Grey Area: How ‘Fifty Shades’ Dominated the Market
New York Review of Books Magazine
Where ’50 Shades’ Came From – Includes an ORIGINAL
Graphic Captured from the TwiFanFiction Novella.
Why Exactly does Fifty Shades Send the Wrong Message About Abusive Relationships?
2/24/15 - I’ve been writing this blog for over three years, now; and in all that time I’ve received some pretty mean hate mail and online comments from angry Twilight Fans, and I expect that. But I have always thought it weird that I have received more hate from older Anti-Twilight Fans – and now that makes sense; because anti-twilight ladies ended up getting 50 Shades of Grey out of it.
But now I’m also hearing from Twilight-haters who are so incensed at the word ‘Twilight’; that they can’t be anything but ‘put off’ and mean to anyone who mentions it. 50 Shades of Grey is its own animal and a much easier topic to misogynistically spout-off about - especially for men – because its ‘just’ sex (and something they erroneously view themselves to be experts at).
Just because the world is no longer interested in the harmful effects of YOUR books, anymore – like it once was for the SAME EXACT REASONS (scrolls down to the side links); and you’ve got clueless women of the world BRAINWASHED with your bs by now – doesn’t make this blog irrelevant. I hope you and your morally-superior, amateur author eyes see this blog someday, Stephenie Meyer.
When women make a big, cultural stink – we don’t just make an obvious, offensive one that makes a few conservatives mad. We break all the safety rules and INSIST that it’s BRILLIANT in the face of valid, logical and overwhelming evidence and worldwide opposition.
Update 2/23/15 - And so it begins… Sex assault charges tied to '50 Shades of Grey' movie. It’s not just about WOMEN ‘being safe’. Men & boys NEED to understand this stuff, too!! Women are not just ‘into having hardcore sex’. Do you think he might have used this movie as an excuse to be abusive? If so, how many more men around the world might do that? Maybe he just misunderstood the girl, huh? Just so you know, Stephenie Meyer… I will be blaming YOU for every one of these violent assaults, not EL James. THIS is what happens when people don’t understand the concepts surrounding ‘what they are writing about’ with respect to ‘how the world works’.
This is why this lesson is TAUGHT in schools; and it is also one of the most recommended pieces of advice among good writers to aspiring writers: *drum roll* Write what you know about and/or do the research.
Let’s all continue to feel bad for Stephenie Meyer because I’m SO MEAN to her in here. That amateur author has done absolutely nothing to deserve my respect – least of all take responsibility for her literary failure so many years ago, or NOW. Ya darn right I’m mean to her. She deserves this damn blog. I only wish I could SHOVE it in her FACE and MAKE her read it!
Clarification on why this movie is NOT a ‘feminist breakthrough’: “People are saying that this franchise does right by women because it was written and directed by women and produced for women, but that only makes it worse,” she said. “That means that romanticized abuse is so internalized that it can be mass-marketed to women, and only demonstrates female-produced content as of lower quality, which isn’t the truth.” (Usually.) Source (JEEZ, how did it get that way, guys? We’ve watched enough of your ‘outright’ fantasies, haven’t we? And thanks so much for all the sh*tty, ‘women like to fantasize about being raped’ comments out there.)
There are AT LEAST as many women as men who have very good reasons for abhorring this movie. For one, THEIR stuff is obviously & blatantly sexual or violent or whatever. It’s an EASY choice whether or not you want to join them for the show. This movie HIDES the reality of what it is really about in plain sight - behind a fake veil of BDSM.
These books are no more about the lifestyle or practice of BDSM than Twilight was about Vampires; and neither series is about love, either… 50 Shades of Grey is virtual proof of how warped the obsessions of so many OLDER Twilight & ANTI-Twilight fans were so many years ago (and still).
I mean, MAYBE 50 Shades of Grey is Okay because YOU are all grown-ups. But, Twilight wasn’t written for grown-ups like it SHOULD have been – or not published at all. For instance, one of the favorite alternative names for Edward for OLDER – mostly ‘robsessed’ fans - is ‘Bedward’; and MANY of them are very VERY sad/mad that Robert Pattinson didn’t accept the part of Christian Grey... And fans who don’t see Edward Cullen this way (at least, in the extreme) – mostly young girls – have been tormented about things like that, for years… and it continues in ridiculously misogynistic ways around the world, daily.
