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Author Topic: Fifty Shades of Gray  (Read 3051 times)

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Offline The Golden Touch

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #75 on: February 12, 2015, 07:47:12 PM »

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #76 on: February 12, 2015, 07:49:08 PM »
Maybe she was writing her fantasy? As in she wanted a guy like this to do those things to her? It could be a reason why she didn't research BDSM, just went on what she thought was BDSM in her fantasy. But it is fiction. No idea lol

Thats ultimately how I took it and other women just happened to enjoy the same stuff.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #77 on: February 12, 2015, 08:38:00 PM »
I have not read the book, but do plan on taking the misses to see it tomorrow. She read the three books and loved them - and yes, she's a nilla. She's also planning on see it with her girlfriends separately. ( They too liked the book )

One point that was mentioned here and is worth mentioning again is that the book does have a strong following, so while the book may not be strongly aligned with BDSM, it IS aligned with something that much of it's audience loves.

One thing that I've noticed is that the bashing of this book as crappy as it may be, seems to be with a great amount of passion. I'm kind of curious about the source and reason for that level of passion.


Quote from Wikipedia regarding sales volume
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifty_Shades_of_Grey

Quote
The second and third volumes, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, were published in 2012. Fifty Shades of Grey has topped best-seller lists around the world, including those of the United Kingdom and the United States.[5][6] The series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into 52 languages,[7] and set a record in the United Kingdom as the fastest-selling paperback of all time.[8] Critical reception of the book, however, has been mixed, with the quality of its prose generally seen as poor.


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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #78 on: February 12, 2015, 08:59:41 PM »
I imagine it's that quality in certain men that if Grey were a little economically challenged he'd be just another shirtless denizen of a trailer park being hauled away in a cop car with a woman running after him yelling, "Lock his ass up! Lock! His! Ass! Up!"

That's what irks me about this series so much. Almost universally reviled by almost all strata of critic and the readership is divided in such a love-it-or-hate-it-way. Still sell millions of copies and can get a movie deal. So any criticism is basically water off the duck's back that is James's. Woman gets to laugh all the way to the bank on something that is pretty much agreed to be striving for mediocre
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 09:22:02 PM by Inkidu »

Offline Sabine

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #79 on: February 12, 2015, 09:06:24 PM »
I imagine it's that quality in certain men that if Grey were a little economically challenged he'd be just another shirtless denizen of a trailer park being hauled away in a cop car with a woman running after him yelling, "Lock his ass up! Lock! His! As! Up!"

That's what irks me about this series so much. Almost universally reviled by almost all strata of critic and the readership is divided in such a love-it-or-hate-it-way. Still sell millions of copies and can get a movie deal. So any criticism is basically water off the duck's back that is James's. Woman gets to laugh all the way to the bank on something that is pretty much agreed to be striving for mediocre

All of this.

That first sentence though...I want to quote it and put it in my signature. I can't stop laughing ^_^

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #80 on: February 12, 2015, 09:13:51 PM »
All of this.

That first sentence though...I want to quote it and put it in my signature. I can't stop laughing ^_^
Feel free to use it if you wish. :3

EDIT: Also feel free to correct any spelling errors. My keyboard on my laptop is starting to be... troublesome. X__X
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 09:21:26 PM by Inkidu »

Offline Sabine

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #81 on: February 12, 2015, 09:20:32 PM »
Done! *still giggling*

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #82 on: February 12, 2015, 09:23:46 PM »
I wonder if this book would be popular if Christian was an older man....

Or what if the roles were reversed? Anastasia as a "dom" and Christian as a "sub"... would people still like it? Would women like it? Or would more men like it?

Ponders

Offline Sabine

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #83 on: February 12, 2015, 09:27:44 PM »
Feel free to use it if you wish. :3

EDIT: Also feel free to correct any spelling errors. My keyboard on my laptop is starting to be... troublesome. X__X

Uh uh...the spelling error makes it sound even more trailer park-y. I love it just as it is :D

Offline Cycle

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #84 on: February 12, 2015, 09:29:13 PM »
My take on it:

Fifty Shades of Grey provides an unhealthy wish fulfillment fantasy.  Anna is attractive to the reader because she is fundamentally free of all responsibility and decision making.  Christian is the tool to provide this: he is good looking, he covers her financial needs, he is a means to enjoy masochism without guilt, and his attention is focused on her relentlessly.

