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.
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. 🙂