Okay, so I’ve tried to keep quiet about the Fifty Shades of Grey debacle, since I actually haven’t read a single word and am therefore theoretically not in a position to judge. But as they say in Sex and the City, some people do arts and crafts, we judge…and I am full of judgement on this one!
Normally I would be happy to hear that so many people are suddenly discovering the joy of reading, but here’s the thing, you may as well read the flipping Daily Sun, because from what I’ve heard, it’s better written than Fifty Shades and a darn sight more interesting (and believable). I am genuinely perplexed as to why this series of books has been such a phenomenal success. Ladies, are our love lives THAT sad?? If you need some barely literate ‘author’ (and I use that term in its loosest sense here, believe me) to tell you what you’re missing out on in the bedroom, then either you lack imagination to a tragic degree or your sense of self-worth is poked (if you’ll pardon the pun). I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for a little racy reading from time to time, if that’s what floats your boat, but at least read something well-written for the love of everything sacred! Just because it’s erotica – allegedly – doesn’t mean it has to be drivel.
There seems to be a weird kind of brainwashing that accompanies the reading of this book. I was talking to someone earlier who I assumed was relatively intelligent, and I made the remark that something was too vanilla. She gleefully asked me then if I had been reading Fifty Shades….um…no sweetie, the likening of things that are mundane or unimaginative to vanilla came along way before your very unimaginative choice of reading material. She also then proceeded to wax lyrical about how Christian Grey is her dream man. Firstly, TMI – since I don’t actually know her, I’d prefer not to wonder about how she likes it in the bedroom. Secondly, really? Your dream man is someone who will treat you like dirt?? Wow. There’s that awesome self-esteem again. I think since this trash hit the shelves, there are men of a certain calibre rejoicing in the fact that suddenly all these women want to be controlled, intimidated, bullied (and I’m not talking about the S&M stuff – if you fancy a bit of slap with your tickle, go wild) and essentially treated like not much more than a blow up doll that breathes. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I have a penchant for complicated men – the more fucked up the better it often seems – but really, there has to be a line, and this is it. If your dream relationship entails you being subservient and hanging on the every whim of a controlling bully, it’s time to seek help. Just a thought. The women who say this book has saved their marriages literally make me want to cry. They may be beyond help actually.
I have a sneaky suspicion that even E.L. James is a bit surprised by the success of this trilogy. There she thought she was writing some lurid, worse-than-Mills-and-Boon soft core porn that at best would be read in cheap hotels by bored holidaymakers, and maybe by a few housewives when the batteries ran out on their vibrators, and suddenly, she’s a worldwide hit. It’s a bit embarrassing really. We should have better taste than this, girls. And really, I don’t actually care if you want to be in some awful domineering relationship, just read a real fecking book please and stop trying to convince me that Fifty Shades is a literary phenomenon!