50 Shades of Grey
*********************** WARNING - CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE *******************
So I started reading the book due to the hype. Erotic books are not my go to genre and truthfully 50 Shades won't change my opinion. But as I read it, and read the response from friends, I altered my thinking on this a bit. I am still doing this from a psychological point of view but I will add my own impression at the end of each segment as well as at the end. Argh, let me get the first part over, psychologically Grey is an A type personality, driven and goal oriented. This might at times be construed as being a psychosis when taken to far but I don’t believe he ever went too far. Anna is a selfish, narcissist. Yes, I've said it. The victim is not innocent.
But wait, let me first put on some music I can feel my blood pressure rising.
Ok the dear Mr. Grey, No wait let's start on Anna.
Anna, for those not in the know is generally perceived as a poor victim. I understand the logic. She is a 22 year old virgin and college graduate at the start of the book. She herself refer to herself as a novice and inexperienced. This poor girl then proceeds to go to Grey's apartment with the aim to bed him. He hands her a document with rules and regulations. I am in no way familiar with this lifestyle but the document is very well put together and not even I was under any delusions as to what he expects from her. So typical of a 22 year old virgin she proceeds to bed him half an hour later. Poor little girl. Please here insert a very sarcastic tone, and if you don’t think I am justified, keep on reading.
Psychologically her attraction to Grey is clear. He is a metro male with a very strong personality and believe it or not, convictions. He acts as her protector and his actions speak to his willingness to keep her safe and cared for. Yes, even the contract stipulates these aspects. So from a psych pov, what is the attraction to the main stream soccer mom reading base? This. While we all want a man that is in touch with their inner feelings, we do not want a woman. That is a different preference. So the metro male for the first time since 1400 brought to society a very real though weird character. A man, taking care of himself the way some woman do. Putting appearance and wellbeing as a priority, who allows himself the luxury to cry if his cat gets run over and has an appointment with a manicurist weekly. What does this translate into? A male that would as easily cry at the death of his cat as he would at an add where a puppy rolls around with toilet paper. This, people is a man that would scream louder than I myself when he sees a mouse, jump on a table at the suggestion of a spider and generally gets so self obsessed that he has no place in his life for anybody else, not even his significant other. Grey, metro all the way, is goal orientated, protective and his obsession includes his other. He is a protector and provider before he is a control freak (her label, not mine) and then only will he consider himself. He is thus that golden bridge, all male all the time and a god looking like Adonis at the same time.
My interpretation of him, I think I have a crush on this damaged man. Although unlike Anna I never had the fascination with any man's physique the way she does, I love beautiful eyes and will get turned on by low riding pants on a well formed specimen, but I tend to not be easily amused and will soon need more. I gave up on counting how many times the sweet Anna got lost in his eyes and got turned on by those low riding hips. Maybe it is me, but I need a wee bit more.
Everybody's perfect victim. I disliked her from the get go. She is not naïve, she is stupid. She is not a victim she is a twit. -LANGUAGE WARNING.
He presents her with THE DOC - You have to be fit! You have to be well taken care of. You need to behave well in public. You need to be clean and hygienic at all times. You will wear what I want you to wear when you are with me.
I would take serious offence at a man feeling the need to make me sign a contract regarding my personal hygiene. Her response, Oh no Mr. Grey, I can never accept money for clothes, I am not a kept woman…… by good golly gosh, woman, what is wrong with you. Seriously she is misfiring.
Second example I need to share which had me bristling; in said contract is an eating regime, she considers this after the third sexual encounter and I quote "He will not tell me what to eat, how to fuck, yes, but not how to eat".
My reaction was so strong to this outlandish reaction that I could not read the book for two days after.
