It has been a week now, and the avalanche of social media hype surrounding the debut of the film 50 Shades of Grey seems to have subsided. Thank. God. No really.
The book has apparently little literary merit. It is chick lit at its worst. I say ‘apparently’ because I have not read it and have no desire to. I wrote about the book several times upon its release here and here.
The film on the other hand has piqued the interest of people who would not devote any respectable amount of time to reading the book, but a few short hours on the big screen seems to have been a different matter. But the verdicts have been mixed. Feminist have been vocal. There has been reports of the film being more about domestic, emotional and psychological abuse than erotica. And for those who have sat there, it has been confronting, funny, disappointing and tragic in the most absurd way. If you are interested in reading one such review you could start here and read Rosie Waterland’s review on Mamamia.
One of the things I find problematic is the positioning of a rich, good looking man – a protagonist that many a reader would ‘fall’ for – in such a role as Mr Grey. The reality is we are all easily seduced, by a word, a look, a gesture of kindness, a promise of love, romance, hope and fulfillment. This latest hurrah seems like a slightly more grown up (twisted and unchaste) version of the Twilight series that had girls swooning.
I have four girls. I don’t want them to enter adulthood thinking this pulp fiction is how women should behave and what they should aspire to. This is not about being progressive. This is about confronting what behaviour we should abhor and avoid. But when you are young, naive and “entering the world of men” as the sixteen von Trapp daughter sang in The Sound of Music sometimes there is not the wisdom and discernment there to protect you and save you from yourself.
There is no grey area when it comes to Mr Grey. Say no. It is a black and white issue. Really.