1) In his open and unapologetic (?) discussion of racist values within gay desire, McBride spends the first 6 pages framing the chapter. This extensive reflection on the topic of discussion, the gay marketplace of desires, reflects seriously on the implications of starting the conversation McBride notes that, “[he] come[s] not to this work as a fearless explorer, outfitted to take on the rough, uncharted terrain of which I speak. No, I am a rather reluctant traveler – made even more nervous by the new brand of racial profiling that has become common fare at airport security checkpoints” (97).

Several things are acknowledged here: sensitivity, privacy, taboo, race(ism), the “uncharted territory” of the discussion, and the acknowledgement of judgement. How are we to think of these acknowledgements in terms of our class? Does McBride’s preface address these aspects in a new light?

2) McBride comments on Reid-Pharr’s detailed account of his sexual life and remarks that, “when [he] finished reading the (Reid-Pharr’s) passage for the very first time [he] had to put the book down and phone a friend. It was not that [he] could not believe that Reid-Pharr had “gone there”; [he] was just caught off guard that he had done so in print” (98).

Print as a medium is the obvious concern. While we have previously addressed questions about time, place, and audience, how does a discussion about medium alter our ideas of oversharing?


3) How does race intersect with our ideas of oversharing? How do our internalized stereotypes, dispositions, and phobic thoughts complicated the simple process of engaging a topic?


– Mattheus


3 Comments so far

  1. Sarah Cohn on March 31, 2015 11:15 am

    In response to Q2–I understood this to be less about print as a medium for oversharing and more about audience and context. Reid-Pharr’s explicit passage certainly isn’t the first or only explicit print content, but the book is aimed at an academic audience, and the context is book of essays on ‘political, cultural and social identities.’ Reid-Pharr addresses this—on the topic of the book’s title, Black Gay Man—and says he enjoys the shock it creates among the intellectual left. I was definitely surprised to encounter such explicitness in this context, but I think Reid-Pharr does a good job of connecting his use of sexual imagery to his broader theoretical arguments about American progressivism, and brings in the feminist position of the personal as political. For me, this connection to the theoretical takes it out of the realm oversharing.

  2. Carrie Hintz on March 31, 2015 1:31 pm

    I definitely agree with Sarah–I placed the Reid-Pharr on the course in many ways to show that “explicit” is not necessarily a synonym for “oversharing…” I definitely see his arguments, and those of McBride as well, as aligned with a feminist politic exactly as Sarah does…

  3. Mattheus Oliveira on March 31, 2015 2:24 pm

    Thank you for the early responses!

    I agree with both of you that Reid-Pharr does well with his use of sexual imagery. I don’t actually think medium has much to do with oversharing, but thought that this reaction would be at least worth noting (but maybe it isn’t amidst all the other reactions we have read).




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