Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fifty Shades of F*CKED UP



I’d say I’m going to keep this short, but I started off writing this just to get my thoughts down because I’m so damn frustrated. Discussion, good and bad, about FSoG is flooding the internet and it’s impossible to look up anything without seeing people either loving or hating on it.



Like any huge fad, people are going to take different stances and express their feelings. Whether you’re into showing off your boxers above your low hanging jeans, tucking your pants into your socks, wearing tights as pants, or wearing a pacifier replica for earrings (and on a necklace, and keychain, and…well, they were everywhere when I was in school) people will like it just because they like it while others will be shouting from the rooftops that they agree or disagree with whatever started the trend.



This is a book. It’s fiction. For myself, I read the first book and…



I will pause now so people can tell me that I can’t have an opinion. Go ahead, reading all three books is a new requirement for everyone who wants to speak their mind. And I will also give you a moment to truly consider how ridiculous that is.



Anyway, I read the first book and it was a struggle. The writing style is not a type that I enjoy. If the book wasn’t so popular and I wasn’t an author I wouldn’t have forced myself past the first elevator scene. Now, this isn’t even me criticizing the author. Regardless that the book began as fanfiction, or the whole debate there, let’s just leave it at I just don’t get that excited about elevators. Which probably disconnected me from the heroine even more than her attitude towards her roommate.



On continuing to read, I found many things in the book disturbing. Now, I read horror. I read AND write dubcon. What irked me was things happened in the book that were easily dismissed. I’ve been told that this is because it was based on Twilight and what might be acceptable with a vampire seems a little different when a human is doing it.



Which is entirely possible, but FSoG is now its own book and it doesn’t make sense for people to have to read Twilight and FSoG to avoid ‘misunderstanding’ the behavior of the characters.



So if you get into a discussion about the book, someone might mention the relationship seems unhealthy. Should your boyfriend bring you to tears that often in the beginning of the relationship? Should you dread his response to you being honest with him? Should you have to pick your words when you speak?



Wait, we can’t have this discussion?



But…why?



I have been given so many different reasons, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. One of the most popular is ‘It’s just a damn book! If you don’t enjoy it, don’t fucking read it.’



Umm…what? Is this the new thing, because I’m not seeing that trend with any other book out there. Bad reviews are still left on Amazon. There are long discussions in groups on FB with people going back and forth about why they love or hate any book from The Hobit to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Since when are people not allowed to talk about books they’ve read?



Another fun chat I’ve had with people is about the abusive relationship between Christian and Anna. Which, apparently I don’t understand because I’m a prude and I don’t get kink and BDSM. If I’m clueless, I should just really shut up and let people enjoy their hot sex. I am a horrible person for judging another person’s lifestyle.



Which is kinda funny. My research, my experiences, and what I write would say  otherwise. I know what BDSM is. I know what’s safe and what’s not. If you want to bring up anything in my books that pushes the boundaries, go for it, but don’t tell me I’m a prude because it’s not going to shut me up.



THAT, more than anything in the books, is what I find disturbing. Fans are trying to get anyone who wants to discuss the book to stop talking about it unless they’re singing its praises. This INCLUDES victims of abuse who bring up the parallels between their abusers and the hero of this book.



Many of those who criticize the book say they’re afraid woman will actually find a man like Christian Grey and learn too late that you can’t change a man like that. I have to admit, I STILL want to believe people aren’t that stupid. Hell, I’ve read books with questionable heroes and gotten all hot and bothered at scenes where the man with a temper grabs the heroine by the throat and kisses her roughly before leaving her to go rob a bank. Or worse.



Still haven’t found my sexy criminal. *sigh*



The difference is, if someone asked me if I really wanted a man like that, I’d laugh and say ‘Hell no!’. If I met a woman who’d had a bad relationship with a criminal and told me she couldn’t read that book because it had triggers for her?



Damn it, I wouldn’t ask her what her problem was. I wouldn’t tell her it’s just fiction and she needs to get over it. Wouldn’t stop me from enjoying the books, but I could have a sympathetic discussion with her.



Try to have a discussion like that with one of the truly feral fans of FSoG. Or any discussion at all. Ask them if they’d want their daughters with a man like Christian. 

This image was shared with me on FB by the amazing Candace Blevins. Who writes very HOT BDSM novels.


Or don’t, because the answers tend to be disturbing. Many get defensive, fights start and I’ve seen more than a few of them end friendships. It’s getting to the point that people can’t discuss anything about it at all. My inbox could make me regret saying a single word about it on Facebook.



So why have I? And why in the world would I post about it on my blog?



Because more dangerous than a man like Christian Grey is anything that closes communication. My greatest fear is that women in bad situations will feel even more alone. While all her friends are enjoying the book and the movie and laughing about the articles they’ve read that mention abuse? While they’re giggling about how ‘it’s just spanking!’ and ‘I don’t see what the big deal is!’, a person who needs to talk doesn’t feel like they can.



Hopefully, those who need help are also reading those articles. And seeing that there are numbers they can call. And people who, whether they enjoyed the book or not, can still see the difference between a healthy relationship and one that’s not.



The discussion isn’t whether it’s fiction or not. It’s not whether BDSM is good or bad. It’s not about fixing people. It’s not about romance.



It’s not there at all.



Here are some links for those who are interested:







 



I’m leaving the comments open, and I won’t delete any that I don’t agree with, but I do ask that they remain respectful. Thank you! 

*Note* If there are any links you think might be good to add, please let me know! :)

4 comments:

  1. Well articulated, Bianca--thanks for writing this!

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  2. I agree with you and I liked the books and and I like the movie having said all that I also understand that there are huge issues with both from a safety standpoint but then I have done my research on the subject and I am currently in a Healthy BDSM relationship, I have issues with anyone that tells me that how I live and love is wrong and that has been happening when someone points out that this book is abuse because they have a bad habit of painting all BDSM relationships with the same brush .....not you in this case and I think that is part of the issue is that rather then discuss the positives and the negatives it has to be an either or situation

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    Replies
    1. The problem wasn't BDSM itself, it was how they went about it. He showed no respect for her, and she merely tolerated his lifestyle b/c that was the only way to be with him That isn't a healthy relationship - DS or otherwise.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your opinion, Bianca. I can understand why it may cause triggers with some people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they shouldn't bash another for theirs. And that goes for both sides of the coin in my opinion.
    I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

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