No one — not Walter, not me — wants to be thought a prude, so no one is going to actually take on the hypersexualised culture that is supposedly spoiling the life chances of girls today. Certainly not Walters’s publisher — the formerly feminist Virago press — which in effect negates the book’s argument with an ugly and affronting cover design that has a Barbie doll serving as the vulva on a thin naked airbrushed idealised female torso.
Anne Summers reviews Natasha Walter’s book, Living Dolls.
I respectfully disagree. If the response to Walter’s book - both from the media, and from many of those working and writing around this area - is any indication, there is still plenty of space and enthusiasm for talking about raunch culture.
If this space is increasingly dominated by conservative and older voices rather than progressive, younger ones (although to be clear, I do not think that these categories always go together - and particularly not in the case of either Summers or Walter), it is because the pendulum has shifted since Ariel Levy released Female Chauvinist Pigs