Hardy has plenty to say about this theme. Part of the tragedy of this novel is that Angel idealizes Tess, and thinks of her as a kind of "every woman," instead of as a unique, individual woman. In his mind, she represents some kind of eternal, universal Femininity. In the world of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, women have a unique relationship to nature, and to the land, that men cannot share. Women are more in touch with the outdoors, and men are more in tune with modernity and industrialization.
Angel sees Tess as a mythic, idealized woman, rather than as a unique individual, and his failure to recognize that she has a history drives them apart.
Women of Tess's acquaintance, like Izz, Marian, and Retty, adore Tess in an almost worshipful way, even when they have good cause to be jealous. Their loyal affection for Tess suggests that even to other women, Tess represents a kind of ideal femininity.