The entire concept is juvenile--but unfortunately, a too common wish.  Even among adults.

The book and the current commercialism spawned by it can pose problems by reinforcing the fans' wish to indulge in such unhealthy, adolescent fantasies rather than stepping up and do the unpleasant, difficult, and tedious work that is necessary to build a genuine, productive, healthy and useful lifestyle.  Worse, it creates the very real possibility that naive individuals are setting themselves up to be victims of predators.

I would wager that 99.9% of 50SoG's fans are not even aware what draws them to the book, and they want the unhealthy fantasy so strongly, that they will resist any attempt to persuade them there is anything wrong with the book(s).


Offline deadmanshandTopic starter

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #85 on: February 12, 2015, 09:39:06 PM »
My take on it:

Fifty Shades of Grey provides an unhealthy wish fulfillment fantasy.  Anna is attractive to the reader because she is fundamentally free of all responsibility and decision making.  Christian is the tool to provide this: he is good looking, he covers her financial needs, he is a means to enjoy masochism without guilt, and his attention is focused on her relentlessly.

The entire concept is juvenile--but unfortunately, a too common wish.  Even among adults.

The book and the current commercialism spawned by it can pose problems by reinforcing the fans' wish to indulge in such unhealthy, adolescent fantasies rather than stepping up and do the unpleasant, difficult, and tedious work that is necessary to build a genuine, productive, healthy and useful lifestyle.  Worse, it creates the very real possibility that naive individuals are setting themselves up to be victims of predators.

I would wager that 99.9% of 50SoG's fans are not even aware what draws them to the book, and they want the unhealthy fantasy so strongly, that they will resist any attempt to persuade them there is anything wrong with the book(s).

Truth. Every last word of it.

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #86 on: February 12, 2015, 09:41:43 PM »
HA! A hardware store? I can't right now...this is not a good idea. I can't believe it....I really can't.

This particular meme predates FSOG:



And anyone who has been in hardware stores will recognize where that picture was taken.  XD

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #87 on: February 12, 2015, 09:43:05 PM »
I want to play devil's advocate for one moment to deepen the discussion. My intention is not to drop flame bait but to expose something that I think is being overlooked.

Could there be a smidgen of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy in some of the criticism about the relationship and alleged "kink" in this book? I keep hearing that it is not X, and not Y, but who really defines whether or not it's "true kink", or a "proper Ds relationship" or whatever. I know it has been pointed out quite clearly that there are things about the relationship in the story are are nothing more than abuse masquerading as BDSM and I won't argue with that point, but for me, I did not start any of my relationships out by looking a set of guidelines and checking to make sure that I was "doing it right". Likewise, for my own personal kinks, they are based on what pleases me, not on what the "kink community" (whoever these mysterious folks are) approves of.

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #88 on: February 12, 2015, 09:50:47 PM »
It's not a case of what define's a kink. A kink is basically just a sexual idiosyncrasy. It can be a large one. BDSM often comes with but does not require whips and chains, but because there are often psychological imperatives to the kink. Some can be really small. Some people like panties. Not a whole lot of hardware needed for that.

The issue with 50 Shades isn't that the two indulge in kinky behavior. It's because they do it all wrong. He thinks nothing of her wants and needs. They employ no safe practices, and it's obvious Grey doesn't care about his sub (if she could be called that).

Offline deadmanshandTopic starter

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #89 on: February 12, 2015, 10:00:24 PM »
No. Because people are judging the relationship not based off of some imaginary checklist but based off of the actions taken. No one dislikes it because it doesn't  go through the same steps that they did in forming a relationship but because it violates the most basic tenets of what a relationship should be. It's not even a true relationship. It is simply one person imposing upon another with them receiving nothing in return. It fails to meet the base criteria for a real relationship between humans.

