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The Xenofeminist Manifesto: A Politics for Alienation

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  980 ratings  ·  121 reviews
A pocket colour manifesto for a new futuristic feminism

Injustice should not simply be accepted as “the way things are.” This is the starting point for The Xenofeminist Manifesto, a radical attempt to articulate a feminism fit for the twenty-first century.

Unafraid of exploring the potentials of technology, both its tyrannical and emancipatory possibilities, the manifesto se
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Kindle Edition, 96 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Verso (first published June 2015)
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Kevin
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theory-gender
The Good:
--Feminist critique and (often neglected) embrace/control of technology is desperately needed, given the alarming centralization of technological reach and power under capitalism.

The Bad:
--The delivery needs a complete overhaul if a wider audience is desired. I grow ever more wary of insufferable academic verbiage; are we trying to build mass movements or our own ivory towers?
--Like many manifestos, this one tries to build some ideological perspectives while thoroughly-lacking the foll
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Paula
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
very necessary

now make it accessible for the people you advocate for not just those involved in academia :-))
Martin Hare Michno
You can find the Xenofeminist Manifesto for free on their website, PDF download included: http://www.laboriacuboniks.net/

As far as I understand, Xenofeminism is a call for radical intersectionalism. The prefix 'Xeno-' refers to the alien, the strange, the unnatural. It is precisely the unnatural which Xenofeminism seeks: "Anyone who's been deemed 'unnatural' in the face of reigning biological norms, anyone who's experienced injustices wrought in the name of natural order, will realize that the g
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Marie-Therese
Beautifully designed little book. Too bad the text is nothing but absurdly obfuscatory jargon with barely a fresh thought or interesting idea hidden within. I can't imagine anyone but a first-year gender studies student getting much out of this. Old news, prettily packaged. Save your reading time for something genuinely revolutionary like Shulamith Firestone's practically antique (1970!) but still rabble-rousing 'Dialectic of Sex'. Not recommended for anyone who's passed those first-year philoso ...more
tout
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
The design of this book is excellent, and as a designer, this is what really drew me in. It's also what redeems this at all for me, pushing it beyond a one star review. It's a pretty and playful little book.

Some fundamental disagreements with this are its under-nuanced and under-problematized conception of technology and the call to embrace alienation. In modern technology and technology in general, there is more at stake than simply wresting it away from capitalism and patriarchy. Is this not v
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Aung Sett Kyaw Min
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
techno-rational-universalist abolitionist inhumanism

Pat
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This one is a tricky one to rate and I wish I could give it a 3.5.
It is a manifesto and as such is determined, absolute and not bothered with constructive criticism. It manages this well and I appreciate it as such. The crucial aspect of a manifesto that it is lacking in, though, is to ignite a passion for the cause in the audience. It does not fail in doing so entirely, but the jargon is a major hurdle. XF is among other things concerned with language and still, for a platform that is concerned
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Anwen Hayward
Nice ideas and all, but alas, I cannot recommend it, and indeed eschew it as a manifesto text in particular, and this is why:

'The very process of construction is therefore understood to be a negentropic, iterative, and continual refashioning.'

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?!

'Systematic thinking and structural analysis have largely fallen by the wayside in favour of admirable, but insufficient struggles, bound to fixed localities and fragmented insurrections.'

My dudes, my buddies, there is no need to write
...more
Alana
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Basically the alien with 3 tiddies from total recall tries to corrupt you into a multiplicitous freedom that involves listening to 100gecs. If nature is unjust, change nature!
Christine
This a manifesto of intersectional feminism as well as an outright attack on capitalism.
It’s flashy. It’s a nice package. What ideas there are, seem like ones I would agree with it. In particular the bits about gender. It just it needs a little more meat.
Alex Sarll
I'm not a natural fan of the manifesto as a form; they're built on grand statements, and my default response to those is to either point out that they're truisms, or note the various exceptions to the proposed rule. But for the most part, this one is very good. The style is perhaps too academic to be described as rabble-rousing, but it's appropriately exasperated with the various misguided surrenders of territory made by progressive causes, whether that be a tendency towards conceding (if attemp ...more
Megan
This book is a beautiful read- I love the colors, images, and general layout of each page. It kept my attention, and was so enjoyable to flip through.

When it comes to the actual text and ideas presented, I have a lot of thoughts. First, as someone who wasn't familiar with the concept of xenofeminism before reading this manifesto, I'm very interested in learning more about that, so this manifesto succeeds in that aspect! I think that there is a lot of value in not only looking at the future of te
...more
Heather
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't really think I'm equipped to review this manifesto and I certainly will need several more readthroughs to really get to grips with it all, written as it is in the highly academic language typical of manifestos—however, I'm broadly 'into' the three starting points for this philosophy, which are gender abolitionism, technomaterialism (technology as it relates to the natural world, including bodies) and anti-naturalism (i.e. the rejection of giving nature god-like traits and seeing the natu ...more
Titus Hjelm
Wow! A blast from the past! The substance of this manifesto, and its visual outlook, are pure gold. Intersectionality is the only way forward, that's for sure. But like the best/worst postmodernists from the 80s, the authors seem to think that the only way to bridge the gap between the academic, the political, and the poetical is to use completely unnecessary jargon. Ironically, then, in its attempt to be avant-garde, the text ends up sounding very old-fashioned. ...more
Kamen
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We want neither clean hands nor beautiful souls, neither virtue nor terror. We want superior forms of corruption." ...more
Alyssa S
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too much talking in circles for me. The XF Manifesto uses many words to, frankly, say very little. It has a few sound points, however, which saves it in my eyes.
Julia Clark-Riddell
A very worthwhile introduction to an idea of how feminism should operate in our global, technological reality, with an emphasis on avoiding naturalistic feminisms and using technological tools to abolish gender.

