It’s one thing to be a conscientious steward of the natural environment by recycling, reusing and repurposing old items in an effort to reduce our overall carbon footprint and preserve our God-given natural resources. The natural world, of course, provides the less tangible gifts of beauty, art and spirituality as well.
But it’s an affront to most people to hear about those who profess a romantic — even sexual — attraction to trees in a forest, and to other living things in our ecosystems. (The picture above is supposed to be representative of a human being “romancing” a tree.)
This is now playing out at Saint Mary’s College of Maryland, a public institution located in St. Mary’s City.
Lauren Whitworth, a visiting assistant professor of women, gender and sexuality studies, published a “scholarly” article recently that explores how “queer environmentalism” and “ecosexuality” can make environmentalism more appealing, as a piece in Campus Reform recently noted.
While skipping the graphic details of Whitworth’s journal article, titled “Goodbye Gauley Mountain, Hello Eco-Camp: Queer environmentalism in the Anthropocene,” published in the journal Feminist Theory, LifeZette can share the study abstract, which reads in part: “This article considers the effectiveness of queer environmental ethics in the Anthropocene, a word increasingly used to describe the anthropogenic destruction of ecosystems that marks our current geological era,” writes Whitworth — in other words, man’s drain on the natural environment.
“Taking as my subject the contemporary ecosexuality movement popularized by performance artists Annie Sprinkle and her co-collaborator and partner Elizabeth Stephens, I explore the ethics behind ecosexuals’ encounters with the natural environment,” the piece continues.
On the website, Whitworth notes, Stephens and Sprinkle give multiple definitions of “ecosexual,” ranging from “a person that finds nature sensual, sexy” or “takes the Earth as their lover,” to “an environmental activist strategy,” according to Campus Reform.
The activists’ website also notes their theater piece, “Dirty Sexecology; 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth,” and “We are the Ecosexuals. The Earth is our lover. We are madly, passionately, and fiercely in love, and we are grateful for this relationship each and every day…”
Normally, this silly rhetoric would fade into obscurity where it belongs — until a professor dedicates an entire research paper to it.
Taxpayers are funding, in part, this perverse nonsense passed off as scholarly research — a phenomenon that has been occurring on college campuses since the 1970s and recently with more regularity.
LifeZette reached out to Professor Whitworth but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Still, the research is a daunting reflection of how far society continues to stray in the wrong direction.
“In the West, we have been withdrawing from our tradition, religion, and even nation-centered cultures, partly to decrease the danger of group conflict,” writes Jordan B. Peterson in “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.”
Peterson, a clinical psychologist and professor at Harvard and the University of Toronto, continues, “But we are increasingly falling prey to the desperation of meaninglessness, and that is no improvement at all.”
For all intents and purposes, Whitworth’s research appears to be an exercise in meaningless desperation.
Check out the video below for a refreshing reminder of the gifts of nature.
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.