Please Shut the Fuck Up: 50 Shades of Grey Does NOT Spell the Demise of Humanity
In case you’ve been living under a rock, 50 Shades of Grey by E.L James is this book that’s, well, kind of popular and it has this movie coming out now based on the book. Cool, huh? With much fanfare, the trailer for said movie came out today and was met with a variety of responses by the audience when it was posted over on the Book Riot Facebook page.
“… a travesty.”
“Downfall of literature.”
I admit to never having read 50 Shades of Grey, but have skimmed it a bit and have talked to people who did. Admittedly, many people do say that it’s poorly written and from what I’ve seen I’d agree, so I’ll let this one slide.
“…has further lowered my faith in human intelligence.”
Wow. Well, okay. I suppose it has to do with books, which has to do with intelligence, so maybe if I put this square thing in this round hole? Maybe? Anyways…
“These books made me lose my faith in humanity.”
Uuuuuuuuuuum, what? Hold the fucking phone here.
So, I get that sometimes we talk about our “faith in humanity” in a kind of knee-jerk reaction. But really? You know what makes me lose (or rather, lower) my faith in humanity?
The modern military-industrial complex.
But, a three-book series about a BDSM relationship between a young college graduate and powerful business man? Not. So. Much.
All glibness aside, 50 Shades of Grey is a force of a book. It’s in the top ten best-selling books of all time. It’s sold over 100 million (MILLION) copies. I haven’t read the series, but know many people that have. I know many people who enjoyed reading it. There’s obviously a lot of market power here and, understandably, that doesn’t sit too well with everybody.
As noted, I’ve heard criticisms that it’s poorly written. Lots of internal monologue, etc. That’s a fair criticism. There are people who have (justly) criticized it for its portrayal of an unhealthy sadomasochist relationship. There are people who have (justly) criticized it for its portrayal of a young women being sexually dominated by an older man.
But all of these criticisms together DO NOT make up for a blanket statement that a three-book series has made you LOSE YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY.
For all of us, please shut the fuck up.
Look, I know it’s hard when people don’t like the same things you like. I know it’s hard when you feel so much smarter and well-read than your average bear. But, you know what else is also hard? Having people so doggedly put down and denigrate that thing you loved without at least mentioning valid reasons for doing so (see above).
I read fantasy and sci-fi a lot. I know that there will be bashers of any genre fiction just because that’s what some people do. I’ve dealt with stereotypes already, but I’ve never had to claim responsibility for loving a thing that is bringing about the destruction of the entire human race.
Get a grip people. It’s (just) art.
And, well, if we’re going to call a spade for a spade, it’s also pornography: “material containing the explicit description or display of sexual activity.” And it’s totally cool that it is that thing.
Now, follow me here. Do you know just how many people view online porn movies/photos/etc.? We’ve got estimates that there are 450 million unique monthly visitors to porn sites every month. 450 million. Over four TIMES the amount of people every single month than who have bought 50 Shades of Grey since the time it has been printed.
For the majority of us, do we really feel like the online porn industry is RUINING OUR FAITH IN HUMANITY?
No. (Well, maybe some of the porn stuff in the deep dark bottom of the internet…). Overall, we enjoy it. We go and read and view what we like. You know who does think the online porn industry is ruining humanity? Evangelicals.
All I’m saying readers is that you’re starting to sound a lot like extreme Evangelicals.
Don’t do it.
Walk away slowly.
Let the so-called “mom porn” book industry (a term that is incredibly condescending in itself) have some fun between the (book) sheets.
Stop your damn man-splaining about what we’re supposed to think about this piece.
If you don’t want to read the book or watch the movie, don’t. Hell, maybe you should try out the audio version–I hear it’s even better narrated by Gilbert Gottfriend (*snort giggles*–sorry I had to put this link in here somewhere because it is really hilarious).
When it comes down to it, 100 million people have actively chosen to spend money on a book and spend time reading a book.
THAT gives me quite a bit of faith in humanity.