Fifty Shades of Grey is about a girl learning to deprive, limit, and change herself to hang onto a man. Anastasia, who is a virgin, of course, wants to please Mr. Beater because he’s so sad, boo hoo, and maybe she can fix him if she lets him beat her and tie her up enough.
When it first came out, I bought the book because I misunderstood what it was about, but then I figured, hey, millions of happy readers can’t be wrong.
It was such drek. If anybody really bit her lower lip as much as Anastasia, it would be hamburger. Also, I tried looking up from under my lashes but I didn’t look seductive. I looked like Lurch.
I tried reading it twice but gave up after about twenty pages. Then my friend made me promise. She’s like, twenty years younger than me and really smart, so this one time I thought, okay, let’s see what the young ‘un might be on to.
God. Back to ageism (wherein youth suffers.)
The sex scenes were okay, but holy crap (as Anastasia likes to say, thereby stealing my favorite expression), it’s just mindless. Basically, you’ve got a girl getting beaten regularly (oh, call it what you will, it’s brutal), and then a guy loving on her after that, all skin ointment and candlelight. He’s a stalker and a control freak, and I don’t give a shit if he was tortured and abused as a little kid. How many of our girls buy that barrel of swill, thinking they can heal a bad guy who isn’t really bad, he’s just damaged, poor thing.
I did. I put up with years of mental, if not physical abuse, because I felt sorry for a guy(s). It took me years to mature my way out of the idea that a man’s history of suffering meant he had some kind of credit coming, in the form of, say, not working while he “found himself.”
Anastasia tries to analyze whether she really wants to pay the price for her association with Grey, but she keeps losing her perspective because he is so pretty. Seriously, should looks earn the bearer that kind of power? It’s just a temporary outward appearance, girly. What if he were middle-aged and ugly? Nobody would think this story enticing. And I kept imagining my granddaughter, twenty years from now, being treated this way – maybe it’s stupid to say that but it grounded me. Of course, if it were my granddaughter I’d get a SWAT team and rescue her, then send her to counseling and therapy.
Aside from the fact that I hated the “beat me, I love you” message of this stupid book , millions of readers are hooked, because they want to know what happens next. I admit, I do too. But I think I’ll just ask somebody how it ends.
PS: To all the youngsters reading this, continuing jealousy in a mate is not a good thing. My fave advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, recommends reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.