Living Dolls

Thank you so much to everyone who has been commenting and completing the polls so far – you have been awesome!

So to keep you up-to-date with some of my research, I want to draw your attention to a specific title, Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism by Natasha Walter. What really stood out to me is her emphasis on CHOICE. Living Dolls presents anecdotal and scientific evidence to argue that creating a society which harshly segregates the interests of girls and boys is damaging to all of us, and limits the choices available to anyone.

Creating a world where girls are, in her words, ‘modelling themselves on the plastic charm of a pink and smiling doll’ leads me to question the role of the publisher in this cycle. Certain arguments exclaim that the publisher is merely responsive to the whims and habits of a buying public and is only able to create what the market demands (and purchases). But what about the other side? Publishers are gatekeepers to culture rather than slaves to public preference. The other side of the argument goes that while there is of course a business obligation to create sales, publishers arguably have a moral responsibility to produce content which shapes our understanding of what society is and could be, rather than passively reflecting what may have come before. Through the perspective of Living Dolls, the second viewpoint appears the more convincing and promising option.