Ralston’s new book on unfinished sexual revolution

Meredith Ralston (PhD (Political Science)’92) has a new book from McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Ralston is professor of women’s studies and political studies at Mount Saint Vincent University and a documentary filmmaker whose films include Hope in Heaven, Selling Sex, and Why Women Run. Her work has been in the areas of sex tourism in the Philippines, women and politics, homeless women and sex work in Canada.

In her new book, Slut-Shaming, Whorephobia, and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution, Ralston examines the common denominators between the #MeToo movement, the myths of rape culture, and the pleasure gap between men and women to reveal the ways that sexually liberated women threaten the traditional patriarchy. Weaving in history, pop culture, philosophy, interviews with sex workers, and anecdotes, Ralston shows how women will achieve sexual equality only when the sexual double standard and good girl/bad girl binary are eliminated and women are destigmatized. Illustrating how women’s sexuality is policed by both men and women, she argues that women must be allowed the same personal autonomy as men: the freedom to make sexual decisions for themselves, to obtain orgasm equality, and to insist on their own sexual pleasure. Dispelling the myth that all sex workers are victims and all clients are violent, the book calls out Western society’s hypocrisy about sex and shows how stigma and the marginalization of sex workers harms all women.