The Eroticism of Fat Men
There is no fury like an ex-wife searching for a new lover. When we see a woman chewing the cud meekly beside her second husband, it is hard to imagine how brutally, implacably and pettily she got rid of the others. There are two great moments in a woman’s life: when first she finds herself to be deeply in love with her man and when she leaves him. Leaving him enables her to be both sadist and masochist, to be stony when he implores her to stay and to weep because she has decided to go. Women differ from men in that to break with the past and mangle their mate in the process fulfils a dark need. Thus a wife’s woman-friends will derive an almost equal satisfaction from her impending departure. Together they prepare the brief against the husband which will strip him of his friends. They love to know the date, to fan the flames, and when the Monster is alone to rush round and inspect him. They will hear the clump of suit-cases a hundred streets away.
Beware of a woman with too many girl-friends, for they will always try to destroy the conjugal WE. One girl-friend is worse, unless afterwards we marry her. In America every woman has her set of girl-friends; some are cousins, the rest are gained at school. These form a permanent committee who sit on each other’s affairs, who ‘come out’ together, marry and divorce together, and who end as those groups of bustling, heartless well-informed club-women who govern society. Against them the Couple or Ehepaar is helpless and Man in their eyes but a biological interlude.
In the sex-war thoughtlessness is the weapon of the male, vindictiveness of the female. Both are reciprocally generated, but a woman’s desire for revenge outlasts all other emotion.
When every unkind word about women has been said, we have still to admit, with Byron, that they are nicer than men. They are more devoted, more unselfish and more emotionally sincere. When the long fuse of cruelty, deceit and revenge is set alight, it is male thoughtlessness which has fired it.