What do you make of the feminist, existential, and non-Western critiques of the essentialist/avocado self?

What do you make of the feminist, existential, and non-Western critiques of the essentialist/avocado self? Are there any other problems with the idea that human beings are fundamentally rational creatures?
What is the role of desire in the self? Is it really something separate from reason, as modernism, Christianity, and Islam assert? Can it be controlled? Should it be?