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Your Obligatory 50 Shades of Crap Rant

The best writeup yet on what exactly is wrong with Fifty Shades of Crap.

This thing is al over the media again since the movie is coming out this weekend. I've been following discussions about it on message boards like Oh No They Didn't and Entertainment Weekly - while most of the commenters are anti-50 Shades, the ones who are defending this thing have said some pretty disturbing things. "It's a true love story! She HEALS him! The princess saves the prince!" (Um, yeah, that's more like the end of the Dark Kingdom arc of Sailor Moon. Please do not compare my one and only het OTP to this piece of doo-doo in any way, shape or form). "It's not about the sex! It's about LOVE!!!" (Yeah, and Harlequin releases about six gazillion paperbacks a month. So why weren't you reading those, hmmm? Be honest with yourself.) "At least it's getting people who normally don't read to pick up a book!" (You're better off reading someone's grocery list than this - and it would be better written, too).

And most disturbing of all - "People who criticize this book just don't want women to be sexual! It's about OWNING YOUR DESIRES!" Bull to the SHIT. Many of the people who have been harsh and unspoken critics of the book write erotica themselves. Others are actual practitioners of BDSM who have had to watch a funhouse-mirror distortion of their lifestyle - abuse sugar-coated in cheap, cloying chocolate - paraded before the public. Not to mention the secondary message that practitioners of kink are SICK, SICK PEOPLE who are only like that because of some HORRIBLE TRAUMA in their past, and they can be HEALED WITH THE POWER OF LOOOOVE. What a freaking insult.

This book is not about healthy kink as it is practiced in this univese in any way, shape or form. It is about an ABUSIVE relationship. Abuse presented as a perfect romance. And women are going to flock to theaters this weekend in droves and swoon over this thing.

As a fanfiction writer, it's making me more paranoid than ever about making sure all the details of kink in my fics are RIGHT. (I actually agonized over whether it was wrong to have Yuuki flog Ruki lightly on the front of his body because it was too sensitive, and if I should rewrite the scene with him on his stomach.) Because now impressionable, young girls are getting the idea from the mainstream now that this abusive jackass is the perfect man and that kink is something people need to be healed from. That's a message that needs to be countered however possible.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
leifang666
Feb. 12th, 2015 08:38 pm (UTC)
People who enjoy S&M hate those books for all the reasons you describe.

Women's shelters and the like hate those books because they teach women if you stick with an abusive partner and love him enough, you will heal him.

At this point the message is perfectly clear to me: These are terrible books!
puss_nd_boots
Feb. 13th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, somebody said that after this movie makes the rounds, women's shelters are going to have to make room for more beds. That's the saddest thing of all.
leifang666
Feb. 13th, 2015 08:19 pm (UTC)
At first it'll lower, as more women hold onto abusive relationships longer.
hamhamheaven
Feb. 12th, 2015 11:54 pm (UTC)
I read them. All three of them. And I want the time I wasted on them back. But I wasn't going to be critical without all the facts. They are so poorly written I could barely make it through. I felt like I should keep a running tally of how many times she used the phrase "oh my".

I feel like I could base two university classes around the horror that is 50 Shades: one on the terrible abuse of the English language, the other on the terrible abuse.
puss_nd_boots
Feb. 13th, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking one for the team so the rest of us don't have to! I remember picking up the first book from a display at Barnes and Noble, opening to a random page so I could see what all the fuss was about, and having to restrain myself from hurling it violently against the nearest wall, the writing was so bad.

LOVE your last line, by the way!
random_x13
Feb. 13th, 2015 01:25 am (UTC)
ugh THANK YOU
A bunch of my coworkers were obsessed with these books. One of them lent me one to read, to see "how awesome" it was... I read like 2 pages and nearly hurled at how terrible the writing was. Never read an entire one of them, so I really didn't know what it was about. I'd heard summaries, that's about it.
I even told her that she's reading garbage, and I didn't even know the details. XD
Then when all this controversy came out about the movie, I had to find out more, so I found snippets of the book and was just absolutely disgusted. Like.... HOW can women find this sexy? Even those with a curiosity into kink... It's just a whole lot of NOPE.

<//3
puss_nd_boots
Feb. 13th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC)
Even if someone was into kink, the idea of this abusive, controlling stalker keeping tracks on EVERY detail of her life would be a buzzkill. Seriously, he turns up at her mother's home in Georgia - traveled all the way from Seattle, for crying out loud - and tells her he found her there because "I know everything about you." This is a story that SHOULD have ended with her defending herself against the creep with a gun.
random_x13
Feb. 14th, 2015 01:48 am (UTC)
Good grief!!!
Yea... that's a whole lot of NOPE for me. X|

