Gender envy is a term used by some transgender people to describe the feeling of envy they experience when looking at someone who appears to have the gender that they identify with.
Gender Envy in a sentence: “I saw her, and I felt a surge of gender envy.”
While it is not limited to transgender people, this phenomenon can be particularly damaging for those in the early stages of exploring their gender identity.
In this article, what is gender envy in a little more detail and give you an insight into how this can feel for a person.
What Does Gender Envy Mean?
When people use the term “gender envy,” they’re usually referring to a sense of admiration or covetousness towards someone who presents themselves in a way that they feel is more attractive, authentic, or desirable than their own presentation.
For transgender people, this can often be triggered by seeing someone who embodies “opposite” gender characteristics traditionally in a way that feels natural and effortless.
Gender envy can be a positive or negative emotion, depending on how it’s experienced and expressed. On the one hand, it can be motivating – Seeing someone you admire can inspire you to work harder on your presentation and goals.
It can also be destructive – feeling bad about yourself because you don’t measure up to someone else’s standards will never lead to lasting happiness.
This feeling is not exclusive to transgender people either. Anyone can feel envious of someone’s appearance.
It is important to remember that everyone’s experience with gender is unique and that there is no “correct” way to look or feel. Ultimately, the only person who can decide what is best for you is you.
Where Did This Term Come From?
The term “gender envy” is not a new one.
Dr. Leslie Feinberg first coined it in the 1992 book Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman.
Feinberg, who was a transgender person themselves, used the term to describe the feeling of jealousy or resentment that some transgender people may feel towards those who are cisgender (meaning their gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth).
Why Do Some People Experience Gender Envy?
There are a variety of reasons why some people may experience gender envy. For some, it may be due to the way they see themselves. They may feel that they do not fit into the traditional gender roles and therefore feel envious of those who do.
Others may feel that their appearance does not match their preferred gender identity, leading them to feel envious of those with an appearance that aligns with their gender identity.
Still, others may simply be attracted to the ambiguity or non-traditional presentation of some people, leading them to feel envious of their appearance.
Regardless of the reason, it can be a difficult thing to deal with. If you feel envious of someone else’s appearance, it is important to remember that everyone is unique and that there is no one “right” way to look. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on celebrating what makes you special.
What Does Gender Envy Feel Like?
It can feel in several ways. For some, it may be a feeling of insecurity or inadequacy. They might look at someone and think, “I wish I could look like that.” For others, it may be more of longing or desire. They might see someone and think, “I want to be like that.”
And for others still, it may be a mix of both positive and negative emotions. They might see someone and think, “I want to be like that, but I’ll never be able to.”
Regardless of how it feels, it is a perfectly normal emotion to experience. It’s only when it starts to negatively impact your life that it becomes a problem.
If you find yourself feeling envious of someone else’s appearance, try to remember that everyone is unique and that there is no one “right” way to look. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on celebrating what makes you special.
Anime Characters: Why Some People Can Feel This Way Towards Them
One of the things that can trigger gender envy in people is seeing characters in anime who present themselves in a way that they find attractive. This is because, for many transgender people, anime represents gender that is different from the traditional roles they see in their everyday lives.
As a result, seeing characters who are androgynous, ambiguously gendered, or who present in a way that is different from their own can be triggering.
For some, it may be the first time they’ve ever seen someone like them represented in a positive light. For others, it may remind them of all the things they’re not and will never be.
Its like the modern body standards, except that these standards are not obtainable by any human on this planet; they are 2D characters.
Gender Envy vs Attraction
When it comes to transgender people and gender envy, there is often a lot of confusion. To understand GE, it’s important first to understand what attraction is. Attraction is the feeling of being attracted to someone or something. This can be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. For example, you may be physically attracted to someone’s appearance, or you may be emotionally attracted to their personality.
Gender envy is different from attraction. Gender envy is the feeling of envy or jealousy towards someone with a gender presentation that you desire but do not have yourself. This can be because you feel like you are not presenting in the way that you want to, or because you feel like you are not being seen as the gender you identify as.
For example, let’s say you are a transgender woman who presents as masculine. You may feel envious of a cisgender woman who can present in a more feminine way. This is because you desire to be seen as more feminine yourself, but you don’t feel like you can achieve that presentation.
It can also be directed towards people who have a gender presentation that is ambiguous or non-binary. This can be because you feel like you are not able to express your own gender in the way that you want to, or because you feel like you are not being seen as the gender you identify as.
It’s not necessary a bad thing you feel this way. It’s simply a feeling that transgender people may experience. If you’re feeling gender envy, it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to present your gender. You can express your gender in whatever way feels best for you.
Gender Envy vs Gender Dysphoria: The Difference
Gender envy is sometimes confused with gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a medical condition that is characterized by a disconnect between a person’s assigned gender and their true gender identity.
Gender envy does not necessarily involve this disconnect. Someone who experiences this feeling may or may not also experience gender dysphoria.
It is simply the feeling of envy or jealousy towards someone with a gender presentation that you desire but do not have yourself.
This can be because you feel like you are not presenting in the way that you want to, or because you feel like you are not being seen as the gender you identify as.
Gender dysphoria is a medical condition that is characterized by a disconnect between a person’s assigned gender and their true gender identity. This can cause various symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and feelings of disconnectedness from one’s body.
Gender envy does not necessarily involve this disconnect. Someone who experiences gender envy may or may not also experience gender dysphoria.
What To Do About Gender Envy
If you feel envious of someone’s appearance, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. We all have our unique features that make us who we are.
There’s nothing wrong with admiring someone else’s appearance, but it’s important not to let those feelings of envy consume you. Instead, focus on the things that make you unique and special.
If you’re struggling with gender envy, there are a few things you can do to help yourself feel better:
- Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. It can be really helpful to talk to someone who will understand and can offer support.
- Find ways to celebrate your own appearance. Maybe there are things about your appearance that you really like but don’t always feel confident about. Make a point to focus on those things and give yourself some credit!
- Seek out others who have similar feelings. It can be comforting to know that you’re not alone in your feelings. There are likely others out there who feel the same way.
- Seek professional help if you’re struggling to cope. If you’re finding it difficult to manage your emotions, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you healthily work through them.
Gender envy is a term that transgender people use when they feel envious of someone’s appearance. This can be because they feel like they cannot achieve the presentation they desire, or because they are not being seen as the gender they identify as.
If you’re struggling with gender envy, remember that you are not alone. Many other transgender people have felt the same way. You can find support and understanding from others who have gone through similar experiences. Seek out professional help if you’re struggling to cope.