BOTH The Twilight Saga & 50 Shades of Grey are deceptively ALL about ‘rough HARDCORE sex’ – and that is all either one of them was ever about. Stephenie Meyer may have written about that subject by accident (the sexual fantasy she left glaring throughout Twilight is/was probably much more tame than the ones she caused some of her fans); but EL James obviously ‘got it’ from the beginning – just like SO MANY of Steph’s OLDER ‘fans’- and wrote out exactly what Twilight was about.
‘Vampireism’ and ‘BDSM’ were just the masks that were used to create each respective series’ storylines so that grown women could write out their NAUGHTY sexual fantasies and have them be accepted & excused by the world. If that were not true, they would both have been written a whole HELL of lot better - and probably about the actual subjects they were supposed to be about!
NEITHER of these books have a believable storyline; neither one of them would have received higher than a ‘D’ on the first chapter in a college course; and neither one of them were edited OR treated in a remotely professional way by a ‘professional’ book publisher. WHY & HOW did either of these two HARMFUL book series’ get published (or win ANY awards?!?) - much less get made into movies?!
Really… English teacher/professor challenge… PLEASE grade just the first chapter of each of the first published books in these series.
conservative women to get hung up on this harmful crap; but for further confusing the
topics of things like gay-marriage and sex in general for them
– as if they didn’t already have enough BS to contend with!!
You POLARIZED conservatives and made divisions DEEPER!!!
Christian responses to 50 Shades of Grey
- an excellent article on the role conservative
religions have played in the misogynistic treatment
of women since long before 50 Shades was written.
Don’t listen to all these stupid sermons that are about to come out, Ladies…
I’d rather you go watch the movie and allow your brain to expand; but be
smart about it and realize that things aren’t ‘quite right’ up on that screen.
If anyone makes you feel guilty about it, IGNORE them.
Isn’t that what we do with mistakes – especially big ones?
movies without making the world more sick?
Update 2/20/15 - I keep reading that EL James wants more control over the script for the sequels, of course – cuz ‘we all just don’t understand’ I would guess, LoL! We get it… You really should let someone who at least semi-knows what they are talking about FIX this story since you have the opportunity to do that. PLEASE don’t pull a ‘Stephenie Meyer’ and try to force the rest of this story on us like this in ignorance, I’m BEGGING you!!!
Doms & Dommes are not Vampires for fans to scream ‘its HARMLESS fiction’. This time, the books are erroneously based on REAL Human-type people IN A DANGEROUS WAY– not evil mystical-fantasy monsters that have been made prettier than Jesus, Jim Jones and Zeus combined. (Btw, snuggling can be as big a part of BDSM as pain can.)
Believe me, I’ve spelled it out for you (scroll down to the 2/16 – 2/18 updates, below)… This story COULD (potentially) be a really GREAT story IF you ‘do it right’ by going back and figuring out what’s wrong with it, first. The same thing could have happened with Twilight if Steph hadn’t have been such an arrogant amateur author flipping off her own fanbase and the world when all the controversy about her books was in the limelight.
You could make a different choice.
And DON’T be silly and go out and get a bunch of men to try fixing it like they did to ‘make Twilight seem valid’… KEEP your female director who probably ‘gets it’ better than anyone. You’re worried about ‘the romance’ getting messed up – that’s why you’re there to make sure it doesn’t. I mean, of course The Red Room SHOULD have been red to start out with; and that last line SHOULD have been ‘Stop’ instead of ‘Red’, etc.
But, you’re not just telling this story to a bunch of older ladies who are just discovering this HARDCORE stuff, anymore. Sure the story might turn out a little (or a lot) different - honestly, I would be surprised if it wasn’t a completely different story by the time you’re done. But, I’m willing to bet that EVEN YOU will like it better after you understand ‘what’s wrong with it’.
Btw, Sam… If she’s pushing for MORE SEX, give it to her. Don’t be afraid to show us women like that IN THE RIGHT WAY. We deserve our own raunchy fairytale that doesn’t treat women like sh*t. THAT would be a ‘feminist breakthrough’ movie.
