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Living Dolls

Living Dolls

Living Dolls: Return to Sexism by Natasha Walter

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This is a book that every man and woman should read. It outlines an argument, not for women’s rights versus men’s rights, but a new way of thinking in terms of what it actually IS to be a man and a woman.

There is an underlying self-fulfilling prophecy of expected behavior. Women are still subjected to considerations of their appearance, especially in the media. No man would be put up against these physical appearance standards in such a field. How far have we really come?

That is not to say it is just women that are still falling short because of this. The book highlights how the nature/nurture element has come into the home-making side of things and how men are still generally seen as not being the ‘natural’ home-maker, when in effect, he can learn those traits the same as any new mother has to.

Supported by case studies and exposing the failings of previous gender experiments, the book manages to realign one’s thinking. Consider this - even using the phrase ‘man up’ in reference to anyone having to step up to the mark and not be a wuss, is in itself, sexist. And we are perpetuating it unintentionally. 

Walter doesn’t argue that women shouldn’t wear lipstick or all men should now stay at home and let their wives be the bread-winners, but she highlights that in a world of ‘expected’ characteristics on the male/female part, we are perpetuating a subliminal reluctance to move forward. 

Book review by Donna

 

 


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To me fair friend, you never can be old.

For as you were, when first your eye I eyed; 

Such seems your beauty still.

Shakespeare