Once upon a time, a sadistic rich prince fitted a glass slipper on the foot of a self-pitying, poor clumsy Cinderella, and then he slapped her, really hard. (Because women LOVE that!) Holy Cow! That smarted! But his fingers were so long and elegant! And he was so good looking! And so very, very rich!!!
Yes, of course I’m mocking the Fifty Shades books. And that means I’m mocking the women who’ve made this book popular. Hear me out, then you can blast away in the comments if you want to defend them. But have the guts to put your name. I’m not anonymous, so play fair.
Fifty Shades of Gray: boring, stupid, stupid, stupid. Trite cliche and insulting to women.
Fifty Shades Darker: really, you went back for more. I won’t tell, but let’s be honest: you know you felt slimy inside.
Fifty Shades Freed: you went back for more? but why? What could it possibly give you? Oh, a happy sigh at the end? Shit, watch Disney if that’s what you’re craving.
Girls, what were you thinking? I read the first few pages of each of the trilogy on Amazon, and they nauseated me. Read enough excerpts to confirm it. NOTE TO SELF: THE FIFTY SHADES BOOKS ARE HORRIBLE! If Christian Gray was poor or uneducated, or old and gray and fat, would Anastasia Steele have let him control her? Um, no; that would be disgusting. So does that mean that money somehow transforms stinky #%&@ into something nice? What kind of storyline is that?
It’s a story with a message we should not, should not, should not teach our daughters: that we can be bought. That if he has money enough, if the price is high enough, and the guy is handsome, we’ll let him do things that we’d never allow a normal, real guy. Um…yuck.
What you read is what you want. What you read, your girls will learn to read…and want.
Poor girl gets financially rescued by a super rich guy. He is (truthfully: irreversibly) emotionally damaged. But she “fixes” him! Happy Ever After!!!!! (hearts and bubbles and kissses!!!!)
How many things are wrong with this scenario?
Answer C: All Of The Above.
If your life sucks so much that you need a fantasy that diminishes other women to feel better –and I include almost any book in which the self-pitying protagonist, at some point, “smirks” secretly at the perfect/pretty/mean girl–or feels inwardly superior to the stupid/mean/pretty/popular one–my girl, you gotta get yourself a new life.
Which is in YOUR CONTROL, not some guy’s. You can make your own life good.
I’m not going to smirk inwardly at anybody. I’m going to tell you straight out. I’m not a closet sadist: I want to up-front, out-loud bitch-slap the whole bunch of women who made this book a hit. Why? Because it means the whole next decade is going to be all about that kind of writing. Because publishers sell what sells, and you’ve just written the contract on getting plenty more of the same.
Don’t get me wrong: I love a good love story, and I good sex is great in a good book. What I hate is stupid, immature writing.
Moment of real truth: Admit it. You knew from the first paragraphs, and through the whole time you were reading it that it was a crappy book. You just got off on the titillation factor. But it was a guilty pleasure, because somewhere deep inside, a little voice (that you ignored) knows that women are better than that, smarter than that weak loser “Ana”. When did you ever meet a person named Anastasia that wasn’t kickass? Really, she fell down into his office when she met him? Who does that? What crappy, stupid writing.
Somewhere deep inside you knew you were making a bad choice. Would you want your daughter to dream about a relationship like that? No, you’d be disgusted, and you’d set her straight. L
isten, friends: little bad choices add up. Try and fight off the ones you are able. Make good choices. Read stuff that isn’t crap.
I cut my teeth reading writers whose work I still admire today. I want to write good books, ones with wordcraft and stories and characters I’d hope they would think were decent. I think I’m a reasonably good novice writer, with the intention to work on getting better and better at the craft. It pisses me off no end that because the Shifty Shades was so popular–book of the year, for godssake??!–that erotic crap will now be the dominant genre publishers will be looking for now. For a freaking decade. Loved Fifty Shades of Shit? Lucky you! You’re going to get way, way, wwwwwaaaaaaayyyyy more of that stuff.
You could choose to send publishers a different message.
The only way to get better at anything is to try and make good choices, no matter how little they are.
Quit dumbing yourself down. Quit dreaming about the easy way out. You’re a woman. You’re powerful. You can make your own life, and you can make it good. Quit selling yourself short by indulging in dreaming about The Asshole Who Buys Your Pussy And Then Becomes Your Docile Pussycat. It isn’t going to happen.
The real ending for this cheap, stupid fantasy is that EL James’ protagonist fucks the girl over emotionally, and she ends up a shell of her former self, dependent on him for everything, afraid to brush her teeth or even breathe wrong.
Laters to that, baby.