Can This Public Obsession Just Go Away

I’m sick of hearing about the books themselves. I’m sick of hearing about the chubby, fan-girl author. I’m sick of people telling others about how much this book has changed their sex lives. I just want 50 Shades of Gray to go away.

In the first few weeks when this supposed “50 Shades Fever” was everywhere, I found it quite funny, talk of submission, BDSM (and of course the awful writing) were all over TV breakfast shows, twitter, even day to day conversations on the bus –where I spend a lot of my time– where people were sharing their experiences or horror that women could enjoy this sort of thing.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m quite happy for what goes on in my boyfriends’ bedroom is between us (unless I feel like I want to brag, then it goes on my forum). We can talk about things, though I must admit that wine helped both of us talk about things in a little more detail a couple of weeks ago. It’s not for me to talk about here, because it’s private.

My friend Jenna (she writes here on wordpress from time to time, check out her blog here) read the books as she was given them, and has shared her opinions with me through various media. From what we have talked about on Girl-Support, we appear to have similar tastes when it comes to everything, including our private lives (see, people talked about sex prior to this book coming out – fancy that!) and from her perspective, 50 Shades of Grey was about stalking and abuse more than dominance and submission.

“50 Shades of Grey is meant to be a book series that has revolutionized the sex lives of many couples. Instead, it an incredibly sexist piece of writing, about an abusive, rushed relationship where Christian Grey uses sex as a punishment, and a way to fix his problems instead of talking about them. On more than one occasion, he “distracted” her as she was trying to discuss something with him. I fact, while they were on their honeymoon, Anastasia Steele takes her bikini top off, and falls asleep on her stomach, but turns over without realising it. He shows his disapproval by starting an argument, and then proceeds to leaving her chest covered in lovebites so she can’t even wear a bikini anymore, let alone go topless.

Christian Grey decided as soon as he saw Anastasia Steele, that she was going to be his. And he made sure of it. By tracking her cell phone to find out where she worked so he could pay her a visit. And then so he could find her when she was slightly drunk in a club with her friends, and that was just the start of it. Soon enough, before they’d even gotten together, he’d brought the company she had accepted a job from, so he could keep an eye on her.

It is obvious that the author, E L James, has no understanding of how normal relationships can function with the addition of BDSM, and doesn’t seem to have an understanding of a healthy relationship at all. The two main characters in this series rush into getting married after a time period of roughly three months, after which there is an argument about Steele wanting to keep her name for work purposes only, so she can establish her own career. There’s also arguments about her continuing working.

She also has no understanding of how BDSM is at all. It’s obvious that she just opened up wikipedia, and searched for basic terms, and left it open along with her thesaurus. It’s clear that she thinks that people who are interested in that kind of thing aren’t normal, and that they were abused when they were younger, as Grey was abused by “the crack whore’s pimp”, the “crack whore” being his mother, and was adopted as a submissive by one of his adopted mother’s friends when he was a teenager. After he marries Steele, he pretty much give up everything to do with BDSM, as she has “cured” him of his problems.

And if she doesn’t “do as she’s told”, Grey threatens her with punishment. Several times throughout the series he mentions wanting to hurt her, and he says (and this is an exact quote from Fifty Shades Freed) “I want to punish you,” he whispers. “Really beat the shit out of you” he adds.” after Steele decides to go to a cocktail bar with her best friend instead of back to the Grey apartment, even though they are perfectly safe as he has her followed around by several members of a security team at all times.

In short, the Fifty Shades of Grey series is an unrealistic, and unhealthy portrayal of how a relationship should be, and anyone who thinks this book will help people discover their sexuality needs their head checking.”

Jenna, thank you for writing that for me.

It’s crazy that the millions of women who’ve read this appear, in the main part, to have completely ignored the stalker sections of the books (which given the small segment you can look at on Amazon were sneezed out in 3 days). I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with a man who tracked my phone so he knew where I was at any given moment. Additionally, the man uses sex as a means to get his own way. If you’re distracted by someone when you’re in the middle of raising a serious qualm with them (and in this sense, if the woman involved in this scenario didn’t feel safe, surely she couldn’t let this man abuse her for his own sexual gratification) about what you were doing, you’re involved in an abusive relationship.

Any normal relationship, if both of the participants so wished, can be a healthy one with the addition of a domination/submission element to their sex lives. The dominant does not have to be controlling to the point of stalking, and the submissive does not have to be a sexual doormat. The submissive always should have the power to say no if they do not enjoy or do not feel safe doing. Within a D/S relationship, abuse can still occur, it’s not just par for the course.

People who enjoy such a relationship need not have gone through some sort of psychological trauma when they were younger, which was summed up in a wonderfully written article in the Observer today by a sexual submissive. It’s not something that’s wrong within their heads. Not everyone is going to like a woman lying in bed as if she were a dead starfish, whilst their partner goes to town and puts in all the effort.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m happy with what I’ve got. I don’t want a controlling, abusive, partner. Not for all the money in the world.

Just go away, 50 Shades. Go away.

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6 thoughts on “Can This Public Obsession Just Go Away

  1. 50 Shades is the worst kind of sensationalist garbage, which does nothing but denigrate those who partake in a healthy BDSM lifestyle. A nice rebuke to such drivel.

  2. I agree with everything you said and the comments from your friend who read the books (I’m in awe of her mental fortitude in slugging through that trash) just made me realize that this whole thing is even more effed up than I previously thought.

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