<//3
ldybastet
Feb. 13th, 2015 08:15 am (UTC)
I agree with you on all of this. It's just so horrible to see otherwise independent and strong women I'm acquainted with suddenly swoon over these books and now the movie. It's like they don't see that it's all about an abusive little shit of a billionaire emotionally blackmail a virgin into becoming a toy. :( The books are doing so much damage... reinforcing a dangerous view of gender roles (with women putting up with anything for the sake of luuuurve, and it veing totally fine that men are controlling, abusive little shitholes), as well as the clusterfuck the "kink" is. *sigh* It's not bdsm just because you're holding a whip. Meh.
puss_nd_boots
Feb. 13th, 2015 05:52 pm (UTC)
They can't see it at all - because the thing has been marketed as THE ULTIMATE LOVE STORY, with kink to spice things up. And it is NOT helped by all the mainstream media claiming this thing is sooo empowering because it's getting women to own their desires. The only thing that's getting owned here is Anastasia, who is completely, totally and utterly owned by Christian and thinks it's because he LOOOOVES her. That's about as empowering as a 1950s women's magazine.
misumaru
Feb. 13th, 2015 11:08 am (UTC)
Sometimes I wonder if I'm a little bit hypocritical about despising this book given that I enjoy some seriously dodgy yaoi (*waves at pretty much anything by Yamane Ayano and Togainu no Chi*), but then again... I think it's presented in a different way? I mean, no-one can say that any of the characters in those things are exhibiting healthy behaviour. And there's less of the emotional abuse. That's the worst thing about the books, the fact that people use "Oh, it's just because you don't understand BDSM!" as a way of justifying the behaviour. Pot, kettle, black, yes? On the plus side, no-one in my department seems to be going to see it, not even the one person that's read it!
puss_nd_boots
Feb. 13th, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)
Dodgy yaoi is entirely different - because it doesn't pretend to be something it isn't. It's "Yep, this is screwed up, we know it and you know it." This is opposed to 50 Shades, which is being presented as OMG PERFECT LOOOOOVE.

Ha, the person who read it is probably the LEAST likely to go see it! "I'm not sitting through that thing again!"
ruksugi
Feb. 15th, 2015 08:11 pm (UTC)
Wasn't 50 shades a fanfic originally? That being said I read the books and thought it was crap and read like a virgin with a fantasy of BDSM.
puss_nd_boots
Feb. 16th, 2015 07:35 am (UTC)
Yes, it was - it was a Twilight AU fanfic called Master of the Universe. There's been side-by-side comparisons of the two that showed that James didn't really change much but character names when she converted the fanfic into a profic. (Admittedly, it was AU to start with). After 50 Shades became a smash, it sent publishers scurrying onto fanfic sites looking for other het fic from mainstream fandoms they could turn into books, preferably with a kinky bent - resulting in a book deal for a OneDirection AU fanfic starring a Harry Styles who's more like Christian Grey than, well, Harry Styles.

(Ha, a virgin fantasy of BDSM sounds like a perfect way of describing the books. Certainly someone with zero kink experience, to be sure).
fansandflames
Feb. 23rd, 2015 05:40 am (UTC)
Seriously, the books are abysmal, it really makes me irritated and just angry beyond belief at all the girls and even boys that are going to think that's how kink or BDSM should be done. Not only was the writing terrible its message was even worse. While I may be far from the best writer it really wants me to reevaluate how I write any type of themed relationships so that I'm not bringing any shame as those books did.
puss_nd_boots
Mar. 18th, 2015 12:18 pm (UTC)
You know, that's the thing that bothers me the most about 50 Shades - it's made us think too much about what we write. Granted, you should always consider what you're doing and do your research with any kind of kink - especially if it's something you don't actually practice yourself. But you shouldn't feel like you're walking on eggshells in order to write. (It's sort of like in the days of the Mary Sue sporking communities where you couldn't add an original character into a fic - even if it was a small supporting role - without putting it through ever Sue litmus test out there).
fansandflames
Mar. 18th, 2015 04:59 pm (UTC)
I understand <3
setenay629
Feb. 23rd, 2015 03:19 pm (UTC)

people are weird in theese days. the writer of the book just wrote porn. i thought that just reading synopsis and then i heard a few about the book... they are reading the book because.. it is not book. just porn. there is no art on it.

well at least there are some writers so we can read some high quality kink (^ω^)

puss_nd_boots
Mar. 18th, 2015 12:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this is pretty much fanfiction for people who've never been exposed to fanfiction. For those of us who read/write fic all the time and are awash in porn and kink, 50 Shades is no novelty. In fact, it's a pretty bad example of the genre - poorly researched, poorly written. But for someone who's never seen this kind of thing before, whose reading has been restricted to stuff from mainstream publishers? It's something unusual. Someone should tell these people, "Hey, you can find better stuff on Archive Of Our Own - for free! Based on a lot more fandoms than Twilight!"
vampire_kiki
Mar. 18th, 2015 05:37 am (UTC)
Sad to see even Anne Rice is defending 50SOF in the name of freedom of expression and sexual desire for the females. I feel so bad.
puss_nd_boots
Mar. 18th, 2015 12:42 pm (UTC)
Anne Rice? Ghaaa. As someone with a background in that kind of thing herself (she did the BDSM Sleeping Beauty series years before 50 Shades), she should know there's better-written and less damaging female-written kinky stuff out there. She could have recommended alternatives.
vampire_kiki
Mar. 18th, 2015 02:30 pm (UTC)
Yes, I read a few of her erotica and it's ways better than 50SOG...my guessing is that she has never read the books but she's defending them on the ground of "women should be allowed to write and read about sex freely", but I'm still so so disappointed by what she wrote on her FB.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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