Feminism Against Progress!

Monday, April 24, 2023 | 6–8 PM
Catholic Information Center
1501 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

Modern feminism increasingly benefits only a small class of professional women. There is no reason to sacrifice everyone else’s happiness for their sake.

Mary Harrington shows that women’s liberation was less the result of moral progress than an effect of the material consequences of the Industrial Revolution. We’ve now left the industrial era for the digital age, in which technology is liberating us from natural limits and embodied sex differences. This shift may benefit the elites, but it also makes it easier to commodify women’s bodies, human intimacy, and female reproductive abilities.

”Feminism” has been captured by well-off white-collar women, who use it to advance their own economic and political interests under the pretense that these are the interests of all women—all the while wielding the term like a club against anyone, male or female, who dissents.

Feminism against Progress is a stark warning against a dystopian future in which poor women become little more than convenient sources of body parts to be harvested and wombs to be rented by the rich. “Progress” no longer benefits the majority of women, and only a feminism that is skeptical of it can truly defend their interests in the twenty-first century.

About the Panel: 

Mary Harrington is a writer. Her work has been published in First ThingsAmerican AffairsPalladium, the New York PostThe Spectator, the New Statesman, the London Times and the Mail on Sunday among others. She is a contributing editor at UnHerd, where she writes a weekly column, and her book Feminism Against Progress published in 2023 with Forum Press. She tweets as @moveincircles.

Leah Libresco Sargeant is the author of Arriving at Amen and Building the Benedict Option. She is a convert from atheism to Catholicism who has worked as a policy analyst, a data journalist, and a curriculum developer at an organization teaching “defensive driving for your brain.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Plough, Comment, First Things, America, and other outlets. She runs Other Feminisms, a substack community focused on the dignity of dependence.

Christine Emba is an opinion columnist and editor at The Washington Post and the author of Rethinking Sex: A Provocation (Penguin Random House, 2022)as well as a contributing editor for Comment magazine. Before joining The Washington Post in 2015, Christine was the Hilton Kramer Fellow in Criticism at the New Criterion and a deputy editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, focusing on technology and innovation. She grew up in Virginia and holds an A.B. in public and international affairs from Princeton University.

Alexandra DeSanctis is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a columnist at National Review, where she spent six years as a full-time journalist covering politics, elections, culture, and the pro-life movement. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and many other publications. She is co-author with Ryan T. Anderson of the book Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing, released last June.