Update: I love emails because peeps often alert me to ‘how things are being perceived’ up here. For instance, now I’m being accused of being an obsessed fan of this series who is simply ‘wanting her own fantasy’ to be fulfilled – NOT. You couldn’t get me to read these books unless you put a gun to my head or something, LoL! I don’t need them to know what’s wrong with them – a good ‘flip through’ is all that was necessary. It’s just that I think it would be a really good learning experience for everyone.
Also, feel free to use the ‘Comments from the World’ post in the intro instead of sending me emails. ;)
Update 2/18/15 - THIS is the ‘scary’ thing about this movie/books being about BDSM for people who are not familiar with it… If you decide to go out there and FIND a ‘dom’ to play with you; you have to be VERY CAREFUL – especially on the internet – to be able to distinguish between a REAL DOM and just another sexually-aggressive jerk. The line between the two can be ’50 Shades of Grey’. ;)
And I HOPE to God none of you have gotten hurt like that, yet. (Not everyone who has been reading these books are grown, responsible, married women who are OUT of the danger zone and supposedly know everything.)
100 teens stampede Florida movie theater that
denied them entry to 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
This is why *I* think ‘teaching’ would be better than burying this mistake.
One of the big differences between them would be… The most ‘harsh’ punishment a Dom/Domme can give out to (most) subs is to IGNORE them – essentially, they ‘withhold their power’ which can drive a sub to BEGGING, LoL! They wouldn’t ‘rape’ them or anything like that AS A RESPONSE when they get really (personally) mad at them (of course, a ‘good’ sub doesn’t instigate that – on purpose. ;) – but basically, they don’t do that because ABUSE isn’t the right way to respond; AND because that ‘might’ be a reward for a sub (maybe they are acting the way they are towards you in order to GET that kind of a reaction out of you) - NOT the desired effect, at all. (Yes, ‘rape’ or whatever can certainly be a huge part of your consensual roleplay.)
Can you see the difference, now?
Btw, there IS a difference between a ‘playful’ sub and one that is ‘p*ssing off a dom/domme’. If you ‘mildly’ make them mad, they might ‘teach you a lesson’ – but, don’t expect it to necessarily be the ‘one you want’, LoL! I’m just saying, the only ‘more extreme’ punishment beyond ‘ignoring’ would be to banish the sub.
There are some generous Doms & Dommes out there who have BDSM for beginner’s websites that go further into these differences. One of the TOP PRIORITIES of ‘real’ BDSM peeps is that SAFETY is the number one concern for everyone – surrounding a lot of things like, ‘how to use a crop’ and how to tie knots so as not to hurt your sub – too much. ;)
There are MANY men out there who intentionally ‘pose’ as doms to reel sexual targets in (and they were doing that long before 50 Shades came along) – DO BE CAREFUL, but DO also have fun if you want to! Probably the ‘safest’ place to start learning about BDSM is your local club – they almost always have beginner’s classes; and they know how to take care of newbies. They are actually VERY protective of each other. ;)
In fact, if you happen to be visiting Seattle to check out Mr. Grey’s apartment – you should check out Seattle’s club – endearingly and formerly known as ‘The Wet Spot’ (yeah, I’m actually from Seattle; and I happen to be a Switch, ha!). Say Hello to Alena (I think she is the president) if you go – she is quite possibly one of the most compassionate and coolest people on the planet: The Center for Sex Positive Culture.
Please, I implore you… Do your research first, girls.
Explain the ‘Rare, Professionally-Negligent Publishing’ Thing
with Twilight in Relation to 50 Shades of Grey, better…
The kicker is the maddening thing... If the professional editors of these books had been doing their jobs with the very first Twilight novel; it wouldn't have mattered so much when Stephenie Meyer got the ending so wrong in Breaking Dawn - because her fans wouldn't have been so 'deeply' obsessed with it BEFORE she got to that point:
Twilight & Anti-Twilight obsessions (not every fan is obsessed) are unusually-personal & potent (and sometimes too-intimate) for EACH person – uniquely, regardless of age - because of the too-shallow character writing in the very first few chapters; that made Bella Swan – especially – extremely easy for some readers & watchers to ‘slip into’ her character (instead of Stephenie); and/OR become too personally-infatuated with the character of Edward Cullen.
