Back in March, I read the entire “Fifty Shades of Grey’ series. While I wanted to gouge my eyes out a mere four pages in, I kept going. Why, you may ask? I’m a pop culture junkie. I’m fascinated by what our society clings on to. And also, I love to read and once I embark on a journey with an author, I just can’t quit in the middle of a story. I feel compelled to the author to keep on. And as much as I try to pretend otherwise, Fifty Shades is just not going away.
As a disclaimer, I read all of Twilight and hated that as well, so it may only be natural that I loathe Fifty Shades of Grey, which is online fan-fiction turned print turned phenomenon based off Twilight characters with the names changed.
When I tell people I hate Fifty Shades, they immediately jump to “prude” status. I have absolutely no problem with sex in books. None. Nada. Zip. I’ve read plenty of books with sex in them. Also, zero problems with BDSM.
Note to self: When the 1st line in a book is “I scowl with frustration in myself at the mirror”, put it down. I dropped several IQ points while reading this horrible trash.
E.L. James might be one of the worst writers to ever sit at a computer and the fact that she is a best-seller while so many amazing talents are constantly rejected makes me want to weep, but my problem with Fifty Shades isn’t the writing. It’s the fact that people are hailing this as “a love story.” That’s where my problem begins.
I see countless Tweets, statuses and pins extolling main character Christian Grey as a romantic hero and pining over his fictional existence status. I’m seriously baffled, people. I’m beginning to doubt I read the same book as everyone else in the world, because I took completely different things from it.
Christian Grey is 27, a self-established multi-millionaire, a sex god, an extremely accomplished pianist, a pilot, and supposedly the hottest guy ever with the most chiseled body known to man. Swoon, right? Oh yeah, and don’t forget a manipulative, controlling, creepy, sick psycho.
Ana Swan, oh wait, Ana Steele is a new college grad who wears her hair in pigtails and is a complete dolt. For someone supposedly as smart as she is, she’s incredibly immature and has no backbone. We’re supposedly the same age, but while reading, she sounded 16 years old. Never once while reading these books did I picture myself in her place because, oh, did I mention she’s an idiot? And what the hell is with the “inner goddess” crap? She is immediately enchanted by this amazing god.
Christian makes her sign a contract about their sexual relationship and what her “hard” and “soft” limits are. The girl is A) a virgin and B) can’t even say the word vagina, so how the heck is she supposed to set limits? She can barely form a coherent thought to him because she’s so intimidated and so full of lust.
Some gems from the parts about discussing The Contract: “I have rules, and I want you to comply with them. They are for your benefit and for my pleasure. If you follow these rules to my satisfaction, I shall reward you. If you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn,” or this: “It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you.”
Aside from trying to control what she eats (He wants her to work out so she can keep up with his sex god escapades, but … he needs to watch her eat whole platefuls of food), he isolates her from her friends and constantly interferes in her career. He has a file on her, for God’s sake.
Another favorite part: She has to ask him permission to talk with her BFF/roommate about having sex for the first time because it goes against their contract. He doesn’t understand this because she can ask him anything, but because he’s such a romantic hero, he allows it. WHAT A GUY.
Several instances from the book that make me rage, but no, don’t worry society, I’m not a Christian Grey. Okay, I’ll say they made me roll my eyes instead, OH WAIT, that’s worth a spanking of 9 times in Christian Grey’s sick, deluded world:
1) After Ana, celebrating her college graduation week, goes out to a bar and gets drunk, Christian says to her: “Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.” A 22 year old gets drunk at a bar and her boyfriend wants to punish her (literally) for it. Oh, um, okay. How dare you, Ana, go out like a normal 22 year old (almost normal, because we’re expected to believe Ana never wanted anyone sexually before) and celebrate a milestone?!
2) While debating whether or not to sign Christian’s contract, our heroine flies to Georgia to visit with her mother and try and sort her head out. This bastard finds out where she’s staying, e-mails her from somewhere across the resort asking accusingly “HOW MANY COSMOS ARE YOU GOING TO DRINK” and then of course, Ana goes running to him. He makes her vacation to see her mother—who she apparently never sees—all about him and his needs. His valet remarks to Ana, “I’m glad we’re here (in Georgia). He was intolerable while you were gone.” FOR A DAY! Clingy, possessive, crazy psycho much?
3) In the third book (I think, she has a pregnancy scare in the first book as well):
Christian: “Did you forget your shot?”
I just gaze at him unable to speak. Jeez, he’s mad- really mad.
“Christ, Ana!” He bangs his fist on the table, making me jump, and stands so abruptly he almost knocks the dining chair over. “You have one thing to remember. Shit! I don’t fucking believe it. How could you be so stupid?”
Okay, Christian. It’s obviously all her fault she got pregnant. It’s not Christian’s fault because he doesn’t like to wear condoms so he obviously shouldn’t have to. WHO THE HELL IDOLIZES THIS MAN?
Still swooning? Okay, I’ll stop at 3, but trust me, I could go on and on. There are many more where that came from. E.L. James blessed us all with 3 books of this. There’s also fun things like him showing up on her doorstep uninvited and barging in, because he’s afraid she might leave him. He tracks her everywhere she goes. And for a millionaire of this ginormous company, he’s never working because he’s stalking Ana. But IT’S LOVE! He stalks her because of love! He’s never felt this way before! C’mon people, you’ve seen the movies, you’ve read the books, you’ve seen the Law & Order: SVU episodes. You know how stories like this usually end.
But alas, we’re in E.L James’ poorly narrated world. Ana and Christian get married two months after knowing each other. She has a baby. And unlike Twilight, she gets a career. That Christian buys for her. That she never worked for. That she got only so he can control who she interacts with and knows where she is at all times.
As I’ve said, I love reading. I get that reading is an escape where you can indulge in fantasies sometime. That’s fine, but when abusive relationships are sugarcoated under the guise of a love story and even worse, is being found in bookstores under YA fiction(!!!!!!!!!!!!!), that’s where I have a huge problem and why I had to post this ramble somewhere. God save us all.