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

Living Dolls by Natasha Walter
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's review
Feb 18, 10

Read from February 06 to 18, 2010

I was really looking foward to this book and wasn't disappointed, although i thought it could have gone deeper/experessed more of an opinion at some points. The first section, dealing with 'the new sexism' in society through 'pornification', 'pinkification' etc didn't provide much in the way of new insight if, like me, you've followed women's issues, feminist blogs and newspaper coverage for the last five years, but for anyone who hasn't it would be a good intorduction to how certain ideals and pressures have become mainstream.

The book came into its own more in the second section which was a very interesting analysis of the way science is frequently used to explain 'differences' between the sexes which place men and women in traditional roles. It also deals with stereotypes and the problems of stereotyping and the expectations these place on men and women, meaning that they end up living up to stereotypes because of it. There was a lot of really interesting information in the second section which debunked some of the popular myths about biological determinism/evolutionary psychology.

I've seen criticism that the book deals with everything from a very UK-centric, middle class point of view which is essentially true. It would have been nice to see a wider analysis but I understand this isn't always easy. Nevertheless I think it's something we definitely need.

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02/06/2010 page 44
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