Countersexual Manifesto is an outrageous yet rigorous work of trans theory, a performative literary text, and an insistent call to action. Seeking to overthrow all constraints on what can be done with and to the body, Paul B. Preciado offers a provocative challenge to even the most radical claims about gender, sexuality, and desire.
Preciado lays out mock constitutional principles for a countersexual revolution that will recognize genitalia as technological objects and offers step-by-step illustrated instructions for dismantling the heterocentric social contract. He calls theorists such as Derrida, Foucault, Butler, and Haraway to task for not going nearly far enough in their attempts to deconstruct the naturalization of normative identities and behaviors. Preciado’s claim that the dildo precedes the penis—that artifice, not nature, comes first in the history of sexuality—forms the basis of his demand for new practices of sexual emancipation. He calls for a world of sexual plasticity and fabrication, of bio-printers and “dildonics,” and he invokes countersexuality’s roots in the history of sex toys, pornography, and drag in order to rupture the supposedly biological foundations of the heterocentric regime. His claims are extreme, but supported through meticulous readings of philosophy and theory, as well as popular culture. The Manifesto is now available in English translation for its twentieth anniversary, with a new introduction by Preciado. Countersexual Manifesto will disrupt feminism and queer theory and scandalize us all with its hyperbolic but deadly serious defiance of everything we’ve been told about sex.
About the Author
Paul B. Preciado is a philosopher, curator, and transgender activist. He is curator of public programs for the largest international European art and culture exhibition, documenta 14 (Athens and Kassel). Preciado’s books in English include Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era (2013) and Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics (2014). He lives between Paris, Barcelona, and Athens.
Kevin Gerry Dunn is a translator of Spanish-language fiction and academic writing on gender, art, and immigration. His recent translations include works by Josefina Fernández, Ramón Arturo Gutiérrez, and Cristian Perfumo.
Jack Halberstam is visiting professor of gender studies and English at Columbia University and is the author of a number of books, including most recently, Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability (2018).
Jack Halberstam (PhD, English Literature, Minnesota) is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and of Gender Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of several books, including Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon, 2012), Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability (California, 2018), and Female Masculinity (Duke, 1998). He specializes in queer theory, cultural studies, gender studies, and feminist theory.
Table of Contents
Foreword, by Jack Halberstam
1. Countersexual Society
2. Countersexual Reversal Practices
4. Countersexual Reading Exercise