Can Contemporary Feminism Come to Grips with Reality? Four Responses to Abigail Favale

Today at Public Discourse, we are featuring brief responses to Abigail Favale’s essay, "Feminism's Last Battle," by four writers: Erika Bachiochi, Margaret Harper McCarthy, Leah Libresco Sargeant, and Angela Franks.
Transgender performance of femaleness can only be a parody, because no amount of “bottom surgery” will make a male into the kind of human being who has the natural power to bear a child. The woman has the spontaneous, natural power to make space for the other, which embodies the spiritual reality to which all human beings are called.
For all its insight into the link between identity politics and the sexual revolution, Mary Eberstadt’s recent book should be supplemented with the insights from her earlier work on secularism. As the history of philosophy indicates, identity loss is bound up with secularization, which gives the self the impossible task of constructing meaning from scratch. The only sure basis for personal identity is the will of God for me as his creature.
What Harvey Weinstein is accused of is wrong not only because the victims did not consent but also and more importantly because of what he chose. Sex expresses self-gift, which is why it is such a violation when something that should only be a free gift is stolen by force.
Jonathan Eig’s new book tells the story of the invention and popularization of the contraceptive pill. A pleasant, biographically-inflected history, the book repeats standard post-sexual revolution rhetoric, untroubled by too much complexity.
A new biography of Margaret Sanger fails to confront the Planned Parenthood founder’s ideological commitment to eugenics and population control.