Not So Grey – The Black and White of My Opinion of “Fifty Shades….”

YES!

YES!

I’ve been thinking about the frenzy over the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ books and now the movie that’s coming out soon. I don’t quite understand why it’s so popular. I feel a little (okay, a lot) like an observer from a distant planet watching as the squeeing, silly Earthling females get all excited about what they see as ‘naughty’ sex and heart pounding romance.

It’s probably not healthy to be so detached. But, really, I just don’t get it.

(Disclaimer: The rest of this is going to maybe be a bit NSFW and possibly offensive. So, if you’’ve been uncomfortable with anything I’ve posted before, maybe you could skip this one.)

And, with that warning in place……

“The Notebook” is a romantic movie. It’s actually even realistic – two real people could have gone through all of that to end up happy together, until the end. The hold someone has over you should never be about something external – their power or their money. It should never be about controlling anyone. Love isn’t about control ever and being able to give yourself over to someone is important, but not in the way “Fifty Shades of Grey” puts forward. I think most women can tell you about the things that draw them and keep them with the men they love. I also think those same women will say that it took time for them to be comfortable enough with their partners to be intimate, let alone experiment sexually. So, I get that a movie about bondage is going to be controversial, even though I’m not sure why.

I’m one of the few people in the world that is bored silly by the whole bondage thing. If you have to work that hard, you’re not doing it right, in my opinion. All the accessories are overkill, and a gargantuan waste of time. I can think of quite a few other things to do that don’t require anyone to be tied down, blindfolded or physically abused in anyway. Take from that whatever you will, Dear Reader, but there it is. I’m all for anyone (within legal and ethical bounds, of course) doing what works for them, but nothing leaves me less interested in even thinking about sex than the idea of S & M. Definitely a yawn snooze trigger of mine, and those that know me well know that I don’t have any trouble falling asleep as it is. You want to thrill me? Don’t even start with the handcuffs and whips if you want my attention.

SSSSSSNOOOOOORRRREEEEE….

There is something infinitely sexier and more thrilling about the way someone you can’t get enough of laughs, or seeing them adorkably attired in mismatched flannel, believe me. Everyone has their thing or many things, and you know what? Flannel is all about get close, get cozy as far as I’m concerned. Close and cozy are stepping stones to hot and even closer, right? Forget the leather and steel. And, since this isn’t a post about what turns ME on, we can move along….

My problem with the books and film themselves is their premise. Sweet, innocent, uptight and clearly submissive girl meets handsome, successful and dominating guy and they embark on a sexual free for all (although, does free for all work when you’re talking about S & M, which is all about control? Probably not, but I’m going with it.). That’s not romance. It’s not even sexy, really. It’s exploitive and creepy. But, after the whole frenzy over Twilight, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. A hundreds of years old vampire that looks 17 really shouldn’t be hanging around a high school unless he’s hungry for human veal. So, the relationship between he and his teenager is wrong on every level. (Human/Vampire interaction at it’s horrifying and bloody best? Watch “Let The Right One In” or it’s American version “Let Me In” and you’ll see why Twilight is preposterous to me. ) I can’t understand why the feminists that buy t-shirts with menstruating vaginas being masturbated printed on them aren’t in an absolute uproar right now. (Yes, that shirt exists, no, I don’t own it and no, I’m not posting a picture or link to it. Google for yourself. I think American Outfitters sells it.)Points if you get the movie line I adapted to suit my theme there.  Hint: it’s a romantic comedy. 😉

Going back to the “Fifty Shades of Grey” relationship , it offends me as a writer, too. It’s clichéd and kind of tired – and I’m sure it’s been written, without the bondage, in 1000 romance novels before. It’s basically Cinderella, in it’s own twisted little way. With that element wedged in, it becomes even more tiresome. If you have to bombard me with how HOT this relationship is, it’s about as not hot as it gets. Besides, S & M has been a fetish for so long I almost wonder why it even counts as one any more. If Rosie O’Donnell and Dan Ackroyd could make a bad movie out of a bad novel by Anne Rice about the bondage world twenty years ago or so, it’s really not sooooo taboo now, is it? (“East of Eden” for those of you who didn’t know that stinker exists.) Nope, it’s not. It’s too easy to write that. It’s too easy to throw in a tired old fetish that you know is going to send a massive squeal through most women because they think they HAVE to be secretly thrilled by it and now can publicly pronounce how hot it is. Bleh! Sexuality is so subjective and personal that it just doesn’t boil down to all of these women thinking this Fifty Shades business is so great. I’m willing to guarantee that they’re not, if you were to actually ask them in a setting where they could be honest about it instead of following along with the crowd. It’s kind of like the phenomenon that happened while “Sex In The City” was on the air – suddenly it was okay to talk openly as adult women about the men we were intimate with, provided it was with a cadre of close buddies over vibrantly hued cocktails and wearing couture.

Hey, ladies, you’re not empowered because you like these books and movies!

You’re being manipulated into thinking you are, though and that makes me angry and sad at the same time.

