Fifty Shades of ………?

ImageFirstly, let me make clear I don’t agree with censorship, it is more dangerous to attempt to control and regulate ideas than let them flourish, censorship never ends well.

Secondly, I have not read Fifty Shades of ….. as I don’t want to support it in any way. Initially, I struggled with the concept of engaging in a discussion of a book that I refuse to read however, I don’t read porn magazines and feel fine about voicing my opinion and concerns on those. My opinion comes from reviews, the wiki site (yes shun me if you will), the author’s own page and reading random pages in my local bookstore.

So, here we go, let’s start with the cover. The book is apparently centered on our heroine Ana, yet the cover features a man’s tie, representative of middle class white male power and possibly a reference to the bondage contained in the book. The colours are not representative of a young female heroine at all, so from the beginning the question must be asked ‘whose story is this really?’

I am willing to skip past the creation of this as Twilight fan fiction, and really we should be thankful they don’t have fangs.

My issue is that this book normalises the structure of a relationship where a much younger woman becomes the plaything of an older man who controls her emotionally, intellectually and physically. Explicit sex scenes are not an issue, authors have included erotic imagery and language in novels regularly throughout the history of literature. Sex in this book is very clearly about power and Ana has none.

What is wrong with this? The real concern here is the popularity of this book and the message it sends;

  • why are women drawn to this tale of objectification and subjugation in such droves?
  •  Is it that our lives are so busy and often complicated that having someone make the hard choices (no pun intended) becomes so attractive?
  • Do we yearn for times when we had clearly identifiable gender and life roles?
  • Or has explicit sexualisation of women in our world resulted in a desensitising to what we consider normal and acceptable relationship roles for women?
  • What message do we send young women when we read and approve of novels in which they are essentially victims?
  • Where are the roles models of women that walk in their own power?
  • What does it say about our society that this is a number one bestseller?

Does it really matter? Books represent the ideas of the time they are created in and so this story isn’t just Ana’s it is also a reflection of the the place of women in our society.

Can I recommend Jane Eyre instead of Fifty Shades of …..?

* I should note this is the discussion that landed me in the middle of a huge Facebook mess, apparently I was only meant to click like on the book cover image posted.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of ………?

  1. Hi Bec – thanks so much for your lovely comments on my blog, you’re such a sweetheart!! It’s rather timely you writing about Fifty Shades as I have no intention of reading it either; a colleague at work bought it and I asked what the plot was (wondering if there was one). To be honest, rude parts aside (!), the plot sounded somewhat dire so that was my decision over whether to read it made. Plus I almost exclusively read the classics so I’m with you on the Jane Eyre suggestion 😉

    Am now following you on GFC and Bloglovin – let me know if you follow back! So nice to meet you!

    Catherine x
    notdressedaslamb.com

    • Hi Catherine,
      So nice to meet you!! I am so glad you liked my post. I had such fun reading through your blog. You mix fashion and humour so well.
      Fifty Shades- It is so sad to see people buying such trash in such large numbers when you can get a penguin classic for so much less, still be entertained and own a classic piece of design all in one 🙂
      I have followed you through WordPress Reader and Bloglovin- will have to check out GFC.
      Bec
      xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s