The trailer is out; I just watched it and it’s nothing short of disturbing.
Often referred to as “mommy porn,” Fifty Shades has been compared to “9 ½ Weeks” and “The Story of O” – all three examples of female characters being sexually manipulated or abused by the men.
What could possibly be more entertaining for your $12 ticket than that?
In the trailer a voice utters the words, “I don’t do romance, my interests are very singular,” whereupon it goes into rapid fire scenes, clearly depicting a BDSM playroom.
For those of you, including me, who haven’t read the book, Ana is a 21 year old, introverted virgin, covering an interview for her college paper featuring Grey, a benefactor. Ana’s father died when she was young, mom had a revolving door of husbands and her childhood years a mess. Grey is 27, devastatingly handsome and was found at age four next to his dead, crack whore mother’s body; his chest covered in cigarette burns. Grey’s sex life started at 15 at the hands of his mother’s friend who seduced and regularly “beat the shit out of him.” That loving relationship lasted for 10 years. When it ended, Grey became a “dom” in the BDSM world with 15 women under contract prior to meeting Ana.
As the story progresses, Grey brings her into his “playroom” and explains, “I’m fully aware this is a dark path I’m leading you down, Anastasia.”
He then demands she sign pages of contracts that dictates her every move from how she dresses to their sex life requirements. Every critical review I’ve read concerning the book describes it as nothing short of terrible writing; bad, embarrassingly bad.
James has a shortage of words at her disposal, inserting “oh my” into the narrative for Ana 68 times and “holy cow” 82 times according to Maureen Dowd’s review.
If I can bottom line it for you, it’s a book, aimed largely at female readership, that makes an erotic work of fantasy from the life of a messed up, hurting girl, combined with the childhood abuse of Grey and their subsequent conjoined behavior. Press high speed on the blender and what comes out is something that’s flown off the book shelves at record speed.
Why don’t females with enough cognitive thought process to read and follow the story line find this abusive behavior abhorrent?
Dr. John Bird from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood says, “Abuse shouldn’t be looked at light heartedly and certainly shouldn’t be praised.”
Enter James and her twisted tale; which is just the icing on the icing.
To my thinking, when James created the characters of Grey and Ana, she asked readers to overlook the lifetime of abuse because – since it mostly takes place in the bedroom – it’s ok for Gray to manipulate and abuse Ana because, well, it’s hot!
No, it’s not, it’s abusive.
So who exactly is reading this and who’s going to go to the movie?
Bowker, the world’s leading provider of bibliographic information, tracks readership of books and according to them, less than 30 percent of purchases are to women with kids at home, 14 percent of purchases were for readers older than 55 and 20 percent of buyers were male.
“It’s a remarkable phenomenon. Nearly one in five adult fiction books purchased for women in June were from the Fifty Shades Trilogy,” says Jo Henry, Director of Bowker Market Research. “A recommendation from a friend or relative is the primary factor in both discovering and ultimately purchasing the Fifty Shades books.”
Word of mouth, the most powerful marketing tool.
And according to the Christian Post, a leading evangelical publication, “There is no difference between the percentage of Christians who have read Fifty Shades of Grey and the percentage of all Americans who have read the book, which has at times been described as mommy porn.”
Of females calling themselves practicing Christians, nearly 20% have read the book.
Who are these women providing casual, social acceptance to violent, abusive behavior against their own gender by reading the trilogy and, no doubt, will plan girl’s nights out to see the movie?
Why is this glamorized?
For my taste, this strikes way too close to family and friends I love who have been victims of abuse, sexual and physical, to find any place in my world to make it seem ok.
Regardless of my point of view, it’s not OK.