I was greatly disgusted with what was presented to me as a vulnerable and innocent girl surrendering herself into a relationship, agreeing to be tortured/abused and thinking he would change because some guy said he loved her and with the happy ever after of him actually changing… This is not responsible fiction! But I decided if I was truly going to comment on someone else’s work… I should have the decency to at least READ it!
50 Shades of Grey Areas
Christian has some serious issues and chooses this lifestyle because the them. In fact, All of Ana’s perceived threats who “like it rough” have some serious issues in one way or another. So even though the psychiatrist says its not a psychological disorder its a lifestyle choice, the author has made all the people who engage in BDSM (bar Ana) completely nuts! Well … ? What are we to draw from this? the reason people choose this lifestyle is because they have emotional and psychological issues?…surely not…. Hmm… grey area.
I’m concerned by the glamorisation of the BDSM activities within the book. Ana as a newcomer in this world is naturally curious. She explores with an experienced partner and finds it incredibly … um, satisfying shall we say. However, it is a dark and dangerous world and you only have to watch TV programs such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to find out just how dangerous. This book will and probably has found its way into the hands of the sexually inquisitive. What might happen if the inexperienced were to explore this world without guidance?
Of course, I’m not saying that you can blame the book for anything that might happen, although I guarantee there will be people out there who will. The author ensures Ana looks at what she’s getting herself into, she asks questions, she knows Christian hurt someone in the past and therefore he is capable of hurting her but … my point is the sexual pleasure/pain line is thin and E L James makes it appear attractive. What happens when crossing that line isn’t nice? There are very serious consequences which were not addressed by this trilogy. I’m discounting the boy and girl fall out scenario, which is weak in comparison to what I’m talking about here because they make up and they continue to have really great sex. Well, don’t they in almost every romance novel?
Christian is an overbearing, overprotective, over the top, jealous, controlling millionaire. Ana will not do everything he tells her. She argues with him, she challenges him. But she always seems to bow under his pressure. He distracts he with sex when he’s done talking. He buys her gifts she does not want and she ends up accepting them. She’s confused, intimidated and scared of him a lot of the time. (Can I point out that in my research for Tainted Love and Mr Know It All that I have found these behaviours are also signs of an abusive relationship.) So here we find ourselves in another shaded grey area and its an issue that wasn’t really addressed. An issue that asks is it okay to be in this kind of relationship and to be made to feel this way just because I love him and he loves me? To be honest…. I don’t know. and in my personal opinion I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been there themselves can answer that question.
You know, I could ramble on all day… but I stand by my point, (or rather Annetta Ribken’s point) WORDS HAVE POWER. Even if we’re unconsciously aware of what we are writing at the time we should think about the messages we’re sending as we send them. Art is Art we shouldn’t ever censor it. But we should talk about it and never bury our heads in the sand also known as “Its fiction… its only there for entertainment”