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Muñecas vivientes: El regreso del sexismo

Muñecas vivientes: El regreso del sexismo

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Muñecas vivientes: El regreso del sexismo

valoraciones:
3.5/5 (11 valoraciones)
Longitud:
375 páginas
5 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Apr 1, 2016
ISBN:
9788415427414
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

Doscientos años después de la aparición de los primeros movimientos feministas, asistimos a una mutación sorprendente. Dos discursos aparentemente irrefutables, el de la libre elección y el de la biología, han derivado respectivamente en un nuevo sexismo y un nuevo determinismo que contribuyen a fijar los estereotipos sobre el comportamiento femenino y masculino. Por un lado, "la imagen de la perfección femenina a la que las mujeres deberían aspirar está (cada vez más) definida por el atractivo sexual", un atractivo cuya formulación determina, trasladándola a toda la sociedad, la propia industria del sexo. Esta situación se justifica sistemáticamente con el argumento de que se trata de "elecciones" que realizan las propias mujeres. Por otro lado, "la convicción de que "la química y la estructura del cerebro" y "la inclinación genética" explican el comportamiento femenino estereotipado sirve no sólo para explicar cómo aprenden y juegan las niñas pequeñas, sino también para justificar las desigualdades que encontramos en la vida adulta".

Pero esas "elecciones" podrían no ser tan libres, y los "descubrimientos científicos" podrían no ser tan concluyentes. Walter cuestiona la validez de ambos discursos basándose, en gran parte, en la crónica de su impacto en la sociedad británica.
Editorial:
Publicado:
Apr 1, 2016
ISBN:
9788415427414
Formato:
Libro

