Thursday, July 19, 2012

The one where I might insult people...

Ok, deep breaths.  You can do this, Annabelle, you can do this. I've been mulling this idea over, chewing on it, trying to decide if I'm brave enough to actually write this post. I can't stop myself. I so strongly feel the need to speak up on a subject that has been niggling at me for awhile now.

Kids, friends, lovely readers, it's time to talk 50 Shades of Grey

Now, I will state right up front that I have not read the books, nor do I ever intend to read the books. I'm basing this purely on what I have read about them, heard about them from others, and reactions I've seen across America lately. I, however, can't in good conscience keep my mouth shut on this one. 

I fully admit that I have read my fair share of trashy romance novels. I'll even go so far as to say that there was a time in my life that I was addicted to them. I will also fully admit that they gave me false ideas of what love, sex, and intimacy are like.  They did not prepare me for real relationships, and in fact, probably hindered me. It took me quite a long time to realign my reality with my imagined perception.

Anyway, back to my point.  50 Shades goes above and beyond the typical "romance" category.  Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:

"When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever."

First, a little background on the book: it was written as a fan-fic of Twilight.  That's right, the characters of Ana and Christian are based on Edward and Bella.  It was originally published as a web-only story, then split into 3 books and virally marketed. Ok, I can deal with that.  What I can't deal with is the subject matter.  I'm not an idiot, and I wasn't born yesterday.  I know that erotic literature exists in the world.  I know that there are BDSM relationships out there.  I know that some people love that kind of thing. 

I don't understand the mommy community's fascination, and obsession, with it.  Some statistics are showing that the book's biggest fan-base is married women over 30.  It has even been dubbed "mommy porn".  It is a scientifically proven fact that men are aroused and excited by visual images, pictures, etc. Women are excited and aroused by words, actions, and the like.  I balk at the idea of reading this book.  When people hear me say that, they often ask me why.  My response?  I would be devastated if my husband looked at porn, why would it be ok for me to stimulate myself in the same way.  Pornography is not acceptable in my house, no matter who is looking at it. I was appalled to see this sitting open-stocked on a table at Costco yesterday. That means it was in full reading view of anyone who decided to pick it up, whether that be our young teenage daughters, our impressionable children, or whoever.

So, why has the popularity of this series exploded?  Why are wives, mothers, and daughters everywhere accepting this smut into their lives, their minds, and their souls?  Why is there a double standard? Are we really so sexually deprived as women that we feel the need to turn to erotica?

There's a chance I will lose some of you over this post, but I just couldn't keep it in any longer.  If you have read the series, would you mind giving me your reasons as to why you liked it?  I, for one, am choosing to not follow the crowd.  I will stand firm in my conviction to keep my mind free from the degrading influence of pornography.  


Mrs.O'C said...

Didn't insult me. I give you a hearty AMEN. I feel exactly the same way. A Goodreads friend of mine just reviewed it and I was shocked that in her review she admitted "this is basically porn" and then said she liked it. So...announcing to the Internets that you like porn is now acceptable? AWESOME. Or perhaps...NOT!
Thanks for the great post!

mama boss said...

I applaud you for this post. :)
I haven't heard as much about the book, didn't even know it was multiple books. But I had gleaned that it was some sort of erotica and that was enough for me to know that I would never read it. Same with the Hunger Games. I don't know much about the series, but I know enough to know that I don't need/want to read it.

Shannon said...

haha, I agree annie! the strangest part to me is people announcing they are reading it on facebook, or wherever. seriously? I dont know why you want to announce to all 300 of your friends youre reading erotica! its just...strange. haha! to each their own, I suppose!

Amanda said...

Annie, I'm so glad that you feel this way too! I have had the exact strong feelings about the series, but even my sister in laws have been talking about how good it is. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one out there that hasn't, actually will never, read them.


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