Also known as why I choose to be wary of badly written fanfiction/Fifty Shades of Grey.
By the way, the books are terrible, as is the movie. I wouldn’t feel the need to bring it up if it weren’t for the massive outcry that it portrays BDSM in the wrong way. If human beings were an intelligent species, then this would go without saying; this is literally fanfiction from Twilight. A number of things should become apparent from this knowledge; A, it features an average ordinary girl who has the personality of a dishcloth, and a Heathcliff.
As for why I despise Heathcliff, let us leave that for another random blog post. That might take too long.
B, It is pure fantasy. The entire purpose for fanfiction is so that fans can create the story that they want from the given source material. Aka, FANTASY. Whether or not it applies to aforementioned source material/reality does not matter.
C, More often than not…the fanfiction isn’t that good. Especially fanfiction that’s based on a typical young adult novel that involves romance. Because the writer in question (I’d put writer in inverted commas if it weren’t for the backlash I’d receive from nonexistent readers for the characterisation) is often prone to creating an idealised version of themselves as the character. This is called a Mary Sue, and it’s that stereotype that makes up the Bellas and Anas in the world. Anyway, the reason why this is bad for stories is that when the story revolves around aforementioned Mary Sue, it creates an atmosphere where you already know what’s going to happen. Things will always wind up in her favour, whether she actually deserves it or not. Supporting cast will always support her, apart from obvious antagonists. Eventually, you’ll get sick of the story, and the Mary Sue. Or worse, you’ll love her, and act exactly the same way.
Okay, so now you’ve realised these three things, this is what you should understand from this; this is a fantasy, and therefore, you should not take this as a literal representation of BDSM, or relationships for that matter. It’s okay to enjoy it, and to be curious about dominant-submissive relationships, but you have to remember that this is a work of fiction, and the rules of reality don’t apply here.
This would go without saying if humans in this universe had more than two brain cells. However…it appears it’s not the case. As a result, impressionable women are seeing Christian Grey as their ideal man, which is not a healthy thing to be believing.
I think the appeal is partly because of the ‘bad boy that can be tamed by the sweet girl’ trope. Like Beauty and the Beast. For Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s the ‘shattered individual is healed by the sweet girl’s vagina’ trope. And I can understand the appeal; people want to believe in something as idealistic as love. Love is great. Love makes you human. Love also makes you stupid. This is why I recommend that people take this stuff with a pinch of salt, because the main message being projected towards the audience is basically “anything is possible, because…love”. One can only imagine the consequences of this when it comes to impressionable humans. Especially girls. I’m not stereotyping; like it or not, the majority of romance dramas are aimed at women, and obviously they’ll identify with the movie more than men will.
So what are these aforementioned consequences of thinking this way for silly humans? As a member of a private girls college who observes the actions of her classmates on a daily basis when there’s nothing to do, I can provide several situations. Candy (yes, I’m intentionally using names from the What Not to Call Your Daughter List) may acquire the idea that if she ‘loves’ her lazy, emotionally distant boyfriend, he’ll end up changing for the better. Lexi might start thinking that she’s not worth anything unless she has a hot guy to love. And Krystal could decide to go along with her boyfriend’s selfishness and wandering penis, because…love.
I am an extremely cynical human being.
Then again, at least I’m not stupid.
Here’s the general gist of what I’m trying to tell you all.
You’re not a slut/idiot/perve/ditz for reading or watching Fifty Shades of Grey. Curiosity is part of human nature, and it’s okay to read naughty books from time to time. And it’s also okay to try out new things that you might come across in the book if it strikes your fancy. Personally, one of my limits is getting caned or whipped, for obvious reasons, but I do enjoy trying new things and seeing what I enjoy and what I don’t in a safe environment.
You can enjoy reading about sex, even if it is considered badly written. I remember Daniel and I used to play a drinking game in Delirium where we had to read it aloud for as long as possible without laughing, and the other person had to down drinks until the reader cracked a smile, (the game was surprisingly balanced; between my ability to read faster and therefore laugh earlier and Daniel’s ability to gulp a glass of garnet dew in a matter of seconds, we ended up drinking the same amount per turn). Anyway, that was my way of enjoying it, and I invite you to enjoy it however you choose to.
It’s okay to like it for what it is; fiction. This is not a guide to living and it shouldn’t be interpreted as such. BDSM should not be an excuse or an outlet for abuse, and love should never be an excuse for anything.
And on a shorter note; to all the feminists who scream negative crap about women in general who willingly choose to play the submissive role in BDSM relationships, feminism is about women having the right to engage in whatever activity they choose to without judgement, and you’re imposing on this right by saying that sexually submitting to a man makes you nothing more than a plaything. Women should be allowed to express their sexuality however they want; they are just as entitled to be dominant as they are to be submissive. They can choose be sexually active or celebate. They can choose to only have sex with the man (or woman) they’re married to, or they can choose to have multiple partners. THATS NOT UP TO YOU.
Rant over. Sup?