Tag Archives: books

Wom*n’s Dept wish list!

23 Dec

Got some last bitsa money left in wom*n’s budget…

If anyone has feministy books (or even films!?) they’d like to suggest for us to spend the $$ on let us know within the next couple of days!

Also feel free to suggest other things you think the wom*ns department should do with the last of the year’s budget!

Safe and happy holidays to all xo


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.

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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Suggestions for books?

9 Aug

If we were to get new titles for the collection in the wom*n’s room, what would you suggest? It doesn’t matter if you’ve read them or not, or whether you use the wom*n’s room or not.

Here are some to get the ball rolling.


Feminism For Real: Deconstructing the academic industrial complex of feminism. By Jessica Yee.

“When feminism itself becomes its own form of oppression, what do we have to say about it? Western notions of polite discourse are not the norm for all of us, and just because we’ve got some new and hot language lately in equity-seeking movements like feminism — such as  “intersectionality” — to use in our talk, it doesn’t necessarily make things change in our walk (i.e. actually being anti-racist).

Confronting the sometimes uncomfortable questions feminism has made us  ask about what’s going on FOR REAL paved the many paths that brought the contributors of this book together to share their sometimes uncomfortable truths, not just about feminism, but about who they are and where they are coming from.

Against a backdrop exposing a 500+ year legacy of colonization and oppression, Feminism FOR REAL explores what has led us to the existence of “feminism”, who gets to decide what it is, and why. With stories that make the walls of academia come tumbling down, it deals head-on with the conflicts of what feminism means in theory as opposed to real life, the frustrations of trying to relate to definitions of feminism that never fit no matter how much you try to  change yourself to fit them, and the anger of changing a system while  being in the system yourself.


Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Julia Serrano

“A provocative manifesto, Whipping Girl tells the powerful story of Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely  intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist. Serano shares her experiences and observations both pre- and post-transition to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole. Serano’s well-honed arguments stem from her ability to bridge the gap between the often-disparate biological and social perspectives on gender. She exposes how deep-rooted the cultural belief is that femininity is frivolous, weak, and passive, and how this “feminine” weakness exists only to attract and appease male desire. In addition to debunking popular misconceptions about transsexuality, Serano makes the case that today’s feminists and transgender activist must work to embrace and empower femininity in all of its wondrous forms.”

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