Tag Archives: academic

New Book: Selling Sex Short

1 Nov

Apparently the book cover is the choice of the publisher, and definitely not the preference of the author!

Dr. Meagan Tyler, who some may know through her work as a tutor at Melbourne Uni, has recently had her new book published: ‘Selling Sex Short: The pornographic and sexological construction of sexuality in the West‘. The information below is from the page about the book on the Cambridge Scholars Publishing website, where you can also read a sample PDF and order a copy.

Pornography and the ‘science of sex’ – sexology – are redefining sexuality in the West today, but is the model of sexuality promoted by these two industries selling sex short? In this, the first book to fully investigate the connections between the industries of pornography and sexology, they are found to promote a very similar type of sexual ideal.

Sex therapists now recommend hard-core pornography to patients and porn stars have become sex-advice ‘experts’ offering bestselling self-help books. With reports of the increasing ‘pornification’ of popular culture and an epidemic of ‘Female Sexual Dysfunction,’ it is more important than ever to understand the influence of pornography and sexology on our sexual lives.

Through a feminist critique of current trends in pornography, in sexological research, and in sex self-help books, it is shown that the type of sex being promoted by these industries closely resembles the model of sex found in systems of prostitution. This is a model in which women are bought and sold and yet it is being held up as an ideal for couples to mimic in their everyday heterosexual relationships. Ultimately, this is an unethical model of sexuality that sells sex short.

There was recently a book launch held at Melbourne Uni but unfortunately we did not hear about it in time to post a heads up. But if you attended, let us know how it went!

Meagan Tyler is a Lecturer in Sociology at Victoria University, Australia. She has presented her research on women’s sexuality at conferences around the world and her research has been published in Women’s Studies International Forum and Women and Therapy. She is also a member of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia.


Man sues LSE for “anti-male” gender studies agenda

30 Sep

by Alicia Izharuddin // 4 September 2011, 20:09
from this post at The F-Word

Once upon a time, the hallowed halls of academia were only opened to men. Within, men consumed and produced scholarship about other men. The presence of women in university was thought to contaminate, ridicule, and degrade the sacred pursuit of learning. Learning was even thought to be bad for women, making them infertile among other things. When the doors were finally burst open to women, there was no turning back; women were everywhere, accomplishing in male-dominated disciplines, outnumbering and out-performing the male of the species, and dominating the humanities and social sciences. Then came the rise of Gender Studies that served to redress the historical silencing of queer and female voices, and administer a small dose of balance into the male-centred world of learning. So far, so good for woman-kind.

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Event: Big Porn, Inc.

5 Sep

book cover: black background with 'big porn inc' in capital red and white text

A new book, Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the Global Porn Industry, is being launched at the moment, and a talk will take place at:

Faculty Function Room
John Medley Building
Melbourne University
Tuesday, 13th September from 5:30 – 7pm.


Now, this may a bit of a controversial event (and book) as there are many within the UMSU Wom*n’s Dept (and outside it) who have differing perspectives on pornography, the variety of feminist responses to it, and especially some of the writers who have contributed to this book. The event is posted here in the interests of impartiality and exposure for all feminist-related stuff happening on campus.

Hopefully the event/book will be thought-provoking no matter where you stand. If anyone wants to attend, perhaps we could incorporate this into Feminist Discussion Group.

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Academic Survival Tips

2 Sep

As we approch the middle of Semester 2, and many people are starting to have assessments (not to mention election tasks, job dramas, family issues, partner problems, and all the other ‘real life’ stuff) piling up, let’s make sure we don’t get down on ourselves and keep positive about getting through it all.

The Crunk Feminist Collective have posted a list of academic survival tips that couldn’t be more timely, and whether you are undegrad or postgrad, hopefully they will strike a chord for a lot of us. Reposted with permission below:

Painting of a black woman reading, with a considerate expression on her face

  • Be confident in your abilities.
  • If you feel like a fraud, you very likely are suffering from impostor syndrome, a chronic feeling of intellectual or personal inadequacy born of grandiose expectations about what it means to be competent. Women in particular suffer with this issue, but I argue that it is worse for women-of-color (particularly Blacks and Latinas) who labor under stereotypes of both racial and gender incompetence. The academy itself also creates grandiose expectations, given the general perception of academicians as hypercompetent people. Secret: Everybody that’s actin like they know, doesn’t really know. So ask your question. It’s probably not as stupid as you think. Now say this with me: “I’m smart enough, my work is important, and damn it, I’m gonna make it.”

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Women’s voice blocked by asylum seeking process – study reveals

24 Aug

(image from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Women’s Group & Sewing Group)

Women refugees are not being processed fairly according to a University of Melbourne led study.

The study suggests Australia can do better in how it processes women refugees applying for asylum. Researchers say gender-based persecution issues such as rape, trafficking, female genital alteration, denial of education, domestic abuse and imprisonment need to be taken into account in the processing of women refugees.

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