Night of 10th-11th March 1942
Feminine jealousy is a defensive reaction
—Some stories about women.
In woman, jealousy is a defensive reaction. It surely has an ancestral origin, and must go back to the time when woman simply couldn’t do without the protection of a man. First of all, it’s the reaction of a pregnant woman, who as such has all the more need of protection. She feels so weak in those circumstances, so timid—for herself and for the child she’s carrying. And this child itself, how many years will it take to gain its independence! Without the protection of a man, woman would feel exposed to all perils. So it’s natural that she should be quite particularly attached to the hero, to the man who gives her the most security. Once this security is obtained, it’s comprehensible that she should bitterly defend her property—hence the origin of jealousy.
I knew a woman whose voice became raucous with emotion when I spoke in her presence to another woman. Man’s universe is vast compared with that of woman. Man is taken up with his ideas, his preoccupations. It’s only incidental if he devotes all his thoughts to a woman. Woman’s universe, on the other hand, is man. She sees nothing else, so to speak, and that’s why she’s capable of loving so deeply.
Intelligence, in a woman, is not an essential thing. My mother, for example, would have cut a poor figure in the society of our cultivated women. She lived strictly for her husband and children. They were her entire universe. But she gave a son to Germany.