Lynley's Reviews > Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism

Living Dolls by Natasha Walter
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Feb 11, 12

bookshelves: feminism, non-fiction
Read in February, 2012

Even though I hate these issues and am getting a little down on the current ways of the world as examined in this book, I have to give it five stars because it's full of common sense (which isn't actually that common). Walter puts into words lots of things that bug me, like the sexualisation of little girls, or rather, the acculturated sexualisation of women in general. As in everything, the working class fares worse.

The first part of the book was reminiscent of Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy, except the problem I had with Levy's book is that the descriptions of sex would be titillating if it weren't so aggravating of a topic, and I'm quite certain some would read it under that effect. This book is of a more subdued tone.

The second part of the book deals with all sorts of issues, most notably the return to biological determinism which is driving a new kind of sexism. Having just read Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine, none of this was new to me, because it referenced the same influential people (Stephen Pinker, for instance) and many of the same landmark studies. While Cordelia Fine writes with an understandably angry and humorously sarcastic tone, this prose is more measured throughout.

So, if you've read both 'Female Chauvanist Pigs' and 'Delusions of Gender' you may not get much more out of this book but, then again, it's always reassuring to find that other women have noticed the same things you have and are doing something about it. I like the list of websites and organisations listed at the end of this book. It's probably slacktivism on my part, but I'm off to visit some of them now.
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