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.