Upsides: Some interesting ideas. 1) The idea that "the construction of freedom involves not less but more alienation." I think this is true in the manner in which acquiring freedom requires we alienate ourselves from the conditions we are used to, but I do think that the act of building
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Irene Benito
I don´t know how to appraise this. The manifesto makes some really interesting points and introduces a couple of radical ideas to develop, alas for a future that I don´t see anywhere near, globally speaking. It supposedly aims to become a hegemonic movement, but as it stands, I think it can only appeal to a reduced avant-garde. The language is highly academic, it rejects any system of beliefs other than science, and advocates learning coding and “the language of architecture” to redefine our rea ...more
Anton Relin
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
"If nature is unjust, change nature"

Strong message, very transhumanist and technology forward, which is great!, but perhaps the small issue lies specifically in manifesto as genre. Excited to try reading Helen Hester's longer text on this
...more
Ashuvini Mahendran
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Quick read and beautiful design. The overall content and aims of the book highly necessary but very inaccessible for most people as the language used to deliver it is too academic. Takes a while to unpick exactly what point is being made for each chapter. Also does not give any ways the reader can advocate for xenofeminism, turning these aims into objectives by discussing how we could work together to create a more xenofeminist society would have made the book much better. 3 stars but I'll give ...more
Veronica Walton
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
“The problems we face are systemic and interlocking.”

If anything at all, XF is an important read. The authors suggest that we should reclaim rationalism, naturalism, and scientific thought in the name of marginalized identities. Overall, I enjoyed the book’s nuanced discussions of gender-/race-abolitionism, callout culture, and the “fetishization of oppression” in contemporary social justice movements.

The biggest concern I have is that XF is inaccessible. Regarding its prose, XF often ventures
...more
Bea
Jan 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
I picked this up in a bookshop in Edinburgh because the little blurbs on the covers really piqued my interest. However, I felt that it's more of an attempted art piece than a real literary or social manifesto, as much of it is overly theoretical and it's also very heavy on the graphics. And it's as if whoever wrote it had a thesaurus at their side the whole time, because much of the vocabulary choice comes off as ostentatious. While the book had a few good lines and points, I didn't find it radi ...more
Katie Bayford
Jan 22, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If nature is unjust, change nature!

Whilst the xenofeminist manifesto has some interesting concepts (re-purposing technology for radical gender-political ends) and some interesting turns of phrase (they self-define as a feminism of ‘unprecedented cunning, scale, and vision’) , they seem to be unable to follow up such promises, saying nothing particularly new about technology, capitalism, or feminism. The xenofeminist manifesto has a gorgeous name and even more gorgeous book design, but is incredi
...more
Jules
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cool book rooted in the spirit cyber feminism
As if it was ”beta testing” fourth wave feminism. The voice in this book is often in response to those that cite “Nature” as a kind friction to the progress of feminism.

XF is a short, dense read and a bit showy in the word choices, which isn’t something manifesto should have to apologize for. It found myself thinking of ways to rephrase or develop a language for the progressive ideas- which is perhaps part of the intention “Overflow” chapte
...more
Abhiishek Nanoty
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
If ‘cyberspace’ once offered the promise of escaping the strictures of essentialist identity categories, the climate of contemporary social media has swung forcefully in the other direction, and has become a theatre where these prostrations to identity are performed. With these curatorial practices come puritanical rituals of moral maintenance, and these stages are too often overrun with the disavowed pleasures of accusation, shaming, and denunciation. Valuable platforms for connection, organiza ...more
David
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
Short, pithy, bracing. As a manifesto should be. I love the graphic design, too. The explosions of colors communicate urgency and passion. But the text itself would be a great call to arms regardless.

One of many great lines comes near the end: "If nature is unjust, change nature."

Obviously things can get complicated (as the collective author Laboria Cuboniks emphasizes several times) but this is a good starting place, no? No more arguments from "this is how is so this is how ought..."
...more
Zach Irvin
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is both a work of art and a work of insurgence. It’s a call to a new world, to new futures, to new ways of living in the world. Incremental, intentional changes to how we speak, how we interact, the spaces we occupy and the institutions that bind us. Alternately warning and urging, it prompts us to live into our alienation and reject the narratives of a given nature that has only served to oppress.
Kris Deters
Sep 15, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a beautiful book. The layout is a delight and there are wonderfully bold choices. However, the language used to relay its message is difficult to parse. "The task of collective self-mastery requires a hyperstitional manipulation of desire's puppet-strings, and the deployment of semiotic operators over a terrain of highly networked cultural systems." This is nigh impossible to understand as a beginner in theory. What I can glean of its message is wonderful, and it does have some great tur ...more
Ronan Jamieson
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some really interesting ideas on the next steps that can be taken in feminism, and just generally leftism. I found the stuff it says on nature and rationalism to be really fascinating. There are some things that I'd probably need a better knowledge on theory aswell as some retreads to really understand but Iiked the stuff I did understand. ...more
Jack
...melancholy -- so endemic to the left -- teaches
us that emancipation is an extinct species to be wept over and that blips of
negation are the best we can hope for. At its worst, such an attitude
generates nothing but political lassitude, and at its best, installs an
atmosphere of pervasive despair which too often degenerates into factionalism
and petty moralizing.
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Laboria Cuboniks (b. 2014) is a xenofeminist collective spread across five countries. She seeks to dismantle gender, destroy “the family,” and do away with nature as a guarantor of inegalitarian political positions.

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