So what is Anna telling us about our society? Not much, she reads Tess of the d'Urbervilles' now for those who read it remember Tess arriving at the d'Urbervilles and having Alec call her Coz, invoking a familiar, protective field to be followed by him raping her. Never does Grey rape Anna, his protection is real and genuine if somewhat misguided, and it is she that labels him, over protective, a stalker, a control freak. Grey is no Alec and Anna is no Tess, but I found this literary allusion comical for the attempt at giving depth to an otherwise very shallow story. Oh and please remember that the book was a contemporary statement regarding the sexual mores of the time. Much it would seem as 50 Shades. Pmsl…..
From a psychological point of view, if anybody in this book is damaged it is Anna. She is a manipulator, using her own "innocence" to justify her own choices; she does a remarkable job at refusing to look at her own choices and chooses to focus on his instead. This might have worked were it not for two more voices ever present and introduces right after her first coital experience.
Drumm rolll pllleasse maestro…. enter on stage left, Anna's subconscious, and enter stage right her inner goddess.
Anna's subconscious is inaptly named. Seriously she should have called it her Uber Ego since it is a much more a male voice and would make Freud proud. According to the responses of this Uber Ego I would put Anna's emotional development at age 11. Aah. I can hear you critics say, so she is a victim! Ha ha ha, no the author is not that bright people. Why, because she introduces the inner goddess at the same time, a Madame with at least 50 years of experience in THE BUSINESS if ever I saw one. The contrast between these two convinced me more than ever that Anna is inherently a manipulating spoiled brat.
So let's talk about a society where we have talk show hosts stating that being raped is EVERY woman's' secret fantasy. A society where a woman needs to come to her full self in a relationship far removed from the norm because she is looking for a real man. A society where this lifestyle is at the same time called deviant and at others revered. What is it ladies? I lead you to this, feminism. For some reason people got the concept of equal but different confused with equal but better. I can and will burn my bra (not really, they are massively expensive) but I want to be equal and not better. I do not want him crying on my shoulder because the puppy was sooooo sweet. I want him to feel that I am HIS goddess. I heard this a lot in private conversations. I would rather be a subservient in the bedroom with a man worshipping my body in a fashion that is pleasurable for both, with him treating me like a lady out of the bedroom than to be somebody's spar partner 24/7. All these years, all those bra's people and we are still running towards and from the fire into the frying pan. I want to be equal but not better, I want to be loved and protected and I want to be able to find help with no judgment if I need it and no interference when the going is good. The ideal right? Read it again. And ask where and what boundaries do you feel comfortable with, when do you think judgment from an outsider might be better? I'll leave that to you guys to decide for yourself. I know one thing, I abhor Anna for if I make her a victim and ride the current wave of pop culture I will need to rethink my take on myself. Add victim to it because I want to feel cherished and because I know how to get what I want. Sorry, I am not that type of victim. I am nobody's victim.
Anna is a senseless, useless twit, who uses her lack and shortcomings to make a man into a villain for knowing his own mind and wants.
Let's take a second to talk about the fact that Grey is a stalker….. Seriously? Let me not even start in on this, apart from saying being stalked is flattering only the first time and only for the first two minutes. After that stalking turns violent and dangerous and terrifying. If Anna felt stalked and did not simply refer to it in passing I might have elaborated but she obviously never felt threatened. So I will leave this topic. So to end this excessively long rant.
I get why woman love the book. Christian is a man's man in a metro world where men is mice and woman is a vice.
I get why woman hate the book. It has sooo many underlying dangers, but no, I do not believe that other 22 year olds will not be able to discern between fiction and reality. According to me, the biggest danger is this, Have sex and meet your inner goddess, no sex, no goddess and then lastly be stupid and you will get the ultimate male.
So is the sex scenes, too much, too detailed, too repetitive, seriously if it were not for the sex scenes, I would not have read past her first inner goddess apparition. It is hot and detailed. It is the rest of the book that bored the crap out of me…..
Think on this people, if this should portray our pop culture and thus our ideal lives, we may need to consider using labels differently. Oh, and me may try to think of what it is we are drooling over. Consider Grey's statement, I am 50 shades of fucked up.