Slut-Shaming, Whorephobia, and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution (June, 2021)

In 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 viewed by society as “whores” 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. 

Praise for Slut-Shaming, Whorephobia, and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution:

“Meredith Ralston investigates prejudice against sex workers with compassion, clarity, and a call to action. Until the stigma ends, all women are implicated. If you care about women’s equality in the bedroom, boardroom, and beyond, read this book.” – Leora Tanenbaum, author of I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet

“In this timely analysis of power and pleasure, Meredith Ralston demonstrates how the double standard reverberates across culture, from how we police our intimate lives to the way #MeToo exposes the fault lines of sexual entitlement. Deeply researched and passionately argued, Ralston’s book challenge us to take a close look at the consequences of our sexual hypocrisy and consider what it takes to destigmatize sex and dismantle privilege. The revolution she describes is a necessary one.” – Katherine Rowland, author of The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution.


McGill-Queen’s University Press

Chapters Indigo


Barnes & Noble


Reluctant Bedfellows (2008)

This book outlines key facets of a five year development project on sex tourism and prostitution in the Philippines, and is a powerful reflection on the raging debates taking place among feminists about the Third World. Making a strong call for action, we take on the sometimes paralysing post-colonialist positions about Westerners doing work in the Third World as we discuss our particular case study in the Philippines. We call on critical left scholars to provide solutions to the many global problems in the world and not be so hesitant to “do something.” We argue that we have responsibilities to others beyond our own national borders and that it is a huge failure of imagination to think we cannot “do something” when it is done with critical self-reflection and care.

Praise for Reluctant Bedfellows:

“This is a moving call for re-invigorating feminist activism and northern responsibility…” – Dr. Allison Goebel

“This book is a “must read”: it will play an important part in shaping social and academic understandings of the politics of sexuality in the twenty-first century …” – Dr. Lorraine Code

“I’m hard pressed to name another book of its kind that explores so passionately … the problems that drive a wedge between women of differing citizenship, privilege and culture …” – Bitch Magazine

 Available on Amazon.


Nobody Wants to Hear Our Truth: Homeless Women and Theories of the Welfare State (1996)

M. Ralston, Nobody Wants to Hear Our Truth: Homeless Women and Theories of the Welfare State Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996.


Available on Amazon.