May 21, 2016, by Professor Gerhard Amendt (formerly of the Institute for Gender and Generation Research, Bremen University, IGG)
Which is less pleasant: being envied or envying yourself? Envy is an intense feeling, it can consume one's soul and destroy the envied person's enjoyment of the object in question. However, envy is also part of life and it is worth to not only point it out but to furthermore investigate, which significance it can obtain in societies. That is, in its positive sense as well, as to allow envy to become a progressive force.
In this essay, I want to show one example in which way envy can be dynamic by turning it into ambition, fantasy and persistence. Through the example of gender studies, on the other hand, we are going to explore the paralysing potential of envy. It can befall individual people or entire groups and then pushes them into an isolated envious fixation. In this case, nagging envy leads to a hostile self-centredness, which alienates the individual and the collective alike from society.