In my post last summer about my search for ‘another feminism’ (or male pro-feminism) that was compatible with my renascent faith and with a consistent ethic of life, I mentioned three authors whose work I had found helpful. They were Erika Bachiocihi, whose groundbreaking book The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision I wrote about in that same post; Abigail Favale, whose The Genesis of Gender: a Christian Theory I reviewed in a later post; and Leah Libresco Sargeant, the author of the Other Feminisms Substack. I should have probably mentioned a fourth writer whose work I have also followed closely, and who often turns up on panels and podcasts in conversation with one or more of these women. Serena Sigillito is a widely-published journalist focusing on women’s experience of work and motherhood. Because I follow Serena’s Substack, I receive regular updates on her writing, and today she posted the news that, together with an impressive team of writers and campaigners, she has been working on the launch of a brand new website and online journal, Fairer Disputations.
According to the website’s ‘About’ page:
Fairer Disputations is not just an online journal. It’s an international community of scholars, public intellectuals, journalists, and advocates. Our mission is to advance a new vision of feminism, one that is grounded in the basic fact that sex is real. Although the authors we feature do not all agree on every issue, they each make important contributions to the debate over how society should, in justice, accommodate the reality of sexual difference.
Fairer Disputations will advance that debate by aggregating both popular and scholarly writing, publishing our own original material, and creating an online community of new feminist voices.
The new journal’s roster of featured authors brings together faith-based and secular feminists from a wide range of backgrounds, and I was pleased to see that this eclecticism extends both to the articles linked to by the site and the list of recommended reading. There are clearly important differences of opinion among those who have attached their names to the project, but what they share is a dedication, in their words, ‘to defending a vision of female and male as embodied expressions of human personhood’. Although those involved are ‘united in an understanding that biological sex is real’, they plan to ‘publish an array of perspectives on how society ought properly to accommodate that reality.’
In a field that has too often been marked by labelling, cancelling and the shutting down of debate, let’s hope that Fairer Disputations lives up to its name and creates a space where reasoned discussion about important issues of sex and gender can take place. And perhaps this development really is a sign that, in the words of the journal editors, ‘a new feminism is emerging.’
Some of the key names behind Fairer Disputations participated in a stimulating and informative online discussion earlier this week, as a way of launching their new venture. You can watch the whole thing on Youtube, or below: