3 of 6 – EcoSex @ U Conn – Weiss’s EcoSex – Student Responses: Alex’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. Stefanie Iris Weiss’s EcoSex: Go Green Between the Sheets, was one of two introductory books. We got five responses: from John, Alex, Adam, Rhiann, Alissa, and Michael.
Eco-Sex does not mess around. The author, Stefanie Iris Weiss, utilizes many emotional and logical tactics in order to incite a revolution. Her first words, printed on page nine, showcase an emotional ploy. She breaks down the average eco-enthusiasts’ actions and renders them, more or less, useless.The words, “at least that’s what you tell yourself as you carry home your ‘I Am Not a Plastic Bag’ tote filled with nontoxic goodies,” following the description of the self righteous attitude of many environment lovers, serve to stab the ego of said activists. By yanking away one’s image, Stefanie Iris Weiss succeeds in producing somewhat of an identity crisis. Left feeling insignificant and kind of dumb, the reader yearns to re-establish herself as a valid member of the green community.
Stefanie Iris Weiss furthers the reader’s guilt by sharing the most extreme actions a person could take to ensure the environment’s well being. “A die-hard eco-sexual might have his or her tubes ‘tied’ and commit to not having kids,” the author states on page six. Gazing at these words, the reader is forced to comprehend how much more the could contribute or sacrifice to protect Mother Earth. Now, of course, most readers will not proceed to act out the intense scenarios Stefanie Iris Weiss offers, but many will be prompted to do something, rather than to blindly follow the trends of the “green movement.”
Knowing that humans are inherently selfish-beings, Stefanie Iris Weiss continues to appeal to self interest. “Face it,” she says on page nine, “you are not exploring exo-sexuality just because you want to save whales or trees– you’re doing it to save yourself. And why wouldn’t you.” Through these words, the author makes a case that protecting the earth is analogous with protecting yourself. This, of course, prompts readers to take Stefanie Iris Weiss’ statements seriously. Furthermore, through the words “And why wouldn’t you,” Stefanie acknowledges that it’s okay to long for self-health, and in turn strips any offence from the above sentence.
She continues to appeal to self interest by utilizing fear. She talks of a study that found “456 industrial pollutants, pesticides, and other chemicals in the blood, urine, and breast milk of 115 people, from newborns to teens and adults”(9). This statistic, effectively creates fear in the readers mind. Weary of chemicals not noticed in his/her own body, one will eagerly grasp for more information on how to avoid such offenses to nature, and more importantly to the self.
Still, I assume Stefanie does not crave widespread panic or chaos, but simply wants to spark interest. Said interest will in turn produce consciousness. A major theme, and the core, of Eco-Sex. Many people long to make a difference, to help in some way or another, but are unable to produce a significant change due to the confines of ignorance. How is it possible to act if you are unaware of the ways in which to act? This book makes it possible for the bright-eyed newbies, like me, to get in on saving our planet. Underneath the persuasion, the book is, at its heart, an informative text.
After reading only the intro, I realize how painfully unaware I am. This new comprehension goads me into not only reading this book but also into reading various other informative pieces on environmental help.
Questions: The tone of this book is a tad snarky, does this help the author in inciting a sexual revolution?
How does knowing about “greenwashing” affect your decision to buy certain products? Will it make you more vigilant? How do you even know what ingredients are bad? Is there a way to educate the masses? I only the information in this book because of this class!
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 to be scheduled soon. Check out our summer offerings: Ecosexuality in Portland, OR, July 17-21. Registration here!
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia,Eros, and many other books about love Professor of Humanities