The kink and lifestyle complaints? Semantics. If they had just been in a vanilla controlling relationship it would have been just as offensive.

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #90 on: February 12, 2015, 10:03:35 PM »
True if it had been just a vanilla relationship it would looked like your very often seen abusive one.

Offline deadmanshandTopic starter

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #91 on: February 12, 2015, 10:12:33 PM »
Right. The kink is there to mask the abuse and make it romantic using the public's misunderstanding of the lifestyle invoked. That's all.

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #92 on: February 12, 2015, 10:34:18 PM »
My take on it:

Fifty Shades of Grey provides an unhealthy wish fulfillment fantasy.  Anna is attractive to the reader because she is fundamentally free of all responsibility and decision making.  Christian is the tool to provide this: he is good looking, he covers her financial needs, he is a means to enjoy masochism without guilt, and his attention is focused on her relentlessly.

The entire concept is juvenile--but unfortunately, a too common wish.  Even among adults.

The book and the current commercialism spawned by it can pose problems by reinforcing the fans' wish to indulge in such unhealthy, adolescent fantasies rather than stepping up and do the unpleasant, difficult, and tedious work that is necessary to build a genuine, productive, healthy and useful lifestyle.  Worse, it creates the very real possibility that naive individuals are setting themselves up to be victims of predators.

I would wager that 99.9% of 50SoG's fans are not even aware what draws them to the book, and they want the unhealthy fantasy so strongly, that they will resist any attempt to persuade them there is anything wrong with the book(s).



Wouldn't say I'm a fan, just someone who views it as a piece of poorly written smut. I've read stories on E that are more extreme and far worse than this book. I think what makes people so disgusted(besides the abuse) is that its so reachable to so many people. At least here we can understand that it is just a story. Some might think that some will take it farther than it just being a fictional story.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #93 on: February 12, 2015, 11:15:04 PM »
Also, I'd imagine there is a sort of...I'm not really sure how to express it in words here....a sort of projective concern that accounts for a portion of the kink/BDSM community's dislike of the book? Like those Munch clubs planning to picket FSoG theaters with pamphlets about what the BDSM lifestyle actually entails - people who enjoy BDSM already exist on the fringe of cultural acceptance, half-understood by society at large. So having something that so grossly mis-represents a part of themselves/their own lifestyle that they consider to be very important become so popular is harmful to them/their self-image/their image to a greater public who already has negative preconceptions about them? Like if someone published a bestselling true crime novel where the police officer protagonists were all ethnic slur-spewing, donut-eating, power-hungry sadistic thugs, and this was glorified in-book to be the 'correct' way to be a police officer; you can easily imagine how popular such a novel would be amongst actual police officers. Or, if you'd prefer an example less politically charged, a best-selling war modern war novel about a group of American soldiers who were all racist gung-ho sociopaths that enjoyed nothing better than spending a relaxing Saturday night committing war crimes on foreign civilians, and how popular that would be amongst serving or retired military. Okay, so maybe that wasn't much less politically charged, but I can't think of an example that doesn't get what I am trying to say across.

...does that make any sense?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 11:16:32 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #94 on: February 12, 2015, 11:21:03 PM »
But people write politically incorrect things all the time. I know its a little off topic but; Someone could write all of these stereotypical black characters and then they meet me. I am not that stereotype and those that don't look the media for their information source would know that not everyone acts how the stereotype is represented.

Can we judge the same people who desire to roleplay things such as an abuse controlling relationship?

I ultimately think what really scares people is the fact that it was broadcasted to the entire world. If it was kept on a fanfiction site or in her journal, no one would be up in arms. But since the poorly written smut is a best selling novel and now a movie...people are upset and I understand it.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #95 on: February 12, 2015, 11:24:26 PM »
Yeah, that's sort of what I am trying to get across. It's the mass public portrayal, and what that portrayal will do for widespread perception of an intimate part of their life, that has people up in arms. Not so much that it's making buttloads of money despite its poor quality, but because it will likely be the first, and possibly only, introduction for a great many people into the BDSM world.

