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Reluctant Bedfellows: Feminism, Activism and Prostitution in the Philippines

Meredith Ralston and Edna Keeble
Reluctant Bedfellows: Feminism, Activism and Prostitution in the Philippines
ISBN: 978-1-56549-269-1
2008/229 pages/LC: 2008036909
A Kumarian Press Book

"Theoretically rich and highly practical for those who want to participate in overseas development work, yet are afraid of reproducing ethnocentric and neocolonial values. Also useful to those who teach on the subjects of gender, development studies and human rights."—Herizons

"The book is commendable for its insightful portrayal of the authors’ pains—but more so gains—as they put to action the ideologies of transnational feminism and transversal politics."—International Feminist Journal of Politics


This book outlines key facets of the authors' 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. Ralston and Keeble follow the history of prostitution in former military outpost Angeles City, the women and foreign men who live by the trade and the varied organizations attempting to deal with prostitution. Making a strong call for action, the authors encounter resistance and anger from Western feminists who claim any action by Westerners in developing countries is necessarily neo-colonial and ethnocentric.

Both an eye-opening picture of the workings of a community seeped in sex tourism and a sharp review of current feminist theorizing, Reluctant Bedfellows offers much-needed perspective on ways to bring disputing parties together and actually promote change.

Companion to Hope in Heaven DVD


  • "You’ve Got to Do Something."
  • The Problem of Analysis Paralysis.
  • Philosophical Issues of Prostitution.
  • Explanations for Prostitution in the Philippines.
  • Sex Tourism in Angeles City.
  • Making a Difference.
  • No Conclusions, Just "Continued Somethings."
  • Appendix: Project-related Training Programs.