With their heads and their bodies finally liberated, with their eyes wide open, women will no longer be like those blinded horses who turn in circles around the well to which they are attached; they will no longer turn blindly, lovingly around you, Sir. You will no longer be the opaque screen between women and the world. . . . They will no longer bury themselves in you, and the day is coming when you will lament having lost what you claimed you couldn't bear. In return, they will no longer judge you because they, too, will know that pleasure and love are powerful gods who cannot always receive simultaneous honors. They will learn that the death of desire is a law that you cannot avoid; it is not a flaw in your character. They will admit that even for a free body happiness is the exception. And finally, they will renounce, if they have not already done so, the unrealizable temptation of the great love.
Will they be any happier?
It is probable that free from both the anguish of passion and biological anguish -- since nature always takes her revenge and compensates for one change by another and since everything in life balances out mysteriously -- women will know another form of anguish, the one you feel so strongly, Sir, and which was your exclusive luxury: metaphysical anguish. It is then and only then that genius can flourish. . . .
I have the feeling that soon, in twenty years perhaps, there will be a revolt of feminine minds against a world made by men for men where so much horror, blood, weeping, and torture inflicted on what is alive proclaims that domination is a vice.
One day women will refuse the useless suffering added to the inevitable suffering of our mortal condition and perhaps they will plunge headlong, like you, into the mad venture of wanting to reform the world. The result would be a religious crisis without precedent which would undoubtedly oblige the Catholic Church to return to Galilee. . . .
From Lettre ouverte aux hommes [An open letter to men] ( Albin Michel, 1968).