Monday, July 21, 2008

"The Green Eyed Monster"

I had an interesting interview with a Canadian reporter today where we discussed (among other things) the uniquely female connotation of jealousy. Imagine a middle school boy coming home and telling his parents that he's being tormented at school. How often do you think his parents might respond by assuring him, "Oh, those kids are just jealous!" Yet girls tell me this is often the knee-jerk response they get from well-intentioned adults.

Cruise around a bit online and you're likely to find words like "jealousy" and "envy" associated with romantic relationships. (For an interesting evolutionary twist on the topic, check out how height and jealousy might be related.) In reality, friendships and work relationships and acquaintanceships can also be poisoned by this emotion, as Paris Hilton describes in a song
by the same name--supposedly written about her onetime VBF.

Are women more likely to allow jealousy to creep into all types of relationships? Or do we stereotype ourselves by labeling a feeling that that might be as innocent as admiration, as simple as curiosity or the equivalent of good old boy rivalry--turning it into something negative and wrong?

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