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Which Xenofeminism?


#1

Xenofeminism

In the British socialist magazine Red Pepper, Sophie Lewis examines the far-reaching influence of xenofeminism four years after the publication of the Xenofeminist Manifesto. Noting that xenofeminist ideas have been taken up in fields as disparate as design and the “hard” sciences, Lewis distinguishes different strains of xenofeminism; some reify the simplistic division between technology and nature, while others seek to remake the idea of “nature” entirely. Here’s an excerpt:

Xenofeminism! It titillates academics, not only in the humanities but in various sciences (both ‘hard’ and ‘social’); it influences non-academics in planning, programming, design and art industries; it even inspires trans-feminist healthcare struggles and shop-floor activists, particularly in fields such as strategic communications. This ability to speak to animation techs, architects and geneticists alike is one of XF’s biggest selling-points. Like the 1984 Manifesto for Cyborgs, whose incantatory language it is rebooting for the 21st century – and whose anti-colonial, non-duallist queer materialism it is, to be frank, over-simplifying – XF has already become the subject of hundreds of plenaries and podcasts. In short, it would seem that the ‘moment’ for xenofeminism has arrived.

But which xenofeminism? Six quite politically-different women wrote the Xenofeminist Manifesto – a mutating list of affirmations ‘readily shareable in snippet form’ – that appeared online on the dedicated site laboriacuboniks.net. And it has become increasingly clear – in particular with the publication of Helen Hester’s Xenofeminism (Polity 2018) – that there are disparate xenofeminisms to choose from.