To put it another way… Fans who were reading these books, especially; had to ‘help’ Stephenie Meyer write her story using their own personalities and internal substance to flesh-out Bella’s character. This is how/why things became so PERSONAL for each person. Additionally, fans who read the books AFTER watching the movies (or didn’t read the books at all) used their own idealized perceptions of the actress & actor who play Bella & Edward to ‘flesh out’ the shallow characters (some moreso than others). This is how so many fans got a ‘little too hung-up’ on Robert Pattinson and/or Kristen Stewart.
Because of this, there are LOTS of Twilight & Anti-Twilight obsession variations. For instance, did you know that there is an entire section of Twilight’s pre-movie book fanbase that completely rejected the movies a long time ago? AND the majority of older ‘robsessed’ fans don’t consider themselves to be Twilight fans – AT ALL; but rather, Anti-Twilight ‘protectors’ of Robert Pattinson from his ‘crazy’ Twilight fanbase. Incidentally, this is also where the majority of Kristen Stewart haters & ‘anti-fans’ come from. (I’ve been told this so many times, its so sickening.)
Here’s a normal comment on one of Robert Pattinson’s fansites: “You're not dealing with Rob's fandom, you're dealing with the fandom of his ex… The crackpot comments are coming from fans of Twilight/Edward/Bella…” February 25, 2015 at 11:23 PM (This is actually an untrue statement. There are MANY heartbroken ‘just robsessed’ fans – most of them seem to be older and/or also Twilight Fans (because the fanbases often bleed into each other). This ‘fan’ sounds younger. Most young anti-twilight fans can be smug, mean know-it-alls just like the judgmental older ladies. But, they could do a better job of debunking this storyline than even I can, I’m sure. (In fact, they have – I certainly didn’t come up with the majority of this stuff without them, LoL! re: side links.)
On top of that; every fan’s different variation of familiarity with Vampires colored their story – again, for each person – based on their own previous knowledge of these mystical creatures OR LACK THEROF. It’s the ‘lack therof’ fans of both of these two series who are so quick to pass these books off. This update is how 50 Shades was ‘probably’ born. Despite popular opinion, I ‘don’t think I know everything’. I didn’t realize this until I started to really think about it and piece (yet more) stuff together on the day it was written.
So MUCH of this stuff has been realized ‘as it has been happening’. You have NO IDEA how creepy that has been to me, at times – LoL! The number of coincidences that led me to this place is amazing. What am I saying? Nothing other than someone ELSE should have been able to figure ALL this stuff out LONG BEFORE *I* came along; and they DAMN WELL SHOULD have done something about it back then.
Update 2/16/15 - You know, I have some experience with BDSM (no, I’m not a ‘pro’ – but I am a ‘switch’); and I’ve been trying to put my finger on exactly what’s wrong with this movie and I think I’ve finally figured it out. Subspace… this is why the storyline is so unbelievable… Being able to ‘call’ Ana on her various forms of sexual arousal during the contract scene is NOT it – that could be the seductive ‘line’ from any guy. That ISN’T how a ‘dom’ would seduce you, Ladies… Christian isn’t believable as a ‘dom’ (in more ways than this); and Ana isn’t believable as a ‘sub’ (she obviously doesn’t like it) – they should both just drop the pretense and HAVE AT IT, LoL! Kink is NOT confined to the BDSM realm – really. You don’t need a damn contract or even a crop or handcuffs to get naughty; and pain and bondage can be part of sex without ‘BDSM’ being in the picture.
And dang, here’s more… THIS is probably one of the reasons why EL James wrote this book this way. Because in Twilight, Edward Cullen is a ‘Vampire’ with supernatural abilities that includes things like being EXTRA STRONG and able to read your mind and sense your feelings, etc… If you’re going to write a parallel story to that, the character of Christian Grey HAS to have that same kind of niche, and a ‘rich dom’ might work if you’re trying to bring the story into the Human realm. I’d guess that EL James had an ‘inkling’ of what ‘subspace’ actually was – just like Stephenie Meyer had an ‘inkling’ about the ‘intoxicating’ effects of vampires.
If you’re a longtime vampire fangirl who knows better - watching Christian Grey up on the screen… We’re basically watching EL James’ version of ‘what she wanted Edward to be doing to Bella’ in Twilight. But, NOT EVEN Edward would have been acting like this toward Bella – UNLESS he was being written as a ‘real’ make-believe EVIL Vampire (which, he wasn’t – intentionally ignorantly – but if you know even just a little bit more about them than Stephenie did – VOILἏ, ’50 Shades of Grey’.)