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #96 on: February 12, 2015, 11:27:16 PM »
Just like how people look at the media and scream "black people are animals, educated, loud, and stupid"? unfortunately a lot of people believe that. But yeah I guess we agree, I can't really comprehend because I'm kind of mind effed at the moment.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #97 on: February 12, 2015, 11:28:04 PM »
Yeah, that's sort of what I am trying to get across. It's the mass public portrayal, and what that portrayal will do for widespread perception of an intimate part of their life, that has people up in arms. Not so much that it's making buttloads of money despite its poor quality, but because it will likely be the first, and possibly only, introduction for a great many people into the BDSM world.

Could it be that, or perhaps something analogous to the "geeks" trying to sit at the "cool" people's table? Perhaps a better analogy would be the "socially accepted" nillas trying to sit at the "outcast's" table and trying to be one of them when they are not?

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #98 on: February 12, 2015, 11:29:19 PM »
Just like how people look at the media and scream "black people are animals, educated, loud, and stupid"? unfortunately a lot of people believe that. But yeah I guess we agree, I can't really comprehend because I'm kind of mind effed at the moment.

Yeah, exactly. I think we're on the same wavelength, at least, just parallel trains of thought.

Could it be that, or perhaps something analogous to the "geeks" trying to sit at the "cool" people's table? Perhaps a better analogy would be the "socially accepted" nillas trying to sit at the "outcast's" table and trying to be one of them when they are not?


Hm. That might be a contributing factor as well.

Offline consortium11

Re: Fifty Shades of Gray
« Reply #99 on: February 13, 2015, 07:31:45 AM »
I want to play devil's advocate for one moment to deepen the discussion. My intention is not to drop flame bait but to expose something that I think is being overlooked.

Could there be a smidgen of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy in some of the criticism about the relationship and alleged "kink" in this book? I keep hearing that it is not X, and not Y, but who really defines whether or not it's "true kink", or a "proper Ds relationship" or whatever. I know it has been pointed out quite clearly that there are things about the relationship in the story are are nothing more than abuse masquerading as BDSM and I won't argue with that point, but for me, I did not start any of my relationships out by looking a set of guidelines and checking to make sure that I was "doing it right". Likewise, for my own personal kinks, they are based on what pleases me, not on what the "kink community" (whoever these mysterious folks are) approves of.

As far as I'm aware no-one's really objected to the kinks themselves within 50 Shades. Truth be told there's little enough to object to there... for all the hype most of the “kink” tends to be little more than oral followed by vaginal sex with the closest nod to BDSM being someone getting tied down from time to time. You could read far more racy stuff in virtually any erotic novel and see more racy stuff in an episode of Spartacus.

What people object to about it (as well as the poor writing) is the fact that it's portraying an abusive relationship... and one that's abusive regardless of whether it's a BDSM or vanilla one. Worse, that it's portraying an abusive relationship as a romantic one with the abuser seen as a romantic icon and his methods of abuse frequently being presented as a show of how much he loves about the person he abuses. Over the course of the book Christian repeatedly stalks Ana (both by physically following her and keeping track using technological means), manipulates her, consider her his property, isolates her from her friends and peers, rapes her and does a whole load of things that if they occurred in real life we'd point to as tell-tale acts of an abuser. If we believe that people who read the book (or watch the film) are unable to separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality (which I don't) then we may think that people will see such acts as being part of a healthy, loving relationship. Clearly they're not.

The only time when the abuse and the kinks really interlink is when it comes to spanking. But even then spanking isn't presented as an enjoyable kink within 50 Shades; Ana hates it and hates the pain. It's presented as a punishment, in it's own way little different to Christian simply punching her in the face for displeasing him. She does something he doesn't like, he punishes her by causing her pain. I don't think that counts as BDSM and it's certainly not a healthy way to run a BDSM relationship; while “punishment” spankings can (and are) be used they are done with the subs permission and they can stop them at any time.

