This post has gone a bit women’s lib vs. women’s libido but was supposed to be a generalised moan.
I read the book (plural) and watched the documentary. I respect E.L.James as an inexperienced, Twilight, fan base author who made it to the big bucks – on public demand alone. I get that the story and the structure is a bit rough around the edges (whey) but I don’t get why so many women love the story, why so many women profess to masturbate over this story and why these scenarios are orgasm worthy.
The main questions Fifty Shades of Grey (50S) left with, were:
Why are women fawning over an ‘abusive’ relationship? Is it abusive or just a bit of slap and tickle (whey) ? Do some women wish they were dating Christian Grey or just sleeping with him? If the book could ‘change your wife’, what will watching the movie do to her?
When 50S hit every WHSmith and Waterstones, women everywhere finally had something to wank about that was a bit more updated than Lady Chatterly’s Lover. That black cover with the suggestive tie could be spotted on every billboard and commuters hands as far as the eye could see, sometimes with a bashful dummy cover for the more secretive of the bunch. Every female you didn’t want to read it, was in fact reading it. From your teacher to your grandmother, it seemed that everyone had gone porno book mad. Women were starting to embrace their own little chink out of the pornographic industry and boldly declare: “I too like to read about sex, I too enjoy sex. I am woman hear me cum.” Far be it from me to tread the muddy waters of feminism and women’s rights here – I am just one woman asking why. Why is it that one of the first highly sexualized mainstream movies, aimed at my gender is all about belittling and controlling the female lead? I’ll stop asking rhetorical questions, and start making my point.
For anyone that doesn’t know, 50S follows a shy English student, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) who fills in for her journalism room mate when she gets sick and can’t make her big interview with billionaire, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). The two end up getting involved in a BDSM relationship.
Anastasia is portrayed as a squeaky clean, naive young woman who has absolutely no idea about anything ever. The character she portrays is that of an overgrown school girl, innocent and pure. She has met Christian once, on the interview. There was some sexual tension between them, and this is all okay with me. Questionable dialogue and acting, but I’m still okay with the overarching message – they fancy each other.
He shows up where she works and starts trying to flirt with her.
Not that I have an issue with work flirting, but it all seems like Christian is an older more experienced man, well aware that Anastasia is a fish out of water. He acts almost like a paedophile who pursues and grooms an inexperienced girl, and takes pleasure in taunting her lack of knowledge. The whole thing made me feel exceptionally uncomfortable, as Grey saunters about her D.I.Y shop asking for some obvious BDSM things like rope and cable ties.
They meet again at a photo-shoot for the interview. Well, watches him get his photo taken while he creepily stares at her. This is pointed out by her friend in a cooing tone: “He has not stopped staring atchooooo!”
Usually women don’t like men staring at them for long periods of time, from my experience most people find that uncomfortable. I guess if it is a billionaire bondage expert, we make exceptions and find it arousing? Once that strange moment has passed, he takes her aside to pry into her love life. He asks endless questions about if she has a boyfriend, if the photographer is her boyfriend, if someone she works with is her boyfriend…
You can hear this turning into an obsessive jealous lover: “So who have you been sleeping with behind my back?! That photographer? The man you work with? That man you just glanced at? TELL ME!!”
He can’t even let her visit her own mother without following her and emotionally blackmailing her about sleeping with his old abuser. I mean seriously, that bit. Come on, what the fuck is sexy about that? Anastasia can’t visit her mum without Christian throwing his toys out the pram (whey).
Already, Grey has demonstrated that any male having proximity to Anastasia makes him feel threatened, even in a professional working environment. Why is that attractive or appealing to the fantasy part of a woman’s brain? He sounds like a pain in the arse and detrimental to anyones emotional well-being.
In one scene Anastasia gets drunk with her college buddies, and decides to call Christian up and moan at him for inviting her for coffee and telling her to fuck off after about 5 minutes of the date because ‘he’s not the man for her’.What time is it ladies? Ten past emotional blackmail!
When he hears that she is drunk, he once again tracks her down and forces her to leave the party.
Can’t have my woman drinking. Me man, you home now. Slick and creepy Grey brings his brother along as a wingman for her best friend, just to make sure there is no argument about a drunk Anastasia going home with the creepy stalker billionaire for the evening. He did stop her mate trying to kiss her, but which was the lesser of two evils? Again, am I the only person that finds this all a bit uncomfortable? I can’t masturbate unless I’m 100% comfortable.
Do we want someone to be controlling and obsessive over us when we go out? Do we secretly find that attractive or is this film really aimed at men?
The next day he cockily strides through the room, while she wakes up disoriented and confused. She is in his hotel room. In his bed. Minus clothes. He slept in the bed with her, he got her naked, and he admits it all with a wry smile. Anastasia obviously has the mental age of a teenager because, that’s just downright disrespectful. She didn’t NEED to go back to his hotel room, he forced her and then took advantage by looking at her drunk naked body. I mean seriously girls, get a grip. This isn’t healthy.
Who is this film aimed at really? Is it a film disguised as one for the girls when it is really one for their boyfriends who paid for their cinema ticket and at least want a semi for their trouble?
The books gimmicky tagline: the book that will change YOUR wife, certainly implies it is aimed at married men or married lesbians. It will change my wife? I don’t have a wife? FUCK WHAT IS GOING ON.
These scenes are supposed to be the metaphorical foreplay for the sex to come, any woman will tell you how important foreplay and getting inside our heads can be when it comes to sex. Our sexual organ is our brain, right? Well, I’m using my brain and so far no vagina tickle. Christian Grey is certifiably the worst person to fantasize about.
In one scene Anastasia directly asks him: “What do I get out of all this?” Grey responds: “You would please me.”
It is a fair argument, she would get the satisfaction of pleasing him! Isn’t that what it is all about ladies? Pleasing our man, in any way we can? Speaking of pleasing our men any way we can, he was less than impressed about Anastasia being a virgin. He saw this moment in a woman’s life, one that most women rarely get to choose with the wisdom of adulthood, as something that needed to be ‘rectified’. “Excuse me love, can I rectify your virginity?” while that may not be far from how it was put to you, why is that how it is put in the glowing mainstream beacon of female sexual fantasy?
To summarise, I don’t understand why 50S is liked and praised by so many women when if you scratch away the hype and the smutty bandwagon surface, all you are left with is a book series and a film series that embodies everything women are campaigning against. All this book/film tells me is that if there was some kind of dramatic shift in the way the fairer sex were viewed, most women wouldn’t be ready for it yet.
Sadly, many of us are still bound and gagged in Christian Grey’s red room of get on your knees and suck it bitch.