Tea Hvala

Intersexuality In Science Fiction


This intergalactic journey takes me through worlds of science fiction of the late sixties and seventies. Literature of »cognitive estrangement« has traditionally used the space/time travel metaphor for perceptive walks through everyday reality and fictional, possible realities, often with emancipatory hopes of changing the place of departure. Especially american feminist science fiction writers have squatted another tool. They use the concept of intersexuality to cross gender binarism – not only of the body but of the Western mindset. Authors such as Joanna Russ, Octavia E. Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Marge Piercy, Samuel R. Delany and James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon's pseudonym) have played with both absence and proliferation of genders and sexualities, in order to question not only the heterosexist hadcuffs which burden the immagination and reality of the West, but also the political potential of both science fiction (in its attempts of »queering« the language) and queer theory (in its deliberately bastardized, non-identity based theoretical and activist alliances). I shall speak of that potential.

My navigators are Judith Butler, Eva D. Bahovec, Michel Foucault, Donna J. Haraway, Riki Anne Wilchins, Monique Wittig and Others. My engineers are annonymous genderfuck activists and queeruptors. I am a passenger and there is place for more.