The problem with Fifty Shades of Grey

As a disclaimer, I have not read this book and I will not read it. While I usually refuse to review a book, movie or TV show that I have not experienced, with the popularity of this book I feel the urge to not keep quiet. Recently I’ve gotten into a number of discussions with people who have and have not read the books. For the most part, the people I’ve talked with all ask the same question when I voice my unbridled disdain – what harm can it do? Their argument is that Fifty Shades of Grey is merely a book and what’s the big deal if people enjoy it in the comfort of their own homes?
Here are a few reasons I have a problem with Fifty Shades of Grey:

  • It is not literature. Despite its ranking on many top 10 lists, this is nothing but fan fiction. It’s reported to be poorly written and poorly edited. Many libraries, at first, opted not to stock the book because of this. (Many are now likewise cowing to public opinion and bringing the book in.)
  • The relationship displayed is not real love. Giving up your free will and allowing someone else to make decisions that will be harmful to you is not, by any stretch of the imagination what love should be about.
  • The book sets up an unrealistic expectation of what relationships should be. Rich, powerful men that can buy anything, do anything, achieve anything. The man is tall dark and handsome, the woman is in need of someone to steer her through life. 
  • It sends the message women are meant to be dominated. Forget the feminist movement, the ability of a woman to hold her own job, make her own decisions. It’s like taking fifty steps backward returning women to the kitchen under the thumb of the man in their life.
  • It’s pornographic. Even if there are no pictures associated with this and there is no movie (yet), that does not mean this is any less harmful than other pornographic works. Read the research, pornography is addictive and detrimental to relationships.
  • It’s reaching into every sector of our lives. First the ebook, then the print book. Followed by a movie in the works. And if all of that wasn’t enough to make us sick of the whole thing, there are now Spotify ads toting Fifty Shades playlists, book lists filled with other erotic fiction to read once you have finished the series, etc… 
  • It glorifies living a double life. Living as two people is never healthy and never good. To be hiding things from the world, living one way half the time, another way in private cannot end well. But for the characters in this book living as two people is something that ends well and brings surprise and mystery.
I could go on, but I get so frustrated talking and writing about this I had better stop before the day is ruined.


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