It’s badly-written, especially considering all the hype. The sex isn’t very sexy. It idealizes virginity in a really unhealthy way. It stereotypes BDSM role-players as depraved and broken people. The characters are flat and wooden. The dialogue sucks.
There’s a lot I find wrong with Fifty Shades of Grey (some of which I covered in a prior post, if you’re interested).
But I spent some time the other day thinking about whether Fifty Shades of Grey got anything right. I mean, nothing that poorly-written deserved to be published, much less become the summer’s blockbuster read and get a movie deal, but isn’t there anything that makes its popularity more significant than just a tragic waste of ink and e-book memory?
And I found it: the one good thing about Fifty Shades.
in honour of Toronto Pride Week 2012
I’ve had people ask me before, “Why do gay people get their own parade? Straight people don’t. Why do they have to make such a big thing of it?”
The answer is twofold: because it’s harder to discriminate against somebody you know, and because spirit in the face of oppression needs to be celebrated.
I won’t tell you not to read Fifty Shades of Grey and its accompanying sequels, all written by E.L. James. It’s against every grain of my librarian instinct to try to prevent reading, or to shame people over their reading choices. But I can’t keep silent either.
I’m partway through the book – reading it together with a friend – and I feel like there are a few things I have to put out there that have really troubled me as I’ve worked my way through the story. I’m not looking to turn people off the books, but I do hope that anyone who chooses to read them will do so with a bit more critical thought for having heard what I’ve got to say.
Image via Endow Groups.
This morning I was listening to Catholic Answers Live, a thing I sometimes do because I like to see how the religion of my youth is motoring along these days. And a recent episode, called “Parents’ Role in Chastity Education”, gave me real food for thought with these remarks:
Basic cable network MTV’s head of programming David Janollari has stated that his network’s goal is to reach out to twelve-to-thirty-four year olds. And what kind of content does Mr. Janollari think is appropriate for the twelve-year-olds he’s targeting? A graphic sex program, of course. In April MTV recruited Dan Savage, author of the tabloid sex column ‘Savage Love’, to lead the network’s new program Savage U. So I’ll just leave it there. Now you can imagine the content on this show.
Guest host Teresa Tomeo was, in part, quoting an article she’d read somewhere, adding her own commentary along the way. I won’t venture to guess which parts she was reading aloud and which were her comments, because that wouldn’t be fair. But the language, whoever wrote it, says it all – “graphic sex program”, “tabloid sex column”, and that rather sarcastic “what does Mr. Janorelli think is appropriate?” It’s clearly calling on parents to get really worried about pornographic programming for preteens being broadcast all over the filthy airwaves.
It’s time for a little perspective.