What does this say about us?
I read 50 Shades of Grey over the summer, and I must admit to being titillated, but only because I happen to love erotic fiction. In all honesty, I had no idea what all the hoopla was about when I ordered the books on my kindle.
Several times during my reading, I had to turn away out of horror and outrage. The feminist in me couldn’t stand for it. We are being sold this message that women are inherently submissive by nature and if we’re young and waif-like, naive and “pure,” then we can hope the man of our dreams, a rich handsome entrepreneur will marry us and make all of our dreams and wishes come true.
Provided we give up our autonomy and agency and allow him to beat the shit out of us because he’s paying our way. And because this is how he gets his sexual kicks.
I don’t pretend to know much about the lifestyle of BDSM. It is a lifestyle that simultaneously fascinates and horrifies the tender recesses of my fragile heart. But having seen this book in bookstores over here in Sweden, I am truly saddened. The fact that this book has become an international best-seller just means that violence against women is normalized and justified, because hey, we must want this. After all, women are buying the book, and a woman penned it! What do women want? Apparently the masses have spoken and it’s Christian Grey. 50 Shades of fucked up abuse please! Thank you, sir, may I have another?
Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery is one of my pet projects, a cause dear to my heart and soul, for reasons I will never discuss. But suffice it to say, I feel very empathic to women forced against their will into sordid lives of degradation and sexual abuse. Isn’t BDSM the same thing? The lines become blurry. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and it’s very strange when fiction excites us on such a massive global scale. What does that say about us? Are we all just savage primal beasts? Is violence against women ever okay? I mean this was consensual role-playing. Perhaps I’m over-reacting here. After all, it is just a story.
Here’s another one:
This month is National Novel Writing Month www.nanowrimo.org when I will attempt to start and finish (the finishing part is the most important here, at least for me) a novel of at least 50,000 words by November 30. Although it’s November 2, and I have quarantined myself in a hotel room this weekend to jumpstart the process yet still have diddly squat, I am comforted by the fact that the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy made such an impact on the world.
Can I just say as a writer and critic, the plot was pretty formulaic and the prose wasn’t much to write home about. It was no Pride and Prejudice, let me tell you. There was nothing memorable beyond an annoying amount of “Oh my”s peppered in every time Christian Grey decided to have his way with the plucky confused heroine.
But hey, sex sells right?