Yes this is another 50 Shades post. I just love writing about it, ok? I have a weakness for mocking really really bad things. It helps me deal with some issues.
This post required a lot of fun, and often disturbing, research for me.
Firstly, I want to talk about an article I found in Shortlist magazine the other day – The premise of it is to explain to the magazine’s male readers that women liking 50 Shades does not mean that they like or expect BDSM sex now. Apparently this has become a bit of a concern for men. The article explains that treating sex like a business deal is not something women crave, nor is being stalked – both things that could easily be read from 50 Shades – but that men should be reading from this that they like being paid attention to (In, you know, legal and sane quantities). On the other hand, the writer offers that what men can really learn from 50 Shades is that women like men with helicopters. And fair enough, I’m pretty sure most men wouldn’t say no to dropping their knickers for a go in a helicopter.
Anna North on buzzfeed.com agrees that womens’ interest in 50 Shades is in the attention Christian Grey showers upon her, just knowing what it is she wants and needs. Of course, this includes in the bedroom too. Some women have complained that men nowadays aren’t assertive enough, doing things like asking permission to touch them and constantly asking if they’re alright, and wanting to talk everything out, instead of ‘just fucking them‘. That’s right – women are complaining about men asking permission now. I don’t really want to use the word ‘consent’ here, but surely this presses some issues? I can understand that someone asking ‘Is this ok? Is this ok?’ constantly can get annoying, but surely there’s a middle ground between being over-cautious and throwing all cation to the wind? Supposedly it’s ‘unmanly’ to talk things through, and a man should know what to do instead of asking, but let me let you in on a little secret here ladies, Christian Grey is fictional. Of course he knows Ana’s every need and desire without having to ask, he’s written by a woman. Technically he is being told what to do, by his author.
The ones I feel sorry for are their husbands.
Next on the agenda is the economical side of the 50 Shades franchise. Let’s skip right past the $1 million E L is earning weekly and look at other businesses that are cashing in – such as the sellers of ties (Coz Christian wears a tie), tea (Coz Ana drinks a lot of tea), rope (yes, rope), Dating Sites that focus on relations between older men and younger women, Hotels that are featured in 50 Shades (some of which offer ’50 Shades’ packages), and of course, bondage gear and sex aides. The Tallis Scholars’s song ‘Spem in alium’ has gained placement in the music charts recently, as it’s featured in the 50 Shades soundtrack (yes, soundtrack).
And they’re not the only professionals wasting their time on this book. You know that equipment used to determine the profiles of criminals? Yeah, those image-generators have been used to create a profile of Christian Grey from descriptions of the how readers imagine the character looks. Here he is:
But did all the time and resources put into this pay off? Did they create Christian Grey – the perfect man??
And of course people are now using this profile as a basis in trying to find an actor for the upcoming movie (yes, upcoming. Movie.) to play him. Any volunteers?
If all this wasn’t frightening enough as it was, experts are predicting a baby boom as a result of the book’s recent popularity. Yes, children are being brought into the world out of all this.
I will finish this on a high note though, with some sane people on this planet: these three lovely ladies expressing their opinions on 50 Shades, and a nice little feature on E L James’s inability to use the English language, and her Just-Thesaurus-It attitude to writing. These made me feel much better.
I would like to give a special thanks to 50shadesofsuck.tumblr.com, where I got a lot of good stuff on the ridiculous-ness of 50 Shades, and also for the running commentary the blogger has done on the books – funny stuff. I literally read the whole website. No regrets.