Sunday, July 22, 2012

The not so final word on 50 shades

There's a lot of hype, in case you've lived under a rock, about 50 Shades of Grey. Perhaps you've heard of this book somewhere? Well, I've heard mixed reviews about it and I found out a few facts that were puzzling to me.
One--that this book started out as Twilight fan fic. Say what?! What's amazing is that someone thought that writing Twilight fan fic was a GOOD idea. Second...really? Apparently the characters are so close in personality to the infamous Twilight characters, that would be enough to turn me off. Ana is a self-depreciating weak willed character who lets her life be run by Edward. I mean, Christian. I hate weak female characters that stay weak through the whole series. It's okay if you begin a story weak, then experience something, then learn from it, then change into someone stronger, but to not learn anything at all about yourself and always put a guy's needs in front of yours all the time is just plain silly and sends really the wrong message to people.
So what's with the popularity of the book, then? And what's with this "mommyporn" label? 
Here's a Goodreads review that has gone viral on Facebook.
We had an interesting discussion about this last night--what exactly is "mommyporn", how does something get labeled that way? The answer we came up with is that (news flash!) women like porn.


Some of us do, anyway. But most of what you see, visually, is often demeaning or degrading to women and some of us get turned on by it, but kinda feel bad or weird or uncomfortable afterwards. Which leads to another question (one that's been raised by the book) which is: what does it mean that I'm turned on by this? I'll go into that question later once I can read the book.
Another theory is that old trope that goes the way to a woman's vagina is through her head (and, I would argue, also her heart, but that's a different topic for a different day). Reading about porn is a vastly different vehicle than watching it. And I'm fascinated by the topics this had brought up and the questions about women and sexuality that its raised--the good the bad, the ugly and the rest.

So...I'm going to try--try--to read this book. Why? Because I don't want it to be said I judged a book by its hype--both positive and negative. I decided to borrow it from a friend--and I'll see how it goes.
 And post all my poignant and insightful observations  here! 

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