Weapons of the Weak: Gossip

January 11, 2008

Why don’t I just hit myself over the head with it, instead?
It would be easier, and cuter.


Bruno, as it turns out, and as those who’ve been around a few more bends than I likely anticipated, deserves another follow-up.

In fact, a lot has happened while the Wolf has been away from blogging, but I looked this site up and decided it might be worth doing again, even when writing some of these posts makes me slightly ill all over again.

Apparently, I was too hasty in not de-Dudifying my little island. And I was too hasty in assuming that an apology and an admission of wrongdoing was as good as a cease-and-desist decree.

But despite my naivite, I did do one thing right; I gossiped.

I’m going to say this once, people and don’t make me say this again: Gossip, shit-talking, bitchiness, and even the hated cock-blocking, these tactics are your friends. Anybody who tells you otherwise is an ass-hat, or at least guilty of protecting Dudes and injuring the women with whom said Dudes may interact.

I told everybody about Bruno. Did I think it might embarrass him? Yes. Did I care? No. Did I do it even after we made up? You bet.

It was the right move. What I learned in the process is that Bruno has a history of magical Dudeification with other young women. More, I won’t spell out here, but suffice it to say, I got off relatively easy.

I talked to Bruno about each instance as I learned of them. He was sad. He was sorry. He disagreed with some of the renditions. I educated. I castigated. I cajoled and sympathized. I figured now that he knew we all knew, it would really be over.

But then, it happened again–this time involving unwanted restraint and kissing of two much younger women, women who probably looked up to this Dude as an impressive activist. Two young women IN ONE EVENING.

When I found out, I felt like an utter fucking fool. My own misogynist logic became profoundly clear; I had been acting as if I believed that he didn’t mean to do it, despite loads of evidence to the contrary.

But fortunately, I wasn’t alone with my self-hating assumptions. These young women women weren’t only young, they were smart and put the power of shittalk on their side. They told–thats how I found out. Luckily, they told someone with whom I’d already discussed Bruno’s Were-Dude tendencies and my experience.

Thanks to gossip, Bruno could no longer operate one (or two, I suppose) molestation and apology at time. Instead we–all the women (that I know of) who had been made to feel subhuman and threatened by Bruno’s hateful behavior–confronted him. And because we are loving, forgiving souls, we still didn’t throw his stupid ass off the island.

I know. Nice, right?

Instead we asked him to 1) refrain from drinking on social situations involving our crew 2) stop hitting on people he meets through politics 3) read some shit already, and learn.

Perhaps, I’m just hopefully waiting to get hit over the head once more, but this feels like progress.


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