The book “50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James has too many fans, and it doesn’t make sense.
It romanticizes rape like it’s an OK part of a relationship. It makes emotional, physical and sexual abuse look attractive. It’s a horrible depiction of BDSM, which many people don’t understand.
The acronym is composed of three parts: Bondage and discipline (BD), dominance and submission (Ds) and sadism and masochism (SM).
Someone who identifies as BDSM is at least into one of these things, but not necessarily all.
There are many rules with BDSM. One is that sex is always consensual. In “50 Shades of Grey,” this is not the case.
In one scene, Ana is passed out drunk and Grey has sex with her. He turns up at her apartment uninvited later and makes a sexual advance. She tells him “No,” but he forces himself on her and even makes threats while raping her.
There is a secret in BDSM culture that many outsiders do not know. The “dominate” is not the one with all the power and control; it is actually the “submissive.” Turns out the Ds relationship is a fickle thing. It also takes years of building trust to work.
James slapped together something that sounded good in her head and called it what it what she wanted.
Then there were the few BD scenes in “50 Shade of Grey,” which weren’t too bad, until you got to the abