Let it be known, I really don’t dig the whole “I’ll prostitute myself to a rich man, allowing him to dehumanize me until I begin to adopt his abusive personality ‘quirks’ for my own” thing.
I realize a whole lotta people may get their knickers in a wad (and shoved in their mouth like a good sub should do when facing a dilemma of interrupting someone on a rant) for what I’m about to embark upon. Christian Grey is an asshole beyond comprehension and Ana Steele is way out of her league with a guy who doesn’t adhere to boundaries.
I think some people get so wrapped up in the whole tawdry side of things that they don’t perceive the undercurrent of abuse.
Fifty Shades of Grey is nice for one reason, and one reason only. It got people reading.
However, there’s a shitload of gnarly reasons why scorning this series is perfectly acceptable by logical means. If one reads past the awkward phrasing spurt across the pages to the subcontext, one will read the story of an abusive relationship, where the female lead thinks as a constant basis, “Oh shit, what did I do this time to piss him off?” every time her lovey dovey opens his mouth. What equality exists in that relationship? She may ‘put her foot down’ but its mental at best. Christian Grey proves time and again that he will stalk her, buy the company she works for to keep tabs on her, isolate her from friends and family, demean and humiliate her, withhold affection to manipulate her, RAPE her… You know what, just because he had a shitty childhood doesn’t mean he gets to take it out on her. She never signed the contract, she was under no obligation for him to act the way he did. The sad part? She doesn’t realize it’s abuse, although she spends a hefty amount of time being anxious in his presence, fearful of his reactions, and scared to voice her own opinion.
Why do I hate this book with the seething passion of a demon hopped up on PCP? Oh, because I was married to a man who never hit me in anger, but used every other means in the book to demean me until I got to the point of writing out suicide notes and hiding them, because I knew what the inevitable would be if things stayed the same. I began cutting in my depression. When my ‘beloved’ saw the scabs on my arms, he told me I should have “cut deeper and finished the fucking job.” That’s exact verbatim. When his best friend pulled me from the brink of overdosing on insulin while taking a bath, my husband retaliated by sleeping with his ‘best friends’ girlfriend. I know abusive assmonkeys when I see them, and let me tell you, Christian Muthafucking Grey is nothing but an abusive fucktard who needs a new therapist because his current one really fucking sucks.
Want to know what makes a worthy literary hero? Take away his money and good looks. If he’s still likeable with those two alterations, then he’s a winner. Without money and his “Adonis” good looks, Grey has NOTHING. Zippity doo-dah. Nada, zilch, zero. He’d be the creepy guy who works at Best Buy, living in his mom’s basement. Hey, there’s a mental image, being strung up by the visible floor joists in the basement, for the shits and giggles of another. Want to know who does that sorta shit? The BTK Killer.
Many will argue that Christian Grey evolves into a kinder sort of Beast by book three. I claim bullshit. No, BULLSHIT, capital letters and all. Please, explain to me how being smothered by one’s over-protective, yet hypocritical spouse and given bruises as punishment for being like every other person on a topless beach (then berated in public by an angry spouse who claims the other party is making a scene [wtf?] while being hauled from the beach over a shoulder is not abuse? He’s a controlling dick who doesn’t know when enough is enough. She didn’t sign the contract, but she signed the wedding license… and that’s as good as a ‘lifelong contract’ by his standards, I bet.
Until Fifty Shades of Grey became uber popular, I was not familiar with the fan fiction concept. No clue whatsoever. Then I discovered spite fiction. That is how I purged myself of the anger feels. I wrote of Ana escaping, and meeting a respectful yet kinky fellow. A Darker Shade of Pale is my take on how Fifty Shades should have ended…
There are several blogs out in the interwebs that beautifully go through with a critical thinking comb and point out what some people seem to be oblivious to. Highly recommended:
More Creeps With Christian Grey Similarities:
Girl in the Box (my neck of the woods, sadly)