both rooms for $50. I think he was inferring the price would be low if I performed for him. When I asked him about it, he said that’s not what he meant, but clearly he’d heard about the belly dancing DVD story.

So, do tell, Good Enough Guy, do men gossip just as much as we women?

Signed

One of the girls!

Hey Girl!

So… after all of the info you gave me… and all of the questions you could have asked about your situation… all you want to know is whether or not men gossip?

Well the thing is, a question like this forces me to make some HUGE generalizations. You’re asking me to fit all ages, colors, nationalities, etc, etc, into two giant groups called MEN and WOMEN. Not that I haven’t done it before; I just thought I’d throw in a disclaimer for the folks that will want to disagree with me no matter what I say.

Do men gossip as much as women? Yes, we do… and no, we don’t. Let me try to explain it this way:

Women gossip: men talk. Let’s say there’s a hottie that works in an office with five women and five men. Let’s say she talks a good game, doesn’t get offended when guys “tease” her, and maybe even flirts innocently with a guy or two in the office.

The five women will gossip: They may call her nasty names, make mean jokes behind her back, claim that they’ve seen her do things, or say that a friend of a friend of theirs was in the doctor’s office the day that she got those implants.

Why will they act this way? I’m not really sure, but I think it’s the same reason that my mother used to say that three boys can play together all day, but three girls can’t play together for three minutes before two of them are being mean to the third one. While little boys are wrestle-fighting and giving each other wedgies, little girls are learning to be mean with words, to smile in the face of the very person they’ve just talked bad about, becoming beginner gossips. And as they grow up, women hone this skill to razor sharp perfection. By their teenage years, they can eviscerate another person, female or male, without ever even looking their way.

On the other hand…

The five men will discuss: They will probably talk about whether the hottie is all talk, or if she might actually play ball. They will decide if one among them might stand a chance with her or, if more than one thinks he has a chance, they will decide who best to make a play first. In short, they will come up with a plan as to what they’ll do next. Men talk in terms of gaining things for themselves and aren’t as interested in hurting other people.

When girls where learning to throw darts at each other’s reputations, we were too busy trying to build our own reputations to care what women were doing. So while the women are saying that her skirt is too shirt, her top is too tight, her heels are too high, she wears too much make up, and that she looks like a stripper/ street walker, one guy will look over at another, give a little wink, and say, “Yeah… I’d hit it.”

That’s the long version of the differences between how women and men gossip. Here are a few more short ones:

-Women have to gossip because they run out of truth before they get tired of talking. Men like to tell stories, but don’t like to talk just for the sake of talking. Usually if a man is on the phone longer than 15 minutes, he’s talking to a woman.

-Women like gossip because they like to seem like to be right in the middle of everything. Men have a hard enough time staying out of the middle of things as it is.

-A woman wants to know what’s going on in every house on her block, but doesn’t want anyone to know what goes on in hers. A man is clueless as to what’s going on in the houses around him and likes it that way.

…And

-Most women from the time they can speak, will never at any age, be able to pass up a good rumor regardless of who it’s about, where it came from, or whether or not it’s true. Most men by the age of 40, don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t want to hear it, can’t really speak on it and would appreciate being left the hell alone.

Well ???, that’s the long and short of it. If I’ve offended you, or anyone else out there, I’m sure you’ll let me know. If not, you’ll call a friend and tell them that thing you heard about me; that’ll teach me!

So what do you say everyone – am I right or wrong?

 Will Jones

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing

Rene Syler is a wife, mother, breast cancer advocate and television personality whose burning desire to tell the truth about modern motherhood led her to create GoodEnoughMother.com . When not spending time with her family or burning something for dinner, Rene travels the country as host of Sweet Retreats on The Live Well Network and Exhale on Aspire.

12 Comments

  1. jayson L. Sutherland

    July 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Wrong, men gossip just as much as women. Want proof? Just watch Hardball, Mourning Joe, or any of the various tabloids run by men. You stated men don’t try to hurt one another, I can’t remember the last war a woman started. Although politically correct and pandering to women readers….factually it was way off base.

  2. Mike McGinley

    July 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

    I have to say for the most part I agree with you, Will, because I know, at least in my friendships with guys, we talk and generally talk about true things. Very seldon is it that we say things that just aren’t true. Admittedly, guys can say things that aren’t any of their business, but for the most part it seems as though the intentions aren’t necessarily bad. In my friendships with women, I’ve noticed many exaggerations and situations are many times amplified. Of course this isn’t true all the time, but it is just my observation as a whole.

  3. Pamela

    July 23, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Men Gossip just as much as women. Enough said ;-)

  4. Will Jones

    July 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Jayson-Yeah, you got me there, man. I was pandering to the female readers by not addressing how chatty that political commentary can get. The next time you’re sitting around gossiping with Chris Mathews or the HardBall crew, tell them the ladies in my sewing circle said hi. And as far as starting the wars, who knows what kind of dirty rumors that chatter box George W. was spreading that got Osama so angry. Probably something about his beard (those were fake highlights, you know.) That disclaimer I threw in at the beginning was because I knew I couldn’t answer this one right for everybody, so I answered it the way I see it. And I said:
    “-Women have to gossip because they run out of truth before they get tired of talking.-”
    You may have to tell GEM that I was actually pandering to women when I said that… if she still lets me right for her next week!
    I still appreciate you chiming in, though; you’re one of the folks that keeps things interesting. :-)

    Mike- YES!!! Somebody that gets it! My point exactly! I’ll be the first to admit that guys talk. It’s even called “guy-talk”. But for the most part, we don’t use gossip and rumors as a tool. It’s not that we’re more righteous than women; we just don’t care as much what folks think of us, so I don’t think we talk as much about other folks. Maybe I didn’t explain that well enough, but I would have had to write a book, and I still would have missed some scenarios. It’s good to see some folks understood where I was going. Thanks for the feedback.

