The Literature Hub
**Originally posted on the 12th of February 2015
Written by Ashleigh Neame
With the Fifty Shades of Grey movie coming out in about a week (here in New Zealand anyway) there's a lot of buzz about the franchise on social media. Recently, an article about the disastrous press tour turned up on my Facebook feed.
Did you know that Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson hate each other? And did you know that they both hated doing Fifty Shades of Grey? As research for his role, Jamie went to a sex dungeon. He was quoted saying that afterwards, when he got home, he had a looooooong shower before touching his wife and son. Also, he abhorred doing risqué sexual acts on a blindfolded woman. Dakota hated being blindfolded while he did them to her. So seeing as how the actors hated doing the movie, I don't think it will be a very good movie.
But anyway, this is a literature website, so today I want to talk about the books.
I kid you not, that is an actual line from the book. There are so many bad ones in the book, it's a wonder it got published. I'm starting to think that the person who chose to publish it doesn't know what good writing is.
Fifty Shades of Grey features such quotes as:
I read an excerpt of Fifty Shades of Grey the other day. Unluckily for me, it was the tampon scene that the internet seems to be buzzing about. I tell you, it was the oddest sex scene I've ever read. Christian Grey seemed cold and uncaring and Anastasia seemed naive and stupid. She worshipped Christian, despite his commanding and bossy nature. There is an argument that because Christian was willing to have sex with Anastasia while she was on her period, he's proving he loves her and will take her no matter what. To be honest, I was a little creeped out by it. It's such a social taboo for people to have sex while a girl is on her period. The author of Fifty Shades is definitely a daring woman (apparently she is in a BDSM relationship too, although judging by the excerpt I read I find that hard to believe).
But the period sex was, not surprisingly, not my main issue with the excerpt that I read. My biggest issues were the terrible quality of writing (seriously, it didn't flow AT ALL) and the horrible characters. In the excerpt, when the sex is over, Christian seems to toss Anastasia aside like she doesn't matter. He treats her like a plaything, not like she's a human with feelings. Anastasia just accepts it like it's no big deal, yet she didn't want to have sex in the first place. He told her to let him f*ck her and she just gave in. Anastasia is a spineless woman who submits to Christian just because he has money and because he is her boss. Christian likes Anastasia (I doubt he actually loves her like he claims to) because she does whatever she's told. That's a dangerous pairing.
The American Family Association described Fifty Shades of Grey as the "epitome of elevating abuse". I agree when they say that it "glamourises abuse." The AFA president, Tim Wildmon, says "Nothing in Fifty Shades of Grey builds up society, respects or empowers women or demonstrates healthy relationships." He goes on to list the actions inFifty Shades that back up his claim, such as stalking, intimidation and isolation.
"Healthy relationships seek to safeguard the emotional and physical well-being of another. This film promotes inflicting emotional, physical and psychological harm on one another for the sole purpose of self-serving sexual gratification. It is the epitome of elevating abuse . . ." - Tim Wildmon.
The hardware store scene, as shown above, prove how awful both the movie and the book are. See how awkward Jamie and Dakota are? See how Christian stalked Anastasia? That's not healthy.
Here's a conversation between Anastasia and Christian:
"No," I protest, trying to kick him off.
He stops. "If you struggle, I'll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you."
Does that seem like a healthy relationship to you? I was on Facebook and saw a picture where someone had rewritten this scene. Instead of threatening to tie Anastasia up and gag her, this is how it goes:
He stops. "If you struggle, I'll stop my actions because continuing them despite your explicit refusal is not 'sexy' or 'kinky', it is rape and should never be misinterpreted and promoted to such a wide audience like this."
So knowing how bad Fifty Shades of Grey is, and how it promotes unhealthy relationships, do you still want to read the book or see the movie?