Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Xenofeminist Manifesto (by Laboria Cuboniks)

Laboria Cuboniks is not a person but a "xenofeminist collective." I got this little book for Christmas and kicked off the Read Harder Challenge with it when I saw it had fewer than 100 Goodreads reviews (one of the categories).

Coming out of this reading experience, I think I would like xenofeminism if I fully understood it. I felt like I was back in grad school reading the words of passionate people with great ideas and inflated ways of conveying them.

What I got out of it in terms of principles: technology has the potential to create an egalitarian world but it needs to be created and maintained by someone other than a group of white men. Everyone has the right to speak without markers of race, sex, class until those markers are abolished.  Yay to both of those points and I would love to know how to personally work towards that! The book is written like this though:  

This non-absolute, generic universality must guard against the facile tendency of conflation with bloated, unmarked particulars -- namely Eurocentric universalism -- whereby the male is mistaken for the sexless, the white for raceless, the cis for the real, and so on. Absent such a universal, the abolition of race will remain a tacit white supremacism, and the absolution of gender will remain a thinly veiled misogyny, even -- especially -- when prosecuted by avowed feminists themselves.

This is one of the clearer passages but it gives you the idea. I would like to learn more about this movement in more actionable terms, but I'm not sure I can read a full book about the"autophagic orgy of indignity," "embedded velocities," or the "insurgent memeplex."

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