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Confession, Neoliberalism, and The Big Reveal

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December 5, 2013




I’ve been thinking a lot about confession, lately, and the ways in which the world I occupya putatively radical one, where there’s a great deal of confessing and revealing to do, where people are constantly standing up and trying to outdo each other in what they can reveal about themselvesexerts a constant pressure to always be the Confessional Subject. I feel like I'm constantly dancing on the precipice of Confession.


Ah, to confess, always to confess, to reveal, always to reveal, to always, always be She Who Will Bare Her Literal and Metaphorical Breasts and Speak Grand Truths.  This is the Neoliberal demand, especially of women of colour: "Oh, baby, don't you have a story? Of abjection, ruin, despair?  Did you lose a child?  A lover? Were you not raped?  Beaten?  Oppressed? How could you possibly go through all that and not confess, confess, confess?  How can we possibly think of you as real if you don't confess?  No tragic dramas?  Make them up! But, always: Confess and Reveal."


And speaking of tits, here are mine, in yet another beloved piece, "Gay Marriage Hurts My Breasts.” I'm seriously thinking of an anthology of some of my sharpest marriage pieces, named after this one.  

For more on the subject of confession and neoliberalism, see my interviews in Hypocrite Reader:

"Part One: There's no Rescuing the Concept of Equality."

"Part Two: The Ideal Neoliberal Subject is the Subject of Trauma." 

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