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3.6
11 valoraciones / 9 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    I felt this was a bit dense, covering much information that I was already familiar with, but perhaps to someone not aware of the women's plight in society, or looking for an introduction to feminism, this would be a suitable starting point. There were several points made about women's liberation and their value in society at large, based on sexual appeal, and although this has meant to be freeing, has actually just constrained women in a new social role. "This objectified woman, so often celebrated as the wife or girlfriend of the heroic male rather than the heroine of her own life, is the living doll who has replaced the liberated woman who should be making her way into the twenty-first century." Exploring questions of what choice truly means within the context of women's daily lives, and expelling many of the myths of faulty experiments citing genetic difference, rather than environmental and societal influences in the constraints that are still placed upon women at large.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    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!
  • (5/5)
    Compelling yet disturbing look at how young girls and women are sexualized.
  • (3/5)
    An extremely thought provoking polemic.
  • (2/5)
    a very throught provoking book very interesting and there are some ideas in it there have just given me a whole new pespective on the subject of femmenisn
  • (5/5)
    Over the last number of years I can't help noticing how my clothing choices have become less and less varied. That the pink in toy shops and childrens clothing stores have become more and more invasive. How strangely focused the marketing is on women wanting pink and nothing else (and sometimes substandard pink too, with a side order of guilt because of the linked breast cancer marketing stuff).When I was growing up I was aware of some barriers to being equal, I was a bit of a tom boy and tended to be happier in a pair of trousers (how I griped about school uniform skirt and cheered when some places allowed trousers for girls) than a skirt - which is largely how I have remained.However, this book has reminded me that there is a creeping sexism on it's way back. An objectification of women that's actually quite disturbing and makes me quite uncomfortable, but I'm often dismissed for voicing it. By this repeated dismissal I think is making people question their discomfort. Women, after all, have been largely eductated to "not make a fuss", so the constant reinforcement of belittling can be hard to overcome. And many of us are tired of fighting, this reminds me that we need to keep fighting for equality and that I'm not just making a fuss for no reason. After all "If you tolerate this, then your children will be next"
  • (5/5)
    Pink Princesses and Pole DancersThis book is a disturbing account of the ways in which girls and young women are being encouraged to see themselves. It also examines the way that men and boys are conditioned to view women. It includes topics such as pole dancing, prostitution, glamour modelling and lads’ mags, children’s toys and theories on differences between female and male children from a very young age. At times I found it very uncomfortable and depressing reading, but it is well worth reading for the important arguments made.The book is divided into two halves: The New Sexism and The New DeterminismThe New SexismWalter visits a Southend club for a Babes on the Bed night in which women compete for a modelling contract with Nuts, with a young woman who has broken into this career herselfmaking it clear they are expected to be willing to take their clothes off and be photographed in explicitly sexual poses. Interestingly, it is made very clear to her that some of those involved in putting the show on really would like her to leave – they are not comfortable with critical observers. Walter interviews a lot of young women involved in various parts of the “glamour” and sex industry, including stripping, modelling, pole dancing and outright prostitution. It was interesting to see the contrast between what some of those involved do and the doubts they express in interviews about their work. I was impressed by how much her interviewees were willing to say.Walter also looks at the contrast between the popularity of a wave of recent books and films on prostitution presenting it as a respectable (and well paid) career choice, notably Belle De Jour’s writings, and some of the harsher realities such as the women trafficked and exploited from other countries, and the murder of 5 women working as prostitutes in Ipswich. There is much to be shocked by and to think about in this part of the book. As the mother of two very young boys, I was particularly appalled by the chapter on pornography, and the account of the effect of internet porn and much wider access to it, chosen or not, including the culture among young teenagers of sending pornography to each other on mobile phones. Ugh!The New DeterminismWalter starts the book with an account of a visit to a huge toyshop with separate floors for boys and girls, and finding herself in a sea of wall to wall pink, dominated by dolls, princess costumes and all sorts of features designed to encourage girls to model themselves on dolls. This is where the title of the book comes from. After linking the images of dolls to the images of women in various parts of the sex industry in the first half of the book, the second half is focused on the debates about nature or nurture, especially in relation to bringing up children. As a mum, I thought a lot about my own little boys when reading this, but you don’t have to be a parent or want to be to find this interesting – we were all kids once, and there is plenty here that I would argue everyone needs to think about.This section starts with journalistic observation and anecdote and then moves on to chapters of more theoretical, analytical discussion. I was very shocked at some of the stories of casual assumptions made by children’s parents, educators and others – for example, a scene at a party where a girl in her princess dress and tiara hits a boy for not playing Pass the Parcel properly, and his running away is described as him not being very good at party games – the little girl’s aggressive, competitive attitude is totally ignored, as it doesn’t fit the parents’ theories about their children. The theoretical sections are packed with bibliographic references – to parenting and self-help books, sociological studies and media reports - and make much more dense reading, but they are worth the effort. Again, I found plenty to be outraged by, as male and female writers and journalists from across the political spectrum conduct some highly suspect research purporting to show that differences between boys and girls are natural, and not the product of research. Depressingly, it seems that 1970s and 1980s attempts to try bringing up children in less gender stereotyped ways have been forgotten, and that most people with a view believe in genetic difference. I was particularly interested in the interview with Marianne Grabrucker, a German lawyer who tried to bring up her daughter in a less sexist way and wrote a book about it, There’s a Good Girl (which I reviewed for my student union newspaper when it was published in the UK in 1988!). Her daughter appreciates her efforts, but a newspaper article had claimed that Grabrucker had failed to prove her theories because there are differences – Grabrucker in fact believes that her choices for her daughter were countered by other family, childcare, school, church etc.Importantly, Walter does not confine herself to describing the various studies and theories put forward arguing in support of innate differences between girls and boys and the need to treat them differently. She is very critical of these biologically determinist theories. She also challenges the idea that these are fresh new thinking, going back in time to look at the historical theories. She even finds that in the 1920s and 1930s, different colours were used for boys and girls, but they were pink for boys and blue for girls! She points out that stereotypes themselves often affect how people behave, that girls and boys may well learn that certain behaviour is expected of them in order to fit in and be accepted. Women still earn less than men and have less status, and these new determinist theories are not just abstract, they are often the basis for arguments put forward that this is just the way things are. Finally, Walter tries to introduce a more upbeat note into the book at the end. This is not as memorable as all the shocking stories of women in the sex industry, and the sexualisation of girls and young women from a very young age, but she describes some of the campaigns that have been set up online and offline to challenge sexism and the oppression of women. There is a Give Your Support section at the end with postal addresses, phone numbers and websites where readers can go to join in the campaigns. I plan to find out more about Pink Stinks and Women for Refugee Women (the latter organisation is not really related to the contents of this book, but it campaigns on issues close to my heart and I would like to see if I can do something more active.I think this is an important and interesting book which more people, women and men, parents, grandparents and people who have no intention of having children should all read. Then, we should think about how we challenge stereotypes and expectations in order to create a more equal society.I was sent a copy of this book free for review from the publisher under their "First Look" programme.