The people who know me personally surely are convinced that I am not one to remain silent on highly contentious issues; in fact, while I may refrain from writing about certain issues in order to protect my brain from the subsequent explosion that would most certainly destroy what little intelligence remains post-argument, I never fail to scream at the nearest person without haste about what is wrong with the world today, oh my god?!
Currently, my ire is focused with laser intensity upon E.L. James and her bile-spew of the English language that someone, somewhere saw fit to call a ‘romantic story’ and actually publish, therefore turning everything that I hold sacred, from Reading is FUNdamental to the smell of books to unlikely romance to the art of writing, into a farce so much worse even than Stephanie Meyer could produce. The term ‘mommy porn’ makes me want to simultaneously vomit and tear my out my ovaries (to her credit, E.L. James herself hates the term). I literally sit here now, head in hand, mouth agape, unable to adequately wrangle my thoughts into proper written form, so hindered am I by sheer hatred for this woman. I am not even 1/10th joking; if there is anyone that deserves a message in the form of a dead rat on her porch, it is this woman. With her intolerable trilogy, James has managed to set back feminism – and knowledge of sex, kink and otherwise – at least 30 years. I fear for the younger generation of women growing up on this sludge, assuming that the descriptions of sex and male behavior in this book are true to form; it truly sickens me to imagine the depths of delusion into which this woman will manage to throw these poor girls.
I am hereby rescinding my right to delve into the books paragraph by paragraph for proper examples of the depravity of the writing, as that is currently being managed to much more proficiency by the blog, Evil Slutopia, and because I refuse to actually read this consumerism whore of a novel. However, I will take it upon myself to provide an essential quote from the book, posted within the aforementioned blog, in order to quickly showcase from where exactly (most of) my horror stems:
“ ‘I’m going to fuck you now, Miss Steele,’ he murmurs as he positions the head of his erection at the entrance of my sex. ‘Hard,’ he whispers, and he slams into me.”
“ ‘Aargh!’ I cry as I feel a weird pinching sensation deep inside me as he rips through my virginity. He stills, gazing down at me, his eyes bright with ecstatic triumph.
That paragraph is so disgustingly, vilely, erroneously, horribly, offensive, so much so that I am barely able to wrap my head around it’s implications.
First, a little backstory before the storm: The main character, Anastasia, meets this man, Christian Grey, and ends up falling in lust with him. As is apparently custom in the BDSM world, Grey requires that Ana sign a contract before he will engage in sexual activity with her. Because he is an hedonistic asshat, he doesn’t really give her time to decide whether she actually wants to enter into this type of relationship; it’s abundantly clear that Ana is the most unrealistically sexually naive person on the planet, and he doesn’t bother to so much as explain to her why his sheets are leather. He explodes in anger the moment he finds out that she is a virgin and informs her that he is going to have sex with her. Yes, you read that correctly: he didn’t ASK, he INFORMED. So follows the above-quote.
I’d like to break this down bit by bit:
“ ‘I’m going to fuck you now, Miss Steele…Hard,’ he whispers, and he slams into me.”
I have been having a hard time believing that a woman actually wrote this sentence. What kind of woman in her right mind would believe that this is a masturbatory-worthy fantasy? There is pain and then there is PAIN. There is no reason, even in the darkest of BDSM dungeons, that any woman would desire to have her virginity literally ripped from her. In my opinion, this is a glorified rape scene and E.L. James proves as much with the next line:
“He stills, gazing down at me, his eyes bright with ecstatic triumph.”
In my worst nightmares, this is how my rapist would react upon violating me. Christian Grey gets a thrill out of causing pain, we get it, but this is way over the line of acceptable; he enjoys hurting a woman in a way that she would never want. The gall of this woman, to not only write an experience so horrific for her beloved fictional character, but then afterwards to act as if this sex is enjoyable by tacking on a mind-blowing orgasm for Ana. Is E.L. James out of her fucking mind? Does she seriously believe that this sort of thing is OK?
Ah. But here’s the clincher: MILLIONS OF WOMEN VINDICATE HER DAILY. This despicable book has not yet left the bestseller list. It is a national sensation, people can’t stop praising it; the movie rights are already obtained, the dreaded ‘mommy porn’ catchphrase is branded onto our minds. I just don’t get it. What happened to women when I wasn’t looking? Have I played circle-the-wagons with feminist blogs for so long that I’ve simply never realized that I’m in a niche market and most other women are idiotic sheep who love being dominated in every aspect? Am I placing blame on the wrong book; did Stephanie Meyer create the loving-stalker-control-freak trend and does that make E.L. James simply a victim of coicumstance (it is a known fact that James’ novel was originally intended to be Twilight fanfiction)? Do women actually enjoy this tripe? Is there something overwhelmingly sexy in these books and I am just too prudish to realize it? Am I going to die a sexless freak because I won’t submit to the supposed allure of these books?
The state of the world today is absolutely terrible; war is awful, terrorism is devastating, severe economic crises are an avoidable horror, genocide is a tragedy, and yet I maintain that above-all, E.L. James (and Stephanie Meyer, if you wish to nitpick) is the worst thing to have happened to the world in quite some time. Women will be forever changed by the existence of these books, some for the worse, some for the better. I can only hope that there are enough women that will call bullshit on this trend of romantic masochism in order to counteract the hordes of swooning women currently inhabiting my favorite bookstore haunts. In the meantime, my only recourse seems to be to exude enough putrid-smelling hatred from my pores that the untamed masses stay far away from me.