Feminism Against Progress

Mary Harrington

In Feminism Against Progress, Mary Harrington argues that the industrial-era faith in progress is turning against all but a tiny elite of women. Women’s liberation was less the result of human moral progress than an effect of the material consequences of the Industrial Revolution. We’ve now left the industrial era for the age of AI, biotech and all-pervasive computing. As a result, technology is liberating us from natural limits and embodied sex differences. Although this shift benefits a small class of successful professional women, it also makes it easier to commodify women’s bodies, human intimacy and female reproductive abilities.

This is a stark warning against a dystopian future whereby poor women become little more than convenient sources of body parts to be harvested and wombs to be rented by the rich. Progress has now stopped benefiting the majority of women, and only a feminism that is sceptical of it can truly defend female interests in the 21st century.


ISBN: 9781800752023

Published: March 2, 2023


ISBN: 9781800752047

Published: September 7, 2023


ISBN: 9781800752030

Published: March 2, 2023


Reviews for Feminism Against Progress

‘A bracingly provocative read from one of progressive feminism’s most ingenious critics’ – Kathleen Stock, author of Material Girls

‘Like downing a packet of Tangfastics after a lifetime of gruel’ – Louise Perry, author of The Case Against the Sexual Revolution

‘Brilliant, bold and beautifully written, Feminism Against Progress is sure to infuriate – and inspire’ – Erika Bachiochi, author of The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision

‘Essential reading for the left’ – Lord Maurice Glasman, author of Blue Labour: The Politics of the Common Good

‘Original, fearless and profound’ – Helen Joyce, author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality

Intense, brave and often sagacious book … Mary Harrington has asked some of the difficult questions, and answered some of them too, with both feeling and intellect’ – Mary Kenny, The Tablet


Mary Harrington

Mary Harrington is a writer whose work has appeared in the Times, The Spectator, The New Statesman, The Daily Mail, and First Things, among others. She is a Contributing Editor at UnHerd. She lives in Bedfordshire, UK.