I feel I should write about Fifty Shades of Grey because it’s dominating the literary scene; it is playing in movie theaters now, and is also live on stage. Also, it seems everyone else is writing about it.
What can I say? I have not read this New York Times best selling book, nor do I plan to see the movie or the musical. I’m just not that interested. I am a bit interested in how this author’s writing career took off- how she had a fantasy, an idea, and just went with it and shocked even herself with its success. Clearly, she was on to something. Now that is interesting to me. Good for her! I am mildly interested in E.L. James.
The Fifty Shades of Grey story itself, however, not so much. From what I gather, the main stud, Christian, is an intimidating sociopath whom the damsel Ana falls prey to, or madly in love with, or something like that.
Ana is a college student. I have daughters in college, and the thought of a young girl getting sucked in to a relationship with a man with a personality disorder and a limitless need to control- well, yuck. Just not my kind of fantasy.
There actually are narcissists like Christian and there are victims like Ana, so taking pleasure out of this story line, which is some women’s’ story line in some fashion, feels just a little bit unappealing I guess.
Fun doesn’t have to involve brutality and fear. Just my two cents. Fun with trust and safety and respect and long term love- now that is sexy to me. That is abandon.
I’ve heard this theory of why so many women have gone crazy for this storyline: we are tired of being in control of so many things in our lives and like the fantasy of a Christian character taking complete control. I get it. But if some women are this desperate for reckless abandon, doesn’t something need to change?
Surely there is a more substantial solution than hiding rigidity and overwhelm behind the cover of a sadistic book. Shaking things up before this point would’ve been a good idea. Better late than never though, and for some the book is a bit of a gateway. So be it. I’m just pondering.
I’m no Taliban. People should read or view what they want, and many women are having a good time with this story. It’s entertaining, I know. We’re a nation that wants to be entertained. Look no further than the popularity of the NFL. Fifty Shades is a fun distraction for millions. It’s just something I’m passing on.
So I chose the 80’s hit Flashdance over Fifty Shades to see at the theater tomorrow with my daughters. Sixteen brand new songs have been written for the musical. I don’t know if anything will top the original music though. In the words of Irene Cara:
What a feeling
I can have it all
Now I’m dancing for my life
Take your passion
And make it happen
Pictures come alive
You can dance right through your life
Now I hear the music
Close my eyes, I am rhythm
In a flash, it takes hold of my heart..
Happy Valentine’s Day!