Whether or not one likes the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” is completely a personal decision. There have been numerous articles and blogs that state concern that the book does not truly describe a willing BDSM relationship, and is instead a tryst of troubling themes like stalking and emotional manipulation. The case may even be made for rape (whether or not the character goes on to have a consensual relationship with the rapist later) by way of the following passage that describes an interaction between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele by Hanna Greenblott in a blog.
“When Anastasia tells him ‘no’ as he tries to take off her shoes, Christian tells her: ‘If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you. Keep quiet. Katherine is probably outside listening right now.'”
According to the Huffington Post, it is difficult to discern the character Christian Grey from another character that actor Jamie Dornan plays, a serial killer named Paul Spector on a TV series The Fall. The author gives an example of some of the quotes from both characters and asks the audience to decide if they are said by Christian Grey or by Paul Spector.
“That’s nothing compared to what I’m going to do to you if you don’t stop playing games.”
“‘If you were mine you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week.'”
The first quote comes from serial killer Paul Spector, the second from BDSM dominant Christian Grey. While very different story lines, critics are making comparisons between the two characters and their preference and treatment of women.
However, as movie theatres prepare for the poorly reviewed movie that is based upon the book, fans will no doubt take the theatres by storm. While many people can see that the books may not be appropriate for some people or may trigger emotional reactions in victims of abuse, many fans defend the books with a near-religious zeal. On social media such as Facebook, posters have harsh words for those who are offended by the books. One woman said: “I’m a victim of sexual assault too and I think if you are offended by these books you are weak minded and need to get over it…at least you still have air in your lungs.”
Similarly, moviepilot.com discusses six scenes from the book that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to portray on screen, including an intense fellatio scene and description of Anastasia’s tampon being removed by Christian and tossed into a toilet.
Commenters on that article were livid at the writer’s opinion and shared their thoughts with candor. One woman went so far as to suggest that if you don’t like the theme of “Fifty Shades,” you are jealous and pathetically unhappy with your life.
“The hateration [sic] is too real smh. E.L. James wrote the books and now Hollywood is making the books into movies. All of you people commenting saying negative things, are simple minded people. Yes, everyone has the right to their own opinion but why can’t you just be happy for Mrs. James on her success? Why? Because you’re not happy with what you’re doing in life. You’re not doing what you really want to do. You’re miserable. Which is why you won’t give credit where credit is due.”
While adoring and even fanatical fans are something that is not unique to “Fifty Shades,” it may have been some time since we’ve had a topic in pop culture that was so divisive. The fury of some fans when others state they dislike the book may be more questionable and offensive than anything actually in the book.
Readers, what do you think? Are people particularly hateful about differing opinions on this topic, and why?