Okay, I’m only part way through the first book and I’ve watched the movie. Now that my credentials are out of the way I’ll get on with my opinion. Let me tell you, as it has been several days since I’ve seen the movie this is a a lot less rabid than I first intended! If you want to save the effort of reading my musings skip to the end [##link] and answer the last two questions; that might make you want to come back and read the whole thing.
In short, I would not want to be Christian Grey. Nor would all the men I know. If it is what women want then it is no wonder we have an exploding divorce rate in the western world.
I’ve read a very detailed description of how Christian Grey is simply an abuser; and that was written by a former abuse victim. I suggest you read all the comments at the base of that blog as well because it might save me defending my opinion.
If that one does not disturb you then you should perhaps you should look at this one. For those of you that don’t leap to follow the links let me save you some unease and tell you that it is a description of how the books are really about a child abuser. It does not make comfortable reading.
Now that I have sent you careening of in one direction let me pull you in another. I just don’t think E.L. James is that clever. I don’t think that was what she set out to write, but somewhere someone should have pulled it up and provided some editorial input. Sadly dollar signs popped into everyone’s eyes and morality was sold out. What was meant to be a story of a strong man ended up being the story of a child abuser.
What do I think she was trying to write? She was trying to write something about the “Alpha Male” and shot so far wide of the mark that it is so terrify that it makes me cry. Not because Christian Grey is some intimidating character but rather that he is a horrible misrepresentation of what strong men are and is more a psychopath than role model.
Is E.L. James a million miles wide of the mark? Well, no. The urges and compulsions that Christian Grey feels are not uncommon; especially for a dominant ‘alpha’ type person. Where’s the difference? Real men can show some emotional connection to the person they are dealing with. Without a shadow of doubt ‘alpha’ people are at the very least borderline sociopaths, but what they are not is psychopathic.
I could continue to rant about the fatally flawed characters, Anastasia Steele is a feeble weak willed object. I use “object” deliberately. She seems almost devoid of the ability to make strong unwavering resolutions, and ultimately comes to “accept” Christian Grey as he is. [I my amend my stance when I get to the end of book 3, but don’t expect that to be too soon; I have much better literature to be reading.] The fact she cannot deny her love is mumbo jumbo; go back and read the abuse blog.
I’ve already bashed on the book more than intended and what I want to look at is what I think E.L. James meant to write when she penned the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy. There I think is the secret of what might be called the “apologists” see in the books, rather than the crass reality of what is. I will, however, leave the other blogs to deal with the confusion of when you can’t see the difference.
I think E.L. James’ intentions were to write a book where the woman could surrender control of her responsibility, and accountability, for sex and her sexual satisfaction. She wanted to combine the freedom from guilt for wanting to have sex with the punishment for wanting sex. Hence, the dominant man and the mock BDSM.
Now women, mostly middle aged, have discovered that really they quite like sex and want to be removed from the responsibility of making it happen. It gives them freedom from the responsibility of day to day life, and absence from the pressure of the mundane.
Hang on a minute. Married men, okay most men, having been suggesting that more sex would be good for the relationship. However, the liberal, feminist ideal is the right to say, “no” has resulted in the right to with hold sexual intimacy as a de facto state of women’s power in a relationship.
So the tone is that women want a return to the 1920’s where they served the demands of their husbands. Or is it only acceptable because he is a billionaire? Time to make a choice ladies; are you sexually liberated or do you plan to keep using sex as a form of control?
I feel I could write a book at how disappointed I am at the success of this book. Disappointed that many women I know even like this. Disappointed that women do not see it as pornography. [Please note; I have a deep understanding of pornography and like many drugs see it with mixed blessings; only worst will get you when you don’t realise you’re taking it.]
My real disappointment is that it has taken such an atrocious piece of literature to save so many marriages. (Well that’s E.L. James claim.) And maybe that disappointment is as much jealousy as anything else. I had hoped even a few people might read this blog and realise that they can choose to include sex in their relationship in a positive way, rather than settle for some simple porn to tell them to abdicate responsibility.
When it comes down to it you only have to ask yourself two questions to know if 50 Shades of Grey is a “good thing”:
1 – Would I want my son to behave like Christian Grey?
2 – Would I want my daughter to be dating a man that behaved like Christian Grey?
Your answer to those questions should be compared with your friends.