It's also worth noting with a BDSM relationship that you do sort of have to look at the guidelines and make sure you're doing it right. While it's unlikely that anyone is going to object to a playful spank on the ass even in a completely vanilla relationship if you don't bother with informed consent, safewords etc then giving someone a serious spanking is likely assault, tying them up is likely kidnap and having sex while they say “no” is pretty much certainly rape.

At the same time though, I would note that there is a kink-shaming element to the criticism. Let's remember, 50 Shades wasn't conceived or written as a "how to" guide for BDSM or as an accurate depiction of the lifestyle. It's EL James' fantasy, originally written as Twilight fan-fiction and posted on fan-fiction sites before the content required it to be posted elsewhere. When we say it's depicting a harmful relationship we're right... but how many stories on E also depict harmful, abusive relationships? One should always remember that despite the success, despite the billboard adverts and despite the film we're still discussing EL James' fantasy, something she originally started writing not for profit but because she enjoyed and fantasised about it. If we want to condemn her for having those fantasies we also have to condemn everyone on E who has similar ones.

Right. The kink is there to mask the abuse and make it romantic using the public's misunderstanding of the lifestyle invoked. That's all.

I'm not sure that's the case... many of the issues with Christian and Ana's relationship are pretty much identical to the issues with Rhett and Scarlet's relationship in Gone with the Wind, right down to both containing a "yes, she said no and it's rape but she she actually wanted it and really enjoyed it so it isn't really that bad right?" scene. Yet much like Christian (in fact, arguably more so), Rhett Butler is seen as one of the great romantic figures and there's little kink to hide behind in Gone with the Wind.

I think at the end of the day it goes back to  la dame en noir's point about why people connect and like this work. And if one glances through the history of romance novels... especially trashy ones... one frequently finds the male romantic interest being a dominant (in the non-kinky sense) "alpha" man who knows what he wants and takes it... despite frequently stepping over the line of what is considered acceptable in real life. I've already mentioned 50 Shades and GwtW but one could equally look to pretty much anything Jilly Cooper has ever written, notably in the character Rupert Campbell-Black. One could even point to Mr Darcy (let alone the likes of John Willoughby or George Wickham, even though he softens significantly by the end. Or, frankly, pretty much anything that could be classified as a "bodice ripper".

50 Shades basically just played that up with the additional "thrill" of the sex scenes being openly described rather than fading to black.

Also, I'd imagine there is a sort of...I'm not really sure how to express it in words here....a sort of projective concern that accounts for a portion of the kink/BDSM community's dislike of the book? Like those Munch clubs planning to picket FSoG theaters with pamphlets about what the BDSM lifestyle actually entails - people who enjoy BDSM already exist on the fringe of cultural acceptance, half-understood by society at large. So having something that so grossly mis-represents a part of themselves/their own lifestyle that they consider to be very important become so popular is harmful to them/their self-image/their image to a greater public who already has negative preconceptions about them? Like if someone published a bestselling true crime novel where the police officer protagonists were all ethnic slur-spewing, donut-eating, power-hungry sadistic thugs, and this was glorified in-book to be the 'correct' way to be a police officer; you can easily imagine how popular such a novel would be amongst actual police officers. Or, if you'd prefer an example less politically charged, a best-selling war modern war novel about a group of American soldiers who were all racist gung-ho sociopaths that enjoyed nothing better than spending a relaxing Saturday night committing war crimes on foreign civilians, and how popular that would be amongst serving or retired military. Okay, so maybe that wasn't much less politically charged, but I can't think of an example that doesn't get what I am trying to say across.

...does that make any sense?

I agree with the first part; for understandable reasons the BDSM community is often pretty protective of itself and how its portrayed by those outside it. Once people started pointing out the abusive elements of 50 Shades it was pretty much only a matter of time before people started shouting back that it didn't portray a realistic BDSM relationship and that BDSM wasn't really like that.

On the soldiers point though... from what I understand Generation Kill (both the book and TV series) were pretty well received by soldiers (and eventually became encouraged reading) despite showing many of the protagonists as racist, gung-ho sociopaths who are more than happy to commit war crimes (and then joke about them afterwards).