[content warning: description of: domestic violence, abuse, using BDSM as an excuse for abuse, rape]
Some of you may be aware that I have a deep and abiding loathing for the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy.
At first, I was just pissed off that it existed — it was plagiarized from another book series (that is badly written and glorifies abusive relationships, with a fanbase that largely seems, well, pretty offbase most of the time) and yet this seemed ample reason to reward IceQueenSnowDragonFairyFartPrincess — sorry, EL James — with a publishing contract. Oh, and scores and scores of cash.
Then I was pissed off at how badly written it was. I mean, dear gods, if people are going to make an author rich for a plagiarized piece of work could it at least be well-written? Apparently that’s too much to ask. The series is terrible. It is worse than the source material, Twilight, and that really is saying something.
Then, I got pissed off at the combo-deal of crap: not only is the BDSM in the books completely wrong and downright dangerous, the relationship is actually incredibly abusive. And often, Christian uses his “domness” or whatever as an excuse to abuse Ana.
For a while, folks have been calling out the series for its blatant glorification of abuse. And for a long while, there was no response from EL James. Perhaps she was clueless, we thought. Perhaps she just doesn’t know, and once she hears about it, she’ll think about it. Apologize. Say that the books are just a fantasy, and that they shouldn’t be taken as a manual on How to Do Relationships.
Then she said this:
“Nothing freaks me out more than people who say this is about domestic abuse. […] Bringing up my book in this context trivializes the issues, doing women who actually go through it a huge disservice. It also demonizes loads of women who enjoy this lifestyle, and ignores the many, many women who tell me they’ve found the books sexually empowering.”
Quote source. (Be warned, the page plays two mis-timed video ads that are incredibly annoying.)
There went that theory.
Jenny Trout has already done an amazing takedown on her blog, but I feel I must add my voice to the conversation.
Especially as, since we took to Twitter and started asking EL James about her statement, she blocked anyone who said anything about 50 Shades being abuse, and called us all trolls and witches.
So, here’s my response to you, EL James. Please note how civil I’m being, even though I hate you with every fibre of my being and hope that Artemis turns you into a stag.
(After the cut, I go into detail about abuse and rape. I put in a read more tag so that you can skip this if you want.)