Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fifty Shades of Cliche

Succumbed to the hype and lost a few IQ points reading Book One of Fifty Shades.

Awful writing + glorification of an abusive relationship = trash. Fifty Shades is a spicier version of a good old Harlequin Romance, with all the tropes of the genre: sweet young woman falls for gorgeous, super-rich, arrogant man with a tragic past, boo hoo. She tames him and turns him into a better person. When Fifty Shades got to the backstory that explained why Christian was so messed up - his birth mother was a crack whore - I laughed out loud. Of course she was a crack whore!

I loved the Amazon reviewer who hypothesized that the book had been dreamt up by a couple of teenage girls. But what disturbs me about this book is that such a piece of garbage is being read and analyzed by some pretty smart women as if Christian Grey were a literary construct worthy of discussion. I CAN'T STAND IT. How can they not see that he - and this book - have less depth than a comic book? (Jughead's character flaws would be more interesting.)

Most disturbing - the abuse factor. Who cares what people do in the bedroom - it's no one's business. But his controlling her life, limiting her contact with friends and family, are the hallmarks of batterers. And her acquiescence in that kind of relationship - which is meant to be "hot" - is typical of abused women. I wonder how real women who have suffered mistreatment at the hands of a partner find this book. Not so sexy, I'm guessing.

And here's my least favorite passage: "It's (the domination and hitting) right for Christian. It's what he wants, and ...after all he's done (bought her a car and first class airfare) I have to man up and take whatever he decides he wants, whatever he thinks he needs."

Whoa! We should put up with men controlling and hitting us as long as they buy us expensive gifts??? What the hell year is this? Gloria Steinem, speak up about this piece of crap book. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On every dimension - artistic, political, psychological - this book is offensive, misogynistic junk, and I wish people would recognize that and shut up about it already!