The Open Court on ‘American Gynocentrism’ (1898)

The following is an excerpt from The Open Court 1898 (pp. 575):

The cause of the new woman has found an enthusiastic champion in M. Jules Bois, who has recently published a very readable book on the subject, L’Eve nouvelle. (Paris: Leon Chailley, 41 Rue de Richelieu. Pp., 381. Price, fr. 3.50.) M. Bois is unstinted in his praise and admiration for the inexhaustible potencies of the fair sex, and reviews their anthropology, or rather, if we may use the word in its literal sense, their gynaecology, less with the eye of the scientist than with the aim of the passionate special pleader.

With many sound and common sense claims he has mingled a few very doubtful sociological theories, evidently at second hand. He proclaims the judgment day of social anthropocentrism, the overthrow of the femme-poupee, the femme-reflet, the femme-victime, above all of that monstrum ingens the femme-homme, and hails the advent of the femme-femme. “Woman, before being a wife, a sweetheart, or a mother, is and should be first a woman. Her full freedom must be conserved.”

This new woman is not a new creation, moreover, but existed in the old woman, who was her undeveloped Platonic archetype. All the sides of her life M. Bois considers in brief, outspoken terms and shows great knowledge of her condition in all countries. We Americans have not so much need to take his admonitions to heart as need Continental Europeans, seeing that captious critics are prone to regard us as suffering rather from gynocentrism than anthropocentrism.

Be that as it may, and sticking still to the geometrical metaphor, what we have both to look forward to in the new dawning millennium is an anthropic, gynecic bifocism, preferably of curves with vanishing ellipticity; when which consummation has been reached, the eternal problem will be solved.

See Also: Historical quotes about USA as champion of extreme gynocentrism

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