Posted by: Ele Quigan | July 22, 2012

’50 Shades of Grey’ E.L. James (aka 50 Shades of WTF DID I JUST READ)

Hype. Such A bollocky word for something that is so heavily subscribed to. There’s hype about all sorts of shite these days – Hype about movies, Hype about food, Hype about music – and of course Hype about books. So when this came along – feeling like it’s the same type of Hype as Twilight – I decided to give it a go.

Oh good god – what a horrifying piece of sh*t this books was.


2: Princess Syndrome
Years and years ago – a friend of mine broke up with a guy, because he wasn’t ‘the one’. I was disgusted. The whole idea of ‘the one’ is a hollywoodism that has been propagated through media everywhere to the absolute detriment of female empowerment. Even in my own relationship I don’t subscribe to ‘Happily ever after’ now that we’re married. We don’t know what he future holds – it takes work, not a miracle. Rich guys don’t fall out of the sky. Rich guys who have issues abound aren’t going to remove 30 years of issues in a single night of sleeping together. Workaholics are not going to suddenly stop taking calls and fly miles to see you. Call me cynical but I fracking hate fakery, and this book presents more fakery than I’ve come across in a very long time

3: Virgin Archetype
The Virgin archetype is slightly different to the Hero archetype in so far the protagonist goes through a ‘learning’ for her own betterment – this says it better than I could

The Virgin begins by conforming to the wishes of others and eventually learns to hear her inner voice and bring it to life. It is the journey to creative, spiritual and sexual awakening.

My biggest issue with that ‘conforming to the wishes of others’. Christian Grey (I even hate his name) is a controlling, negative, jealous person. Not too dissimilar (I was reminded by throughout the whole thing) Edward Cullen – yes, the vampire from Twilight.

So whys this so bad you say? A whole generation of women are being brought up on novels that promote women as a submissive (literally in this, and obviously not so literally in others) meek being, who is also a whore in the bedroom – which brings me to nun/whore

4: Madonna/Whore
Good, well-behaved women aren’t supposed to talk back, stand up for their rights, profess uncomfortableness with what goes on in their lives, yet whore it up to the max in the bedroom – well FUCK THAT I say. Sure BDSM is a whole other thing, I don’t know anything about it, so don’t feel like I can judge it – or even make comment on it. From doing a bit of research over the last few days however, it looks like this book is definitely not a posterbook for how it should be done (zipclips? are you fucking serious?). What makes me the most uncomfortable about this whole book as if it’s not appropriately handled how will that empower women to say what they do or don’t like in the bedroom, if all it takes is a black and white contract presented and some not so subtle convincing, where does that leave the essence of an equal decision?

I wouldn’t say I’m a card carrying feminist – but lately shit like this has got me angry. Why? because I just don’t feel it’s presenting women in the best light, and for other generations this may have an effect on sex/sexlives more than we think in future.

Twilight and this – make meekness aspirational. They remove the essence of strong women in a relationship, and make it about tears and sobs and the desperate need to be with a person. I just don’t believe that’s a healthy aspiration for women today. It’s bad enough with easy access to porn these days, that suddenly these next generations of people will have this female meekness, and porn, for their frame reference. (I’m not porn hating here – I just personally feel it falsely represents sex – yes I do understand that ‘people know it’s fake’ – this is just my personal opinion)

5: Personal issues
Okay so Mr Christian Grey was abused as a very young child, then had a Mrs. Robinson at 15. That should not be put up as a ‘reason’ for his BDSM. Again, from my limited research yesterday – while it’s a general assumption, it’s not necessarily the reason at all why people enjoy this particular lifestyle. It’s morally offensive to have this put up as reasons, as it’s base, as its essence of hope (all that Ana wants to do it save Christian from himself) it makes me SICK.

I got so angry when I finished this book, I just about threw it across the room. It took a few hours of stomping around the kitchen (yes I get the irony of that) before I calmed down enough to think a bit more analytically about it, and do some research.

If you read it and enjoyed it – good for you, I just personally don’t think it should be put up as ‘must-read’ BDSM Mills & Boon mummy porn like it is currently. To be honest, I kept expecting Christian to grow sharp teeth and become a bloodsucking-vampire on the last page.


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