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frigid, but they are never devoid of the _potentia coeundi_, except in
extremely rare cases of _atresia vaginae_ or the absence of the
There are a number of other components which go to make up this "queen
of torments" or "king of torturers" jealousy, but those I have
enumerated are the essential ones.
What are they? Fear, vanity, anger, envy and pain. None of them
admirable qualities, none of them, with the exception of the first and
the last, even deserving our compassion. All of them anti-social and
anti-individual qualities. Should not everything be done to eradicate
such a rank weed, which draws its sustenance from roots each one of
which is dipped in poison?
We are told that in our primitive state jealousy was a social
instinct; that by killing and keeping away rivals it helped to found
and cement the family and to keep it pure. I do not care to enter
here into a discussion of this point. But whatever useful role
jealousy may have played in the remote ages (I doubt that it has), it
is now an utterly useless, utterly vicious, utterly anti-social and
anti-individual emotion. It is opposed to social life and it destroys
individual happiness. And everything possible should be done to
smother it, to strangle it, to eliminate it entirely from human life.
Yes, I find no compensation whatever for jealousy; I find no place for
it in our modern life and I am in complete agreement with Forel, who
calls jealousy "a heritage of animals and barbarians." "That is what I
would say," he says, "to all those who, in the name of offended honor,
would grant it rights and even place it on a pedestal. It is ten times
better for a woman to marry an unfaithful than a jealous husband....
Jealousy transforms marriage into a hell.... Even in its more moderate
and normal form, jealousy is a torment, for distrust and suspicion
poison love. We often hear of justified jealousy. I maintain that
_jealousy is never justifiable_; it is always a stupid, atavistic
inheritance, or else a pathological symptom."
But can anything be done to eradicate this agonizing, tormenting
emotion? I believe it can, and the ways and means to the eradication
of this evil will be found on analyzing its components. We may not be
able to destroy all the components; if we destroy the greater part of
them much will have been accomplished.
The underlying factors of jealousy are: the primitive instinct, also
present in many animals, our ethical and religious ideas and our
economic system. The primitive instinct we can repress and modify; we
can hardly hope to eradicate it entirely. But our ideas and economic
system we can change. It is easier to change ideas than it is a
system, and it is with our ideas we should commence.
The first idea we must endeavor to destroy is that it is impossible
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