I finished the Fifty Shades Trilogy a while ago. But I needed some time to let my thoughts simmer on the many degrees of fucked up these books present.
My first issue with the series is the way they present sex. Sex can be a positive thing, but in these books sex is not only a form of punishment but a way to escape a fight. This is not healthy. Having sex once to fix a fight is a way of getting out pent up emotions, but using sex to solve every single fight is not okay. Christian seduces Ana every time they fight. They never solve an issue and he never hears her grievances with him—and she has a lot of grievances. As the title of this post shows, make up sex actually requires making up, something Christian avoids because he doesn’t like to deal with his 50 shades of fucked upness. I know this book shouldn’t be an example to anyone of a healthy relationship, but I’m sure some women are using it as one. And that is terrifying to me. Couples may be having a lot more sex as a result of this book, but I’m sure divorce rates will increase too!
My second problem with the trilogy actually horrified me. 50 Shades Freed is dedicated to “my beloved Father. Daddy, I miss you every day.” This was sweet and made me tear up. Then you read a couple of pages of the book and there are anal plugs and bondage during pregnancy—not something I would ever want my father to know I do (I don’t for clarification!), let alone think about.
My dad is the smartest man I know and I would certainly dedicate a book to him. But if there was even a kissing scene in my book, I would not dedicate it to him. I’m his little girl; he doesn’t want to think of me kissing boys. I think he would genuinely have a heart attack if he found out I wanted a red room of pain!
No offence to E.L. James, I think the dedication is lovely. But is this trilogy really the appropriate place for a heartfelt dedication? Do you want people to connect this book and your father? Freud would have a field day with the connection between daddy issues and S&M.
A lot of people have taken offence to the poor writing in the books. There is a lot of it. But my bigger issue was with the connotations some of her phrases create. I have already complained about my beef with Ana’s inner goddess—Lizzie McGuire anyone. But I really got annoyed every time Ana called Christian “her Fifty.” It is the plague of my generation that someone says fifty and I sing “Go shorty it’s your birthday, we gonna party like it’s your birthday.” Ana screams out Fifty and I am thinking of 50 cent, a tattooed rapper with a lot of gunshot scars and a speech impediment. Not romantic and certainly not any women’s –excluding Chelsea Handler– idea of the perfect guy, which is what Christina Grey is suppose to be.
Though the more I think about it 50 Cent and Christian Grey have a lot in common…they will both take you to the candy shop and let you lick the lollipop. Both are PIMPS. Maybe James was onto something.
Another frequently used description was calling the red room of pain the playroom. I’m sorry but equating anything childlike with weird sex is not okay. I worked in a daycare so I hear playroom and I imagine blocks, a craft corner and giggling kids. After reading this trilogy a playroom brings about images of nipple clamps, spanking with a riding crop and submissive women. Not okay, now okay at all.
As an English student my brain is going in overdrive thinking about what it means that James connects playrooms with sex and a story of a dominant man with her father. But I graduated four months ago and don’t plan on writing a literary essay ever again. So it’s my present to you to analyse what this means to your heart’s content. Enjoy!
That is one more thing crossed of my list of surviving summer stress. I’m not sure if reading this trilogy improved my soul, but I certainly forgot about the stresses of daily life.