The principal difference between love and hate is that love is an irradiation, and hate is a concentration. Love makes everything lovely; hate concentrates itself on the object of its hatred. All the fearful counterfeits of love — possessiveness, lust, vanity, jealousy — are closer to hate: they concentrate on the object, guard it, suck it dry.
In asking forgiveness of women for our mythologizing of their bodies, for being unreal about them, we can only appeal to their own sexuality, which is different but not basically different, perhaps, from our own. For women, too, there seems to be that tangle of supplication and possessiveness, that descent toward infantile undifferentiation, that omnipotent helplessness, that merger with the cosmic mother-warmth, that flushed pulse- quickened leap into overestimation, projection, general mix-up.john updike