From the Modernist Journals Project, I read “Woman’s New Era” by Francis Grierson. In it, Grierson argues that we are entering into the fifth great movement that will “vivify” the pages of history during which “women will need through a long cycle of spiritual activity.” She goes on to then propose and then explain, with several anecdotes, how the two greatest spiritual movements of our time were led by women.
The two words I found to permeate the article were “cycle” and “psychic.” Grierson employs cycle in a couple different ways, but the main, and most important one I saw was to differentiate or “tag” time periods as being “masculine, feminine or neutral” or any number of other descriptions. This distinction was useful in the formulation of her assertion that this new cycle, or time period we are moving into will be defined by those traits.
The other word, “psychic,” is employed for numerous reasons. However, I believe the main function of its use is to suggest that the causes behind this new cycle is largely inexplicable and in many ways, almost spiritual. One argument Grierson made on this topic was at the end of the reading, in which she puts forward the idea that if this movement is to be successful, it 1) must not be tethered to any previous movements and 2) every woman should be a “psychic entity and a spiritual force.”