1. Its just fiction, people!!! (It’s almost sad that I even have to go here, but...)
The Free Dictionary defines fiction as:
“An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality”.
Allow me to repeat.
If 50 Shades represented actuality, then all those BDSM’ers have been doing it wrong all this time (and with just a few minutes on the Google machine, its pretty easy to figure out that Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele accurately represent functional BDSM as well as Bella Swan and Edward Cullen accurately represent functional love.)
2. Okay, Even if some readers are naïve enough to blur the lines of its fictionality, then it still doesn’t mean it’s responsible for Domestic Violence. Hate to break it to the haters, but NEWSFLASH. Domestic violence has been around a lot longer than 50 Shades. And, yes, someone who fails to recognize the consensual nature of Ana and Christian’s relationship might still find it to be disturbing, but that gives no right to hate on a lifestyle that is misunderstood.
I know we live in a culture where hyper-violent videogames are a normal, celebrated form of entertainment, and some people argue that living in a culture that glorifies violence has led to more real life violence, blah, blah, blahhh. BUT, while most people can sit down, play a violent game, and never have the urge to gun down someone in public, there are members of our society who can’t make that distinction, which is why it’s important to keep an open dialogue on a controversial subject, instead of just hating on a book because it’s popular.
(honestly, are we back to the “mean girl” middle school mentality again???)
3. Just because some readers (or, review readers that are too busy working hating on the book to actually pick it up and read it) find the book offensive, doesn’t mean authors aren’t allowed to write it in the first place. “Someone might copy it and get hurt”, is not a strong enough of a reason to get so upset…and if that excerpt above didn’t get your blood flowing, well you might want to have your heart health/blood flow checked out.
If someone is looking to copycat a dangerous act, there are plenty better options to copy than a piece of fiction that doesn’t even fully/accurately represent a lifestyle. They’d be better off going to a real source if they are tru
ly interested (hmm, I don’t know…like, maybe porn?!), and those that really aren’t that interested are the ones that pussy out at the sight of a butt plug, anyways.
4. Okay, so you want 50 Shades banned…because that will solve all the problems.
After all, it worked so well in prohibition, didn’t it?
And illegal drug activity is drastically low; thanks to the ban on those bad drugs, too.
Come ON, people!
You can do better than this.
If someone is seriously calling for a ban on the book, I would like to hear them try to rationalize the argument. As a rule, I don’t think most smart people support banning books, or any form of artistic censorship. A person who enjoys 50 Shades of Grey should be able to continue enjoying it, just as a person who doesn’t enjoy it isn’t being bound and gagged and forced to read it (that I am aware of, anyways).
So, yea. Some of these abuse and domestic violence themes are pretty easy to find in the media these days, but I don’t exactly see mass media being shut down anytime soon… Similarly, I don’t think banning a single book series is really an effective way to stop abuse from happening, when an informed and open-minded discussion about the societal roots of the issues at hand would tackle the problem at its very core instead.
5. Oh yea. One last bonus thought.
Dear E.L. James haterz…NEWSFLASH. If you’re looking for a scapegoat, you should probably do a bit more homework first. Just because the author is the easiest target of book-hate, doesn’t mean EL James is deserving of your trash talk. Whether or not E.L. James wrote 50 Shades for herself, when she posted it to FanFiction.net, she put it out into the world for consumption, and therefore, took responsibility. James couldn’t have possibly known that selling her fan fiction to a small publisher would rocket her to superstardom, but since it has, she’s been open and clear about what the book is and is not. Since haters are apparently too busy working trash talking her to actually do any of their own research, I’ll do it for them: E.L. James clearly says Fifty Shades of Grey is just “a love story that happens to have some kink to it.”
If that’s not clear enough, then…
James also says she “freaks out” when she hears people say that her book encourages domestic violence. “Nothing freaks me out more than people who say this is about domestic abuse. Bringing up my book in this context trivializes the issues, doing women who actually go through it a huge disservice. It also demonizes loads of women who enjoy this lifestyle, and ignores the many, many women who tell me they’ve found the books sexually empowering.
There ya have it, folks!
Straight from the Brit’s mouth herself. Fifty Shades is actually not the next installment in the BDSM for Dummies series! (And it sure as hell isn’t in the DIY Domestic Abuse section, either.)
The dirty little secret about BDSM is that it's actually (*gasp*) the submissive partner who has control of the situation. So, if Ana is submitting to Christian’s command (which she does do, consensually), then she is the one who is really is in control. In the submissive role, she sets up the framework and boundaries for the encounter, and safe words are there in case her Dom oversteps those boundaries. Honesty, transparency and respect are arguably even more important than safe words in a BDSM relationship -- the emotional and physical safety of everyone involved hinges on an ability to trust a partner completely.
After all, I would know. I am actively involved in the BDSM lifestyle, and have been for long enough to enjoy the view from the Top and the Bottom.