okay so here’s what bothers me about fifty shades of grey

the way it’s being talked about by FUCKING EVERYONE (journalists, women, men) is that it is somehow this is ~revealing women’s inner desires to be dominated, as if this one woman’s (e l james’) sexual fantasies as somehow able to be universalized to all women.

i quote barstoolsports.com:

"Girls its not a secret anymore. Its like the number 1 bestseller on the New York Times list. Theres 3 books. Its being turned into a movie. We all know about it. Not some girls club secret. Just deal with the fact that we all know deep down you wanna be a sluts."

jesus christ. seriously.

now to be fair, obviously i understand that some women love that. but not all women! and even the ones who love it- not all the time, and not from everyone! and it doesn’t undermine their respectability outside of when they choose to submit (or even while they choose to submit).

and this from the book’s wikipedia page:

Fifty Shades of Grey has also attracted criticism due to its depictions of BDSM, with Katie Roiphe of Newsweek asking “But why, for women especially, would free will be a burden? … It may be that power is not always that comfortable, even for those of us who grew up in it; it may be that equality is something we want only sometimes and in some places and in some arenas; it may be that power and all of its imperatives can be boring.”

oh, okay, so everyone apparently agrees that it’s a damn good thing that this book undermine feminism, because feminism is oppressive and terrible.


okay, i get wanting to sometimes let someone else take control. but that has NOTHING to do with equality. equality actually means being empowered to dictate when, where and how you want someone else’s power to be exercised over you. and don’t even think about saying it’s true for all women, since i am a mostly-womanish person and i think the last thing in the world i would ever want would be for a man to dominate me. no, i’m not repressing my submissive tendencies. yes, i’ve tried it. no, it wasn’t my thing. the magic dick and spanking combo did not do it for me.

and this is all skipping around the issues, anyway. the issue is that that katie roiphe from newsweek also seems to think that there’s an issue of choice that comes along with these books. alright, assuming that by “equality is something we want only sometimes and in some places and in some arenas” she actually meant something like “control is something some women want only sometimes and in some places and in some arenas”, which i would agree with, there’s still a problem here. compare that idea to the plot the fucking wikipedia page describes:

The plot traces the relationship between recent college graduate Anastasia Steele and manipulative billionaire Christian Grey. Steele is required by Grey to sign a contract allowing him complete control over her life.

so we have several level of genuine, non-consentual but culturally constructed power inequality: man/women, rich/poor, and if she wants to date him, she needs to… totally give up all control totally? so that ‘sometimes and in some places and in some arenas’ goes out teh fucking window. it sounds like a slave contract signed by people who don’t understand negotiation, omg.

also, he was apparently abused by his mother as a child and that’s why he wants to dom women. so once again… kink interest is pathologized as stemming from trauma. great. and male dom/fem sub bdsm is portrayed as misogynistic and that’s okay? like it’s actually just portrayed as ’ i hate this women who hurt me so now i hurt and hate women’. like… fuck you bro? get over your shit without hurting people?


  1. boinymph reblogged this from safeword
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  6. 50shadesawful reblogged this from sandyfarquhar and added:
    Super important points about the José/Ana sexual assault (almost rape) scene and the racial politics involved.
  7. beantwiceover reblogged this from safeword and added:
    Just reading about 50 Shades of Yuck is like doing myself a kind of emotional violence. I keep involuntarily flinching...
  8. safeword reblogged this from viviopsis and added:
    relatedly: it’s twilight fanfiction, which brings us back to the FUCKED UP way that stephanie meyer portrays jacob as a...
  9. lucypaw reblogged this from sandyfarquhar and added:
    Reblogged for commentary.
  10. sandyfarquhar reblogged this from viviopsis and added:
    SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE TWILIGHT which incidentally it was originally fan fiction of also, as a kinky person I am INCREDIBLY...
  11. viviopsis reblogged this from sandyfarquhar and added:
    I agree with all of this - I also just want to add that: the ONLY character of color with a name, José, is essentially a...
  12. degenderate reblogged this from safeword
  13. maharetr reblogged this from safeword and added:
    Ugh. I had not actually *heard* of Fifty Shades of Grey until five minutes ago, and ugh
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