    Pam- Your absolutely right… kind of. ;-)

  5. Peppercorn16

    July 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Men gossip,men brag and men can be nosey. Men will gossip with women about women or anything else that would cause his eyebrow to raise.

    You don’t believe me just watch the episode of The Andy Griffith Show “Those Gossipin’Men.” She and her good friend Emma proved that men in fact can be the bigger rumormongers than women

  6. Cody Williams

    July 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Some of the biggest bitches I know are men. Straight ones at that. Small minds talk about people. Great minds talk about ideas.

    There are just as many men with small minds are there are women.

    Like both of my parents (mom and dad) I absolutely abhor gossip. But I can’t name more than 4 friends in life who don’t engage in it.

  7. m.e. johnson

    July 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Will, I’ve read you twice and I’d say you left out some things about women. That’s okay because the question is about men. Remember I said I worked at a bar? What I heard men discussing was about something they want, something they didn’t get, something they are gonna get or never gonna get. Boil it down to sex and/or money.

    The lady mentioned belly dancing. Those words got the man’s attention, HELLO… picture in the brain. Gotta share that! “Ah Man, I’d love to see that!” “Do you think she…?”
    They formulate a little plan to say different things and register her response. She asked the $50 man if he meant such and so. Do you think he’s going to say yes and get slammed for sexual harassment? It’s a game, like the football pool. Place your bets.
    Men talk, call it gossip if you want. But it’s usually not lies or mean-spirited, unless it’s a devious plot to overthrow someone (again… to gain something). That’s what I think I know.
    Lady, if it bothers you, tell the truth to the original guy.

  8. Will Jones

    July 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Peppercorn16-Men do gossip, men definitely brag, and men can be nosey, I fully admit those things, BUT I think the difference is to why they do them. I don’t think men gossip just for gossip’s sake; they are usually motivated by the possiblility of some kind of self-gain, where as I’ve seen the women that I know (who are all I can really base my opinion on) gossip justt o keep a rumor going, or even start one out of nothing more than boredom. But, if it was on Andy Griffith, far be it from me to argue! LOL (I wonder if maybe they had a female writer at the time that episode was written? Hmmm.) It’s good to hear from you!

    Cody- I try not to call anyone, women or men, bitches, although I have accused people’s actions of being filled with bitch-assedness ;-)… I get what you’re trying to say though. I think maybe my definition of gossip is different from a lot of other people’s definition. If I talk to one of my old friends and ask, “Hey, how is so-in-so doing?” I don’t want to know his personal business, it’s a general question. I don’t think that’s gossiping. But if a friend calls me and says, “Hey man, did you here what they’re saying about so-in-so?”, what comes next is gossip, and I just don’t think that happens as often with men. I think everyone may slip in and out of talking about people, but I’ve never heard of a neighborhood gossip, a work gossip, or a town gossip that was a man. I’m sure they’re out there; I just don’t know any.
    Thanks for the comment, though. It’s something to think about.

  9. Peppercorn16

    July 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    LOL -Oh Will you are cute. Most of the writers for that episode were men( go figure) But I will agree that there are silly women out there who will ge a rumor started out of boredom

    You say that men gossip because they are usually motivated by the possiblility of some kind of self-gain << So because he needs some kind of self -gain men will gossip/ start a rumor maybe because he's BORED

  10. Vanzell

    July 24, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I believe you hit this one dead on Will with the limited space to expound on a topic that does have some levels of difference. This is not a topic that has percentages of truth that make the truth very apparent, but rather has percentages that can really keep the discussion going ad naseum. The biggest difference in this discussion is probably each persons requirement for what qualifies as gossip, thereby keeping this debate ball rolling…

  11. Will Jones

    July 24, 2011 at 8:12 am

    M.E.- You absolutely right! I did leave aout a lot about women… and men for that matter. I didn’t get into the whole “belly dancing” thing either. I had to leave my answer fairly open-ended because her question was VERY general. But your working in a bar is the perfect spot to judge the average man’s conversation against the average woman’s.

    And of course you’re right about “belly dancing” being a buzz word for men, just like strip club (stripper pole, stripper, etc),breast (breast implant, fake breast, etc), bikini (bikini wax, etc), panties (pantie hose, thong, etc), garter belt (garter, or maybe even “garden” if we THINK we heard garter), and especially the word sex (or any discussion about sex).
    WARNING: Women, if you say these things at work, other women may gossip about you, and men will probably try to hit on you. LOL

  12. Will Jones

    July 25, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Vanzell- Very well put! This question has as many variables as it does exceptions to each one. Every man and woman is going to see this differently and no one’s opinion is completely right or wrong. I didn’t receive any death threats, so I’m taking that as an open compliment from the readers… because that’s how I roll. ;-)

    Thanks for the comment, and the compliment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>