I wasn’t that keen to read Fifty Shades of Grey, even though many readers were raving about the book. There were writers, in my industry, who were sharing how poorly written the book was. There were copious opinions online and in the media about the writing being increasingly repetitive and the sex scenes were highly unrealistic, not to mention, the alluring of a young girl, by a rich man, to fulfill his desires, was far from romantic, or anything to aspire towards.
One woman, Courtney, shares, “In short, if I wanted to hear about a woman being taken away by a rich guy and being tied up and dominated and being put in pain just cause the guy enjoys it, I’ll get a sick bucket and watch some BDSM on the internet, not read it in books! Plus, it makes me really upset to know that this kind of book has been rated one of the most read out there because there are some really good books in the world, legendary classics, yet the people of our generation want to waste their time reading twilight clone porn when they could be gaining wisdom from people like Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe and reading amazing fictional stories from the brothers Grimm rather than letting a bunch of 14 year olds and a bunch of middle aged Mums read this smut! If my Mum read this I would be horrified! This is my opinion, feel free to disagree but if more books like this turn up on best sellers I will be very disappointed in my fellow human beings.”
Another reader, Nova, states – “If you want to read erotica, this is the worst entry point in to the genre you could possibly choose. The sex is as tedious as reading about someone doing housework, the heroine has the intellect of a potato, and her lover is an abusive psychopath. Save your money and your good taste, choose something better.”
There have been others who have read Fifty Shades of Grey and enjoyed it. Such as, Maria, “In my honest opinion I think it’s a brilliant and easy read for a book like this. I am halfway through the 3rd book and have been in love with the lives of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. At first the sex in it was a bit of a shock that it went into quite some detail and yes the sex is very repetitive and can actually get quite boring. The story itself however will get you sucked in. My favourite character is Christian and from a lot of my friends who have read the books we all love Christian Grey he is just so mysterious and sexy all at the same time. As for Anna she can seem like a doormat a lot of the time and I feel she doesn’t stand up for herself, as much as she should.”
As a writer, myself, I have flipped through the book, and while it may appeal to some, frankly, I couldn’t finish reading it. I found the writing to be loosely and dismally narrated. I’ve spent an immeasurable amount of time reading and reviewing people’s responses regarding Fifty Shades of Grey. Those who have read it and those who have recently watched the movie. I have sat back and observed the reasoning’s of both sides of the spectrum – those that have disliked the book / movie and those that have liked the book / movie. I have somewhat understood the concept of the book, the impression the author is trying to model and the story-line that E L James attempts to narrate, which it occurs to me, through reading many opinions, not to mention, viewing the author, herself, in an interview, seems to fall short from the awful language, the high school hysteria type imprint, and the disillusionment that this book was written for the empowerment of woman.
I found Fifty Shades of Grey far from liberating, quite the contrary. I chose deliberately not to follow through with the book, because in many areas it was offensive to me, as a woman, personally and professionally. The writing was of a very poor level. The language was inferior – its teenage-like dialect completely turned me away. The written word/s can be such an orchestra of meaning, yet, when an Author puts in a sentence words that lose meaning and shuns away the reader from a story-line, that, in my opinion, is unacceptable writing.
Psychiatrist, Michelle Cretella MD, shares, Cretella MD, “I don’t want you to suffer like the people I see in my office, so I’m warning you about a new movie called Fifty Shades of Grey. Even if you don’t see the film, its message is seeping into our culture, and could plant some dangerous ideas in your head. Be prepared.”
The summation of EL James stating this book is empowering to women is unfounded and telling of the mindset, therein. A woman is not empowered by satisfying the sexual violent, incoherent fantasies of a man. A woman is definitely not empowered by being passively submissive in the bedroom to a man’s whims, nor being treated like a crafted role in soft porn.
Sex is a combined, equal enjoyment. Two adults equally being intimate, fulfilling each other’s desires, needs, satisfactions and aspirations. An intimacy that is on par with one another, sexually affectionate and confident, as compared to one person dominating the other. Sexual intimacy is respectful, not materialistic, nor gluttonous. It’s a mutual coming together of two bodies, equally, in awe and consideration, rather, than the notion of one person lording it over another, in supremacy. The subjection of a woman throughout the book portrays a demonstration of slavery and unflattering bondage. Those two characteristic, within themselves, have been what women have sought to overcome, for decades.
This is why, as a woman, I have come to the conclusion of rejecting the concept of Fifty Shades of Grey. I believe all women should take note in identifying what this book is truly signifying and how Fifty Shades of Grey can be quite destructive to a woman’s identity and any ongoing or prospective relationships. In Psychology Today, Denise Cummins Ph.D, clearly identifies – “The pain and fear that comes with sadomasochistic sex causes the brain to shunt blood flow away from its executive “decision-making” areas (frontal cortex), which results in an altered state of consciousness in both the giver and the receiver. Like autoerotic asphyxiation or cocaine, experiencing fear and pain can heighten sexual gratification, but at some cost.”
It seems Fifty Shades of Grey is simply unsustainable in its essence. The message it attempts to portray is not only quite concerning, it’s unrealistic and somewhat ambiguous, leading the reader to believe it can possibly be a reality in life which can be lived out and/or practiced. Which in turn is causing many to venture out to explore more, yet, the more they’re confronted with delivers to them an emptiness and a sense of disillusionment. I found the following comment a very interesting view, from a reader – “If Christian Grey wasn’t a billionaire nor handsome and good looking,and instead a man living in a minivan it would have been a criminal case. And that’s exactly what I thought when I first watched it. It would’ve been so creepy. He’s a sociopath! Just because he’s good looking and is a billionaire shouldn’t justify the fact that he tortures people for pleasure. Clearly likes to boss everyone around and make them his slaves. It’s just messed up.”
Mature adults have the options to choose for themselves what they aspire to in a relationship and in the bedroom. Fifty Shades of Grey may offer, to some, the raunchy element that may be missing. However, I beg to differ. Raunchy and romantic can be had on an equal level, equally enjoyed and embraced by both partners. When raunchy is accompanied with violence, submission, dominance and narcissism, that’s cause for concern. Society, nowadays, seem to be too quick to accept the next fad, the latest trend in main stream media and throughout the entertainment industry, not realising the impact it may have on their psyche, nor their relationships. I need to ask…is it all worth it? My answer is, no. We can nurture and enjoy our own intimacies without having to reach for the fiction of characters, lifestyle and unsustainable actions that eventually fall into a fruition of emptiness and fulfillment.
Robert Hoatson, Ph.D. – ex-Priest, survivor of sexual abuse, and advocate for thousands of sexual abuse victims for over a decade shares, “But Fifty Shades of Grey is not a movie about kinky sex. There is hardly anything sexual about the movie. It is about the abuse of power, and its tragic aftermath. It is about a wealthy, handsome young man at the peak of his manhood being incapable of developing a meaningful relationship with a young woman who tries everything (including becoming somewhat of a sex slave) to get to his soul. What she did not realize was that her boyfriend’s soul had been murdered as a child, and as a result, he could not emote as most normal human beings would.”
Open letter to the young people about Fifty Shades of Grey – http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/an-open-letter-to-young-people-about-fifty-shades-of-grey/
Truama of a Childhod – http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/02/50_shades_of_grey_is_about_the_trauma_of_childhood.html