“The Eclipse of Woman” by F.R.A.I.

I chose to write about “The Eclipse of Woman” by F.R.A.I. from the June 15, 1913 issue of The New Freewoman. This proved to be an interesting read—my curiosity was captivated by the charged diction and the somewhat radical ideology of the author. While it is indisputable that the opinions and philosophies regarding gender roles have evolved throughout history, I found that many of the strong arguments in this passage are still in play today. This article proved to be more difficult to write about the longer I dealt with it. My first thought was to find the holes in her arguments because she seemed to speak in generalizations while employing somewhat over-the-top diction. The author refers to males in other species as nothing “but an adjunct.” I originally thought that her reference regarding monogamy going against biblical principles was based on a shallow analysis, however, upon researching verses pertaining to monogamy in the bible, I could find no verse that explicitly advocated monogamous principles. The monogamous expectations that were institutionalized in 1913, and still are in place to this day, are purely cultural, according to her evidence.

While I find it hard to agree with many of her arguments for feminism, I must admit that her justifications are soundly based in anthropological and historical evidence. For instance, I would not go so far as to compare humans to insects, such as bees, which serve their one master: the queen bee. Including facts about insects and arachnids that “devour” their mating servants should not enhance any argument regarding human feminism for a multitude of reasons. I would however, base any arguments I have on the socioeconomic disparities between men and women rather than their biological differences because that is one of the prevalent issues of today. Her choice of diction may be off-putting at first, but it certainly grabs the readers’ attention and forces him/her to analyze her impressive evidence. Overall, F.R.A.I. effectively proves that the struggles that women faced in 1913 could be traced throughout history, and she offered interesting, but effective, biological examples of gender role comparison.


3 thoughts on ““The Eclipse of Woman” by F.R.A.I.

  1. After reading “The Eclipse of Woman”, I think you analyzed F.R.A.I.’s argument of the evolution of gender roles through history very accurately. I agree that her arguments for feminism are hard to support, but her arguments are also firmly grounded in sound examples where feminism has benefitted species. Comparing the masculine based human species to feminist based species, such as spiders and bees, forms her well developed argument that feminist species can survive as well if not better than masculine species.
    Using such abstract examples to back her argument lessens her credibility , because many of them are too abstract, but they also show that F.R.A.I. has invested many hours into supporting her argument. This proves that F.R.A.I. has a sound understanding of feminist cultures and truly believes that feminist cultures found provide some extremely beneficial additions to the human society. Overall, I agree with your comments.

    • OP, I must disagree with your statement that she should have focused on the socioeconomic issues. The point of the article was to show that feminism has been traditionally beneficial to species through anthropological and historical evidence. While I agree she makes irrelevant examples by comparing humans to other completely dissimilar species in the beginning of the paper (like bees), she recovers her argument in the later half using historical evidence about humans. Again, I must concede and agree with the OP that her harsh tone makes it resemble more of a feminist rant than an argumentative essay, her evidence is sound (at the end) and she accomplishes her goal. If she were to tone down the harsh feminist rhetoric and remove the irrelevant examples, F.R.A.I. would have a solid argument. Socioeconomic issues for women in an industrialized world is a topic for a different essay.

  2. It was definitely an interesting read, both the article and your post! I agree with you in terms of her “charged” writing style and her radical ideology. She seems to be very passionate about the topic and clearly shows her position through her choice of diction.
    Gender roles and discrimination are still an issue today which is why it is interesting to read through her arguments and try to apply them to today’s society. This turned out to be a little more difficult because some of her evidence is dated, but still valid in a way. I agree with you that using insects as evidence to prove a point may be a little over the top, but I think that they are only used as means of illustration which is an interesting approach at the same time.

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