What I do love, even though the trailers make me want to smash everyone involved, is how the movie is being awkwardly promoted on morning talk shows. THAT is comedy of the best and unintentional kind. That’s the best. It’s so not a morning show type movie, and everyone knows it. The female anchors are giggly and silly and the men just look completely uncomfortable.  Seeing that cheers me up a lot. I don’t even need the Saturday Night Live folks to make a spoof, that’s how great those moments are for me.

Not flannel and best laugh ever great, but it will do for now. 🙂

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25 thoughts on “Not So Grey – The Black and White of My Opinion of “Fifty Shades….”

  1. This is the best and most spot on blog ever written. And it kills me to see wimpy housewives carrying this book around like it’s an Olympic medal, bragging about it. P.s. your marriage / sex life must be so pathetic, empty and void of emotion if you like this bologna.

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  2. Fantastic piece. I think we are all suckers for romance, but have too many unresolved issues buried inside. Anything that stirs them, without really upsetting them causes public swooning over it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you! I admit to reading the whole trilogy, but I really don’t know why. Probably to see if it got any better. It was so badly written, I was cringing. Surely no-one talks like that, especially during sex. Christian ought to have been locked up for stalking, and Anna is just a drip! Having said that, women still rave about it. There’s no accounting for taste!

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    • There’s a big discussion going on in a writers group I’m part of on Facebook right now inspired by this blog post. One woman touched a point I’d only glossed over and that’s how the books really are about manipulation and control. Whether Anastasia (seriously?) was willing to be manipulated or was against her will or better judgement is a really important detail. It’s a source of amazement to me that women fantasize about being dominated by men (not this New York girl,anyway) when it’s been the dynamic of centuries already, but I’m not here to judge people’s kinks. I do question why sane, reasonable, responsible women who have read these books didn’t see that going on and object. I have to wonder why none of them took offense and why there is such a pop culture fascination with this whole book series, all the memes, tshirts, etc,. with Fifty Shades quotes…it’s kinda gross. If guys walked around with t-shirts glorifying the infinite wit of Miss July, women would FLIP OUT!! I don’t propose men do that, because, ewww…but I did hope for better from my own gender.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the whole thing is about control and submission. Something many women have fought for centuries to get rid of! I d not understand anyone would want to fantasise about being controlled by a man, because, my God, the reality is not nice! Whatever floats their boat, I suppose, but I still don’t get why it became so popular, and remains so. To me, it was monotonous, and pretty unbelievable.

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  4. They are creepy! But you already know I feel that way, well done. I love the title because for all his Grey blah blah blah, Christian Grey is a black and white thinker. Good/bad under control/not under my control. There are going to be a lot of disillusioned women out there when they realize what a man like Christian Grey is really all about, and it is not love and certainly not about women’s rights. The cartoon at the top is the best I have seen yet!

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  5. Best is not for everyone but it isn’t one sided, not if done right. However with that being said, 50 shades does not portray the lifestyle accurately, and as said above displays a pretty pathetic relationship. Everything I have heard has proven that it was written by someone who knew very little about the lifestyle but found some words on the internet and went with it. Not my cup of team but to each their own.

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  7. You had me at ‘adorkbly’. I haven’t bought into it so haven’t read the book, but isn’t it basically ‘9 And A Half Weeks’ revisited? Handsome OCD guy with questionable sexual proclivities takes woman on a sexual awakening thingy?
    No diss to the author as haven’t read the book, just a ‘wacthoo-talking-’bout Willis’ face to the never-ending sledgehammer marketing I guess and I couldn’t agree more about how funny this would be on breakfast TV – I’m imagining it as haven’t seen it.

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    • Yes, your guess is on the mark, although heavier on the S &M, I think. (It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen “9 1/2 Weeks”.

      Watching the morning show coverage is very funny, but I do shake my head at how forcibly the media is pushing this movie.

      LOL..adorkably is the best way to describe it and I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. Thank you for writing this piece! As I cringed through yet another trailer spot for the movie tonight I was telling my husband I felt like the only female on the planet who could not care less about this movie. I am beyond thankful to know that I am not alone. I bought the first book after seeing rave upon rave about it on social media. I forced myself through the first seventy-five pages feeling baffled. Then I did something I never imagined I would do in my lifetime. I threw a book in the garbage. The story was so implausible, and the writing so poor, that I did not want that book falling into anyone else’s hands!

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    • You’re welcome. I’m kind of a rebel – so when what I call ‘herd mentality’ kicks in, I balk. In this case, it was justified, but still. The trailers on t.v. are just so….desperate to be sexy and exciting. Yes, desperate is the right word. I hate desperate.

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  10. I will admit I have the books because they were available for free and given to me. But yes I actually liked the movie 9 1/2 weeks. I haven’t read the books and I don’t know if I will. I abhor poorly written literature. And it was a damn shame what happened to Anne Rice’s East of Eden. She’s my all time favorite writer and she didn’t deserve that trash and mockery. As for the fifty shades mania I think for most taboo is titillating so that equals hot. For me I prefer honest love to equal hot intimacy. ❤️

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