I was introduced to Fifty Shades of Grey two years ago by my hairdresser.
I know it seems a little odd, but the entire salon was talking about it. They just couldn’t shut up about how it was the ‘Adult Twilight’. That was all I needed: I vowed that I wouldn’t read them even if seduced into it by Jake Gyllenhaal offering me a vegan chocolate covered strawberry. But then I came back to college for my sophomore year and was told by multiple people to read it. ‘You’ll absolutely love the book,’ they gushed. ‘There’s nothing like it!’
Well…yes. I can agree that there’s nothing quite like it, but neither is there anything quite like my sentiments towards it.
When I was younger, I enjoyed the first Twilight book. And then they started getting worse and I took a second glace and suddenly: light bulb. “Hmm, something is wrong here. Oh: Edward’s abusive!” So I stopped reading them and gave away my copies.
But I do have to say that I haven’t read a book as infuriating as Fifty Shades since The Handmaid’s Tale. To be perfectly honest, it has angered me so much that I still haven’t finished it. I know that women fawn over it, they consider it a sex bible of sorts. It’s not the sex side that I take issue with. I understand that some individuals enjoy being part of the BDSM community, and if that’s your thing, then do what makes you happy.
But the way that Christian treats Anastasia just makes me want to vomit, because it’s like reliving scenes of my childhood when my mother was in an abusive relationship, and that asshole in the book just reeks of violence.
Sex while chained to the ceiling? Okay.
Leather riding crop and Ben Wa balls? Fine.
Being a controlling asshole that makes an insecure girl his sex toy?
How about no.
Christian Grey can leave and never come back.
Anastasia is unassuming, inexperienced, has low self esteem, is emotionally battered by her ‘best friend’, and has apparent abandonment issues from her father. Of course Christian is going to prey on her; she’s obviously a woman that he can easily manipulate.
I’m not saying that the sex depicted in the book is the negative aspect of their relationship. If the relationship is healthy, then that category of sex can be healthy as well. I’m saying that the way he uses sex to toy with her and make her dependent on him is disgusting and shameful. And perhaps worse still, it’s teaching women (young and old) that a romantic relationship such as Christian’s and Anastasia’s is healthy. He sees her as his object and sexual toy, and it makes me physically sick to my stomach. She doesn’t value herself without him. How are we supposed to teach young girls of their worth when bestsellers insist that it lies in a man?