*takes creative writing class*
*takes art class*
*takes media art class*
*makes anime gifs*
*takes music class*
*makes cover of anime opening*
*joins speech and debate*
*takes boxing class* *beats up these nerds*
50 Shades of Grey is the book everyone is talking about. The first, second, and third books in the series that began as BDSM Twilight fanfiction are now the first, second, and third best sellers on Amazon. The problem is the books are AWFUL. Even without dealing with the gross media coverage of the books, the books themselves are horrible. I picked up the book at Powell’s and was sucked in to reading the whole thing—not because the erotic dominant-submissive tale drew me in, but because the book was so appallingly bad that I couldn’t look away. “There’s no way it could get worse,” I told myself page after page. And yet! It could! It did! Sure, it’s great to have a book that brings non-traditional sex into mainstream conversation, but the book winds up conflating dominance with rape, reinforcing old-school gender stereotypes, and having characters who talk like stilted Brits. Ugh. Here are 50 problems I wrote down as I slogged my way from cover to cover:
1. Right from the start, main character Ana is as interesting as wet cardboard. Will she ever tame her messy hair? Will she ever be more than empty vessel whose primary personality trait is “confused”?! Wait and see. (spoiler: no)
2. Oh great, this is going to be a book about the problems of gorgeous college students who own Mercedes. I just have trouble commiserating with characters who own luxury cars.
3. If this is a Twilight rip-off, Ana is the dull, vacuous female lead and Christian Grey is the werewolf and the vampire combined into a sexy CEO who is really into modernist architecture and getting his way? This is more like porn remake of The Fountainhead.
4. Everything in Grey’s “architect utilitarian fantasy” office is made of steel. Ana’s last name is Steele. They should have just disbanded with the subtlety and made named her “Ana Getsfucked.”
5. Already, I’m turned off by Ana and Grey’s relationship. Hooray for weird sex, but their relationship is built on a bunch of problematic gender stereotypes.
6. Like: Men are the pursuers of women, women are the objects of desire but who never do the pursuing themselves but just sit around looking accidentally gorgeous.
7. Like: Women are children, men are adults. Ana is basically a toddler, who literally falls over constantly, only to be hoisted into Grey’s manly man arms, and made to feel “like an errant child.”
8. Like: Don’t worry about being uncertain about who you are or what you want, ladies! A sexy bachelor knight on a horse made of money will come save you and figure out all that stuff for you.
9. Like: Women can’t really be friends with dudes, because the dudes are always secretly wanting to get in their pants. See: All of Ana’s dude friends.
10. Like: Men must be competitive with each other, never friendly, because they are always locked in a mental battle to get into their lady friends’ pants. See: Grey giving the “arctic glare” to all of Ana’s dude friends.
11. Who says ‘shall’? As in “shall I show you the cable ties?” NO ONE TALKS LIKE THAT. Except people who are dead these days.
12. ”I’m crap at DIY, I leave all that to my dad.” — Ana, who is capable of nothing but falling over occasionally.
13. As much as they’d like it, no one will ever recognize a CEO in public. No one will ever exclaim, “Is it really you? CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings?”
14. There are three ways emotions are expressed in this book: blushing, jaw dropping, and constant eyebrow arching.
15. Use of the phrase, “Laters, baby.”
In order to become the supreme adult, you must perform the seven wonders:
- Public speaking
- Not being afraid of teenagers
- Calling the doctor yourself
- Arguing without crying
- Having a normal sleep pattern
- Having an answer to the question ‘what do you want to do with your life?’