There have been some recent articles (e.g. Rae Langton’s “Sexual Solipsism”, Philosophical Topics 1995; Melinda Vadas’s “The Manufacture for Use of Pornography and Women’s Inequality”, Journal of Political Philosophy 2005) discussing possible connections between treating people like things and treating things like people. S just sent me a link to a 2004 story about a Japanese ‘boyfriend pillow’ (really boyfriend arm pillow). A quick google reveals that a ‘girlfriend pillow’ was later released, but this took the form of a lap wearing a short skirt. Interesting cases to consider as possible instances of treating things as people. And far less creepy (despite the dismemberment) than the Real Dolls. Another interesting case to consider is that of the cardboard cut-outs of loved ones given to families of some US soldiers in Iraq.