Living Dolls : The Return of Sexism, Paperback Book

Living Dolls : The Return of Sexism Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


I once believed that we only had to put in place the conditions for equality for the remnants of old-fashioned sexism in our culture to wither away.

I am ready to admit that I was wrong.' Empowerment, liberation, choice.

Once the watchwords of feminism, these terms have now been co-opted by a society that sells women an airbrushed, highly sexualised and increasingly narrow vision of femininity.

Drawing on a wealth of research and personal interviews, LIVING DOLLS is a straight-talking, passionate and important book that makes us look afresh at women and girls, at sexism and femininity - today.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Feminism & feminist theory
  • ISBN: 9781844087099

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Compelling yet disturbing look at how young girls and women are sexualized.

Review by

Yet another fascinating/depressing read about the state of the world and women's (and men's) roles in it. It was refreshing to hear a voice questioning the prevelance of pornography and its effect in our lives - as the mother of two young boys, I hate to think the sort of things they are going to be witness to, and the sort of assumptions those sights are going cause in their burgeoning sexuality (still a good few years away). I have been a quiet feminist since the 1980s and I do feel that many young women today have no idea how things 'used to be', but actually I would say that in many ways life is a lot harder for them, even though there are many more opportunities too ... would love to meet Natasha Walter and shake her by the hand!

Review by

A Book in two halves. The first part looking at how current trends of hypersexualisation and girlification, often described as choice or empowerment, are actually perpetuating the oppression of women, albeit in new ways. This put voice to the uneasiness I've been feeling for some time. The second part looks at biological determinism - the idea that male and female are intrinsically different because of the their genes and hormones, so differences observed are not due to discrimination but life choices or even aptitude. Through careful examination of published works the author shows that this is not the position supported by the scientific literature ; the variation within each sex (men to men, women to women) is far greater than that between the sexes and sex differences are far smaller, where they exist at all, than we are led to believe by popular writers. I found the second half of the book more enlightening and also more disturbing because I had been completely fooled by the pseudo-scientific rhetoric of determinism. This book is a must read for women and for parents of girls, but also for parents of boys because the same stereotypes which undermine women can be seen to undermine men and boys who don't fit the typical "masculine" roles. This book underlines for me the importance of treating people as individuals, working to their strengths and interests, and challenging stereotypes wherever they exist.

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