2 of 4 – EcoSex @ U Conn – Anderlini’s Gaia – Student Reports: Alissa’s Take
The EcoSex course at U Conn is in process. It’s a great experience. We are reading amazing books. Thinking out of the box and across disciplines. Students are sending their responses in, with discussion questions. In class, we connect the dots: a holograph of what we’ve read together, the “required readings.” Multiple perspectives and good synergy. Here, we offer a glimpse. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio’s Gaia and the New Politics of Love was one of three cultural theorybooks. We got four responses: from Michael, Alissa, John, and Alexandra.
One line that particularly stood out to me was “As a woman who loves her body in all its parts, and claims jurisdiction over them and the consensual pleasures in which they become engaged, I whole heartedly agree with today’s cultural constructionists that biology is not destiny.” This sentence was of importance to be because it brings up the concept of nature vs. nurture. Our biological make up doesn’t decide who we are. It may define us physically and create limits on certain activities we can participate in, but it does not create the whole person, it’s only a piece of the puzzle. Biology creates the person, but it’s what we do with what we are given that creates an identity. This coincides with the chart that lists “the seed must control reproductive organ” with its listed consequences as “reproduction as destiny” and “excessive population growth.” This portion focuses on the idea that sex is solely used for having children and spreading one’s genes onto an offspring (survival of the fittest). The average person can also relate with this preconceived belief because as a person gets older and has a partner their families, parents, friends will ask the question, when are you having kids? In society’s eyes getting married and having children are steps in the equation and people are looked down upon if they choose otherwise. “Reproduction as destiny” is not a reasonable belief because some people are infertile, or sterile making it difficult to have children, other people choose to focus on a career rather than a have children. In the other books we read the concept of symbiosis been explained over and over again, but a unique perspective that was brought to my attention was that nothing is just a resource. Everything benefits from another piece of Gaia. We humans benefit from the other pieces of Gaia and things such as trees benefit from the air we breathe in and out.
Something brought to my attention that I never gave too much thought to was the idea that the men’s sperm is what fertilizes the woman’s egg. Something as simple as that seems just like a fact, but this can be considered where the whole concept of patriarchal beliefs came from; the idea that sperm (the male form) has power over the ovum (the female form). The man impregnates the woman making him superior and the woman more susceptible to his control. Males dominating created the concept of history. History can be seen as a subject area students study in school but it can also been seen as a gendered view on society. History is told from a male perspective, through the male gaze. Women have recently been given a voice, but those years of suppression cannot be taken back. Men’s point of views has been given a greater importance and they are highlighted for their achievements more than women.
Why do you think men were giving superiority to begin with, was it because of natural selection and physical traits or biological factors like impregnating women?
Let “nature” be your teacher in the arts of love. Education is the heart of democracy, education to love. Come back for more wonders: Students Responses to appear every Tuesday. Book Reports scheduled every other Thursday. Check out our summer offerings: Ecosexuality in Portland, OR, July 17-21. Info and Registration here!
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia,Eros, and many other books about love Professor of Humanities