Well, I’ve just finished reading the most talked about book right now 50 Shades of Grey and I’m not sure whether I’m a lover or a hater. In theory I love the idea of erotic fiction, I mean I’m a regular reader of Lush Stories but that’s a whole other post. I guess I read it to see what all the fuss was about. Or not about to be perfectly honest. I struggled to read the book cover to cover for a few reasons. Let me enlighten you.
1. I found Ana’s innocence a little raw
Being a late bloomer myself I found many similarities between myself and the central character, Anastasia Steele. Perhaps one of the reasons I found her so annoying is because she was so much like me say two to three years ago. She’s a bit mystified by love, sex and what it all means. She’s overwhelmed. And so was I. She explores her feelings of love and lust and confuses the two. Yet I have to say the obsessive love she feels for Christian Grey is believable.
2. The traditional male and female roles bugged me
Christian Grey is the leader and Anastasia Steele is the follower. They are in a BDSM relationship (Christian is the Dominant and Anastasia is the Submissive) but I felt these roles, in and out of the bedroom, reflect the deep misogyny that is still embedded in society. Grey is a self-confessed control freak and a wealthy one at that. He is a successful entrepreneur and Anastasia is a literature student.
Would the book have been as successful if Anastasia were a successful businesswoman and Christian a bricklayer? Perhaps.
I guess the real question is do women just want to be rescued? Still? In 2012? I won’t say I wasn’t swept up in the plot, apart from the author’s repetitive use of “inner goddess” and “oh my” and “he touched my sex.” He touched your vagina, girl. Deal with it.
3. I’m a cynical 26-year-old
Yes. Yes I am. I’ve been in love once and it was as intense and confusing as Christian and Anastasia. it was obsessive in many ways and I cut off from a few friends during the relationship. That was my own fault. But I have to say that I don’t believe that obsessive love or all consuming love really lasts. I think it washes over you. You fall deeply in love so quickly but then it just kind of fizzles out.
I’m not saying that the love I felt wasn’t real, I know it was, but I just don’t think one person can be your one and only. There are different types of love in this world and right now the love I feel from my platonic relationships is the real love I think I’ve always been searching for.
4. Thank god Ana doesn’t give up her job
As a feminist I would’ve promptly burnt my copy of 50 Shades of Grey had Ana quit her job and lived happily ever after being Grey’s sex slave. Okay that was a tad melodramatic. I probably would’ve just hurled the book across the room.
I think it’s so important for women to follow their passion and not to be become “the wife”… I have a real problem with gender roles, don’t I? Perhaps because I don’t fall in love with the gender, I fall in love with the person – this is probably why it bugs me so much. Sometimes it can be tiring for me when I think about it.
So with all that in mind I don’t think a work of fiction, like this, has ever left me feeling so conflicted. I think I love what 50 Shades could’ve been and I will search for something else similar to read. Our very own Whippersnapper tweeted me saying she thinks I will most definitely read the second novel, 50 Shades Darker, and you know what she’s probably right. Damn it.
Have you read 50 Shades of Grey? Why do you think it’s hit such a nerve with women?