Hi, I’m Emily and I’m a self-confessed book snob. Ever since I was a child I’ve consumed books and still continue to to this day. That’s why when I heard last year that there was a book that was rivalling Harry Potter sales; I had to get in on the action and read this mysterious novel for myself! Fifty Shades Of Grey hit the big time in early 2012, marketing itself as mainstream or ‘mummy’ porn (hate that phrase!). As I was living in Budapest at the time and had little else to do, I read the trilogy in a matter of days. And boy, was I disappointed!
It certainly has enough sex; you couldn’t accuse E L James of holding out on the sex part at all. But the story is extremely shoddy. Forgive me, but any story I’m going to enjoy has to have a comprehensive…or at least semi-believable storyline, and this isn’t achieved in the slightest. The book hit the headlines, not for the storyline (which I believe should be the focus of a book) but for the shock factor. E L James, a mother from the UK managed to make a book that was full of BDSM completely mainstream and this gave women the ability to voice their predilections or opinions on sex. But I’ve a problem with 50 Shades of Grey for a number of reasons, which are as follows:
Ana Is A Dope
For the Fifty Shades of Grey fans out there that are currently getting offended, you know I’m right! From the first time she falls into his office to the way she is so naïve, Anastasia is possibly one of the worst characters of all time. I don’t know if James expected her to be the unexpected heroine, but she’s not by any stretch of the imagination, she’s a sap. To keep going back to a man with so many issues who won’t let her touch him, talk to anyone else, socialise with her friends or do anything fun – I say you’re a moron! Just ask yourself, if she was your friend, would you find it as cute then?
There Is No Reason To Love Christian Grey
He’s an emotionally unavailable, insensitive creep who fixes his problems with money. End of. I must be the only one who doesn’t find Mr Grey attractive but the thoughts of being with a man that wouldn’t let me touch him and then expects sex every five minutes doesn’t sit right with me! He wouldn’t bug me half as much if he didn’t buy affection with cars and clothes and first edition books and his jealousy is almost as bad as her need to make him angry. The fact that he does a 180 at the end and turns out to be a nice guy – bullshit!
There have been endless items of memorabilia with this phrase printed on and I have to wonder, why is this seen is loving…or sexy? If I started going out with a guy who said this to me, I’d assume it’s because he forgot my name. ‘Laters baby’ isn’t a way to say goodbye to someone, it’s a way to confirm that you’re a douchebag who can’t say bye like a normal person.
She’s Inexperienced And Infatuated
If you’re a virgin, or have never gotten past ‘second base’, then decide to jump straight into a BDSM relationship with binding contract attached, you’re going to seem a bit like an idiot. Her reliance on his love is embarrassing, we’ve all been a little taken with a man but she makes herself look like a moron. Constantly. The sulking and bitching is enough to make my blood boil and if you’re entering into some kind of sex covenant, you might want to think about it first rather than saying yes and then crying when you don’t like it!
The BDSM aspect
I know people who like this, I know people who don’t. Whatever you’re into is fine by me but if you’ve never done it before, don’t just because it sounds good in 50 Shades. I don’t know how E L James manages to both romanticise it and big it up but I imagine that if you’re planning to enter this kind of thing, you should read a manual or something, don’t take Ana’s advice because let’s face it, she doesn’t know what she want! It’s never properly explained or addressed and for a book that focuses on it, Ana really doesn’t want much of it!
Christian is Needy and Controlling
His ability to control her is second to none. The fact that she is such an idiot makes it easy for him but I find it remarkable that he goes to such lengths to follow/control her. Checking her emails to having her followed by security the whole time, not to mention him buying the company she works for just so he knows what she is doing, his need to control her isn’t sexy, it’s ridiculous and such a turn-off. His past list of submissives is quite scary too, especially since they’ve formed a club and one tried to kill Ana. Awkward.
No Likeable Characters
Not a single one. Disregarding Christian and Ana, you have his family and Kate, and I can’t get on board with any of them. I thought I would relate to Kate as a strong woman and a journalist but all of this crumbled as soon as she met Elliott, Christian’s brother (which is also weird). Her strong independent woman routine flew out the window as soon as she met a man and this is where E L James failed so badly, she didn’t make a character that real women would want to be. Elliott is a prat who says laters baby all the time as well and the Grey brothers really have a penchant for speeding up relationships, proposing to girlfriends like no-one’s business. And don’t get me started on Mia. There is no character in the book that is relatable in any way; they are all too rich, too full of themselves or too downright stupid for my liking.
Ostracising Women For Their Sexual Fantasies
We all heard the official party line that this book was finally giving women the ability to embrace their sexual side. But what about before? I’m pretty sure women who were able to think for themselves were able to have sex and decide what they wanted from sex. My sex life was just fine before I read 50 Shades and I didn’t immediately go out and buy myself handcuffs and a silver tie after I read it either. In my opinion, if a women wants to be tied up, she should be allowed because she wants to, not because some arsehole does it in a book. Giving women this book doesn’t liberate their sexual side, it tells them they can finally do something that they should have been doing before.
It was an interesting book and I admire E L James for how well her book has done but certainly don’t think it should be getting the publicity it is. Telling women that the man who only wants that pseudo-sexual half relationship with you is going to turn around, marry and impregnate you (not necessarily in that order) just isn’t believable and the odds of it happening are slim to none. Because when all is said and done, isn’t it just another repackaged and rewritten Mills and Boon novel?
This article was originally on Intrigue.ie.
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Until next time,