Fakery and the Faking Fakers Who Fake It

Credit Bill & Vicki T/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Starting the New Year with a roar, we examine the pervasive habit of faking it. Think about it… we smile to be polite, or grimace to teach children not to swear. We say nothing when we think a partner's outfit looks odd, or when a pal has given us a gift that makes us wonder, do you know me at all?

But what about the faker who goes beyond the every day venial sins and rushes headlong into sociopath territory? One man is said to have faked his way into a hospital and operated on patients successfully, with no medical training at all. There are a million stories about art forgers, investment con artists, bad check writers, and therapists who counsel couples, then secretly sleep with one of the pair. Cheating on your partner? Forgedaboutit. Too many fakers to mention. (And most of them not very good at the con.)

What it says is that confidence men and women have always been with us (Trojan horse?), and always will be. And while there are good reasons to fake it, including hiding from discrimination, or fighting other dangers, the best we can do is listen when an inner voice says, something's not right here.

In this conversation, UConn professor Gina Barreca, columnist and author of It's Not That I'm Bitter, explores the ins and outs of fakery and the fakers who fake it. For an intriguing read, check out Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts edited by David Sheilds and Matthew Vollmer.

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  • Gina Barreca is a women's humorist, writer, speaker, and professor of feminist theory.


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