Romantic rape is abuse – and is essentially the Human equivalent of a real-make-believe Vampire ‘seduction’. Vampires are well-known to be able to look you in the eye and turn your brain into a seductive state of intoxication – leaving their prey practically defenseless and begging to be bitten. (Except most Vampires wouldn’t usually go for sex, with modern exceptions; because part of their original mystical lore is that ‘The Feed’ IS SEX for them. (This link goes to a hysterical YouTube video that makes that point easy to see. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Spike, the Vampire is looking for Buffy to kill her - of course - but he's just escaped from a government facility that he didn't realize put a computer chip in his head that sends searing pain into his brain when he tries to feed off of a living thing. In this case, the sweet and recently-heartbroken Willow - Buffy's BFF and college roommate. Most of you could probably use a humor-break right about now - here it is. ;)
POIGNANT POINT: There are other reasons why this movie is harmful; but this is the main reason why 50 Shades of Grey is SO hurtful to survivors of abuse – you see MANY articles & comments out in Internetland dissing this movie that have been written by survivors of abuse; and this is why: TRIGGERS. It reminds us of things we really REALLY do NOT want to remember… And we really (really!) do not want anyone else to get hurt like that. The majority of protestors (not all) are NOT just ‘trying to be mean’.
The Twilight Saga wasn’t ‘quite’ as harmful – aside from the affect the shallow characters & storyline had on fans like Erika and so many other older ladies (yeah, like me, too - if you didn't watch the link to the video I left above about 'the feed being sex for vampires'; it also does a good job of showing how 'rough' real-make-believe vampires were perceived by us older girls before watching or reading Twilight): Because Edward Cullen supposedly LOVES Bella Swan… Which is why (no doubt) Stephenie went to so many great lengths to bury her (probably much more tame) sexual fantasy with all that extra writing in her LONG four books – so that (most) people couldn’t see all the sex hidden between the lines. BUT, isn’t Edward Cullen kind of ‘dominant’ and intoxicating in some very seductive ways?
This is probably THE MAIN REASON why EL James’ movie & books have done so well… She brought the unobtainable, sparking vampire loverboy character in Twilight into our HUMAN realm; and now we can see how that ‘type’ of an intoxicating character can REALLY be available to us girls, ha! (That is actually kind of depressing when you know that the reality is: there are FAR FEWER male Doms to sub ratios than there are female Domme to sub ratios. ;)
As such, these books probably could have been amazing, too (just like Twilight could have); IF they had both been written about the actual subjects they were supposed to be about. Subspace… You’re COMPLETELY missing the point until you figure that out if you’re looking to ‘get into’ BDSM. But again, you DON’T need that part – and neither did these books. If you strip all that erroneous stuff away, you’re left with ‘what this book is really about’.
The same DAMN thing happened with The Twilight Saga, that’s HOW this book got in EL James’ head – strip away Edward being an erroneous vampire, and what are you left with? Can you see now why so MANY bad things came out of the Twilight books? Is it any wonder why these two series AND THEIR FANS get made fun of?
No, I don’t think anything like this has EVER happened, before – rare professionally-negligent publishing. (2yo article with a year of research behind it.)
It’s Okay to Think About the Story in a Different Way
This is funny… I finished this blog, and then the basic storylines of how *I* would have told this story started to ‘play out’ in my head (both series’ are the exact same storyline to me; although my version would have stuck with real make-believe vampires as told in here). But this is probably more how *my* twilight xxx parallel vamp-to-human story would have gone, LoL!
…If you need an idea to start thinking in a more appropriate direction about this story… Maybe you could re-create the ‘triangle’ in Twilight by adding another suitor for Ana who IS a good example of what a ‘dom’ is. Then make her have to choose between them like Steph did – I bet Ana ends up with the smarter choice this time. (Maybe not, some girls seem extra-attached to their first attractions. But, if you make those ‘first ones’ always the most important – then what about all the other good ones that come after it? Are they meaningless? You’re welcome Team Jacob! ;)
There are many ways you could 're-interpret' this story, I'm sure - and, you managed to do it once already with Twilight. ;)
What you need to do is... Figure out the outline of 'what absolutely needs to be in this movie'. Then, find yourself a bdsm-type 'translator' to help you work out how to achieve those objectives bdsm style - simply put, LoL!