(…some of which actually have to do with the fact that I had to rewrite this post from scratch because Chrome crashed and WordPress saved… my title.)
As you may have guessed from the title, this is a rage!post about the Fifty Shades trilogy and just… the entire phenomenon it has inspired. I’ve essentially been in a rage-induced blackout since Friday night, my entire weekend consumed by the horror of this all, and so I need to vent. Due to the nature of the books, this post is NSFW due to frank discussions of sexual content, including “kink” (namely E.L. James’ distorted version of it), and due to the fact that I am probably going to curse a metric fuckton in this post. Bear with me–this post is long as fuck, but I think it’s important… hence why I spent approximately four hours working on it, not counting the time I spent working on the draft that WordPress ate.
I will also do upon you as I wish someone had done for me: even reading discussions about this book may trigger those who have survived sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and/or eating disorders. I will be discussing those in terms of my own experience with them, and how they appear in the books, and I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to triggers.
Moreover, this is not an attack on the people that enjoy Fifty Shades–I am the first person to say that “to enjoy is not to endorse.” I find many things enjoyable that I also find problematic. But, I suppose, it’s a bit of an attack on the people that do endorse and defend and promote the trilogy like it’s a magical cure for marriages or a great depiction of BDSM or even a sexy series… it is none of those things, and it’s downright dangerous to pretend otherwise.
One more caveat: this is not a post where I discuss how the series portrays abuse–many have done so before me, and they have been more articulate than I could hope to be. If you want some more information, the 50 Shades is Abuse blog ring is a good place to start. If you don’t want to read about it, you can always look at this nifty infographic–it covers the basics. And, for the record, I do believe not all the blame lies on James’ shoulders: the series she based her work on (the Twilight series, in case you’ve been living under a rock) has also been criticized for portraying an abusive relationship–I even wrote about it earlier this year. That said, the author is still responsible for the words she put out there, even if I do believe that someone should have caught on at some point before publication. Her
beta reader husband, her editor, a friend? Anyone, really.
Now that the disclaimers are out there, if you are still down, let’s go on again…