Often times, when an important story breaks, the news first leaks out via informal channels. A rumor gets started, it spreads via the grapevine, and eventually it is verified or disproved.
Sometimes, organizations, from churches to corporations want to suppress ‘gossip’, they always claim a higher moral ground when doing so. Recently some negative historical data about our elderly assistant pastor was being circulated, I won’t go into details here. No official acknowledgement, but only admonishment to ‘avoid gossip’. I’ve seen this tactic in the workplace as well. Only condemnation of rumor sharing.
Is the admonishment not to gossip often used to suppress and stigmatize the exchange of information?
And, women have been, traditionally, information bearers since caveman days. In female society, knowing information and sharing it have been a way to exert social influence and clout. I’m speaking from an anthropological point of view. Women are more communicative that men, and have fulfilled that societal role. I notice that the Bible frequently admonishes women for being tongue waggers and gossips. Is this because of the general patriarchal point of view of Scriptural times that seemed to aim to keep women in their subservient places?