I’ve read all the 50 shades of Grey books…and I loved them. Not because it was a work of literary genius but because it was entertaining. I’ve read many reviews and heard many people talking about it and they’ve seem to have reached the same conclusion: it’s a very simple book. There are some that using that premise write about how the main character [Anastasia] is very under-developed, that she has no depth whatsoever, that she’s pretty much weak as the title character and all in all SIMPLE. They also say that Christian’s character is a control-freak that gets off treating women badly and that women accept it. The book has received this bad rep from so-called feminists slamming it as a masochist book that’s trying to make women “subject to man”.
I am a feminist and I loved the books. There I’ve said it.
The truth is that I hardly doubt E.L. James’ purpose was to transform and change lives when she wrote the book. As an aspiring writer [hopefully my stuff’s that good] I should say that we must strive to write good stuff, the kind of stuff that transforms us and makes us think. But are we all really expecting this much from everything we read? Where’s the fun in that? Serious, witty, intelligent works are very much enjoyed by society [me included] but so are silly, funny and point-less works. We all need a light reading every now and then, we should not all want to be always the next Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte. Society needs a break from all the seriousness of it all, and if that means getting lost in a fantasy world so be it. I don’t always expect to be a changed woman after I’ve read anything as long as it has managed to entertain the hell outta me. I would love to write great works of art that are up there with the Sylvia Plaths of the world, but I also wouldn’t mind writing a feel-good best seller a’ la Stephanie Myer [it’s just an example, I’m not saying Twighlight is exactly “feel-good”] for the sake of entertaining.
Think about the music and the movies that you have fun with. I bet you danced to Salt-an-Pepa’s “Push it” and loved “The Hangover”, that doesn’t mean you’re shallow and it doesn’t make them any less than “The Godfather” or Adele’s “One and Only” [a great song by the way]. So why slam a book for not being a what society expected instead of having fun with it?
Whenever people ask me about the book I always say “keep in mind the author’s target” which in this case is 18 + older women. Why you ask? Simple, this is not the first book that talks explicitly about sex, I’ve read many since I was like 17 [didn’t you ever hear of Harlequinn Romance novels?]. The difference in this book, beyond the BDSM stuff, is that the main character accepts this type of relationship, and although in the end it evolves into something better [happy endings] it might be perceived by young women as something else. Older women who read this book might enjoy the exchanges and experiences in the book but they are smart enough to know that it’s fantasy and not necessarily a good thing. Young women who read this book might perceive the beginning relationship between Anastasia and Christian as “normal” and might not be able to separate it from real life, and could end up in an abusive relationship. I don’t think that’s the book’s purpose and I don’t think it’s fair to put that kind of pressure into E.L.James, women should know better.
Whether or not this book changes women for better or worse, I think the author’s target was to simply entertain us rather than be inducted in the hall of famous literary writers. It’s a simple book in the good sense, easy to read, easy to understand and easy to get lost in it. Just remember to not try to live it [unless you’re over 25 and like that stuff].
That being said… a major side note: I’m a little annoyed with the hype the book’s gotten because it has sex scenes in it, apparently it’s the first book ever to have them! NOT REALLY. There are lots of memes mocking that fact, like “women hate men that watch porn but they read all about it” and all that jazz, but they don’t realize that this is hardly the first book that describes in full detail a sexual encounter. Have they not read Harlequinn romance novels? Or did they ever visit a pretty big rack of books in Borders under the category “Romance”? If they ever did I guarantee you that any of those books had at least 3 major sex encounters [described in full detail] between the characters. And all of the sudden this book gets attention for that? I don’t understand why, and that’s probably the reason why the book hardly shocked me. I’ve been reading romance novels for the longest time [please don’t judge, I like Sense and Sensibility as much as the next person but I do enjoy me some cheesy romance] and all of the books I possess have these scenes in them. Granted the main theme of the story is usually a mystery to solve and not the sex itself, but it’s always present.
So when a local newspaper from my hometown runs a story with a title like “women are now getting into reading porn” that really annoys me. Do the research and you will see that these books are not new and women have been reading them for a while. Maybe the type of women that read these books are working mothers that are trying to balance their professional and personal lives and just like to unwind now and then with these books but they don’t really go and talk to their neighbor about it because they figure they’re doing the same thing. Maybe the type of women [or people] that read these books are stay-at-home moms that like to get lost in a fantasy world but are not going around telling everyone and their mother about the book she read because she likes to fantasize about it and is embarrassed to admit it. Maybe the type of people that read these Harlequinn romance are those that watch Lifetime network or the Lifetime movie channel, where you will see the movie version of some of these books and they think nothing of it because Hollywood is so sexed-up it makes these movies seem like nothing. Why then the hype? Why are they just realizing that these have existed for the longest time? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure all the Stephanie Laurens and Gayle Callens of the romance world are just as surprised that anyone would be shocked by the 50 shades. I’m just sayin’.
P.s ; sorry about the rant ya’ll, it’s just been buggin me. Please accept this funny picture
**all images from Google images**