It was 2011 when I stumbled upon and read a little book titled Fifty Shades of Grey. It was a different time, before I paid much attention to book hype, and I went into this trilogy knowing very little. The titles and the covers were intriguing? (Hey, it's my right to judge a book by its cover!) And so yea, it was a bit shocking to discover the book was literotica, aka literary porn. Sure, I managed to chuckle my way through the first book for its shock value but it did take me about six months before I was able to gag my way through the sequel Fifty Shades Freed. Gagged? Yes, I mean I literally was choking on the cheese and cliches to the point where I couldn't bring myself to stomach the final book. I was done. And so I boxed up these (pretty) books and shipped them off to Goodwill for some other unsuspecting fool to get suckered, all in the name of a good cause! ;)
Okay now, I know what you're thinking: prude.
But here's the thing, it's not the subject matter at all that offends me about these books. It's not even that the writing is so shallow, juvenile and unimaginative that I'd put money on a fifth grade to pen a better draft. What really nagged at me is how boldly demeaning the story is OUTSIDE of the 'red room of pain'. (Christian's sex chambers, if you're not aware.)
Here's a girl, who graduates college and is ready to embark on a bright future - but instead gives her entire life over to a man in a blink of an eye. Our Christian boy's all 'I control everything' - and so Anastasia lets him. From her friends, to her work life, to her diet, hygiene, whatever - Christian Grey reaches into every corner of her life and takes over. Quite frankly the least offensive part of these books is that he's giving her spankings (among other things) in the bedroom. What's a spanking over letting someone uproot your entire life?
FACT: there is a huge difference between playing submissive in the bedroom to playing submissive with your life!
Thus, I'm curious what everyone thinks! Does the entertainment value of shocking/erotic sex scenes trump the trilogy's sexist attitudes? What does it say about women today that such a derogatory trilogy is the best-selling series of all time? Are these books generally entertaining or are they demeaning?
It might seem out of left field that I even approached this subject on Dream in Lace, but the recent release of the film's trailer (which I must say was well done) reawakened my frustration over the successes of these books! It's like clearing my disgusted conscience - a confessions of sins - that I ever read these books to begin with! *hangs head sadly in shame*
OH THE SHAME!