Relatively Applicable Poetry: Gossip is Personal
This poem was read at the artivism Men Resisting Violence Against Women event in 2012. Today after receiving a lot of defamatory, degrading and threatening emails and posts in the cyber-sphere, in response to my latest blogs, I re-visit this poem and share with you. This poem reflects what is happening in the Black Metal and white supremacist online forums which utters threats and saying cruel things about me; which is nothing but expected.
I lived in that prison of self deceptive loathing far to long in my life. I understand their hatred well. I have been free from those shackles for many years. For me, this poem is important, but more importantly my motivation for posting this is to encourage others to not engage in bullying.
Now about this piece, it manifested during a social work class I was taking. A fellow classmate who was saying derogatory things about me when I walked into the room. He was going off about my critical analysis of structural issues relating to racism, social policy and social work. For whatever reason, unbeknownst to me, he obviously takes a major issue with who I am and the way I articulate myself about how social work and MCFD operates on delegated authority through racist social policy (Indian Act and CFCSA); nonetheless, people do as people do.
This situation sparked the inspiration for this poem.I often refer to gossip as being social warfare. Gossip hurts. I have participated in gossip in the past, and I have been hurt by gossip. I have defined what gossip is. Now I consciously do my utmost to not participate, nor to allow gossip to transpire around me. When people gossip in front of me at school, work or other situations I will either name it or disengage with discussions and people. My blog does not consist as gossip due to the literal meaning of the word “gossip”.
For me gossip is identified when a person engages in personal discussions about another person’s life, behaviour and situation in a manner that is not transparent. Often ‘behind their back’. I find, that gossipers usually have something to hide. It is my opinion that this is because the person partaking in gossip is displacing energy that assists in deflecting and displacing, while projecting, their own issues.
Gossip is often shielded by secrecy. Intentions of the gossiper are anything but compassionate.
Gossip can include truth. In situations, like the one that inspired this poem, the person (me) being gossiped about is under attack for not conforming to a particular social norm. Scapegoats are often people who do not fit into little social boxes.
The fellow classmate who was initiating gossip was scapegoating me in his social warfare. The week prior he was gossiping about other classmates to me; I merely said, in the sake of transparency:
“I wonder how that person would feel if he knew you were saying these things”
His response was,
“hahaha, I don’t care”
I knew in that moment, along with another instance that I had to separate myself from this individual. These social dynamics are toxic and utterly hurtful. I believe that gossip is about gaining social power over others who, for whatever reason, are perceived threats to the gossiper.
It is unfortunate that in a social work program with grown adults, over the age of 30, that these individuals feel the need to engage with this type of oppressive violent behaviour. Gossip is violent. Gossip is personal.
I understand that I have opened myself up to many things to be said about me both good and bad throughout the postings in this blog. I am ok with being verbally attacked by people whom are engaged with the social circles and people mentioned in the previous posts. I hope to participate in sharing and relating with others.
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