See Rhi, you are amazing in your ability to eloquently and gracefully lay out the rage, going straight to the crux of why these books are so insidious in their ability to seemingly (and creepily) let the concept of rape/abuse as a seduction technique gain a foothold into acceptable mainstream culture.
It is completely disturbing that the cruel and violent elements so very prominently written in 50SOG are being brushed aside by people, thinly veiled behind a curtain of justification like:
- it’s just fiction
- some people analyse too much these days
- it’s not that bad don’t take it so seriously
- it’s written for entertainment purposes, nothing more
- just some light reading, an escape from our everyday lives
- this is just a fantasy novel, that is all
Your exploration on this topic in your “Not Ok” post is brilliant – especially in the light that those above dot-point comments were actually taken straight from the Facebook thread discussing the books that we both commented on last week.
And your ability to write such insightful posts is very much something I tip my hat to, given that my reactions to 50SOG in general are far less eloquent and considered, and more of an exclamation along the lines of “it’s so shit shitty it amazes how can people like it because the abusive nature and dreadfully shitty writing in this book is shit on a shit sandwich type of shit”.
HOOOOOW can people like it? Or LOVE it even?
As in, not just say “oh, it was OK, with this one bit of the book that was pretty good” (because to be honest the only thing I didn’t mind in the books were the email exchanges).
But how can people absolutely fawn over the whole world (so poorly) constructed in the novels, and at the epicentre of this trembling abusefest that infatuated people for some reason adore, is one of the most emotionally and physically abusive, manipulative, cruel, controlling, misogynistic and down right douchey male characters to ever be turned into ink on paper.
I have been told of the “I don’t read much” angle on more than one occasion, but I have also known of people who read LOTS who think these books are it and a bit. People with varying levels of education and from differing backgrounds are all “Christian this” and “Christian that’.
Does it possibly come down to the fact that many people in long term relationships may be having dullish sex lives, and the raunch conveyed in the Fifties has stirred the lust on the home front.
Is it that women seem to finally be “allowed” to read erotica and subsequently have permission to enjoy a bit of naughty romp?
Is this what seems to make it easy for women to gloss over and ignore the more disturbing aspects of the books and brush them aside as simple light entertainment?
Because there are MANY. SOOOO MANY disturbing aspects – yes, “tampon” scene, I am referring to you, and to you there “multiple punishment f**ks”, and you “almost rape scene” in book three, and you “baby in my womb is moving so it likes sex” scene. Along with the all the repeated declarations of Christian about needing/wanting/wishing to beat the shit out of Ana – it goes on and on and on. (like this blog post, wha-whaaaaaaa).
But to me no matter how lukewarm the home fires have been a-burnin in the bedroom in many households around the globe, I can’t just CAN’T get my head around WHY people love these books and HOW they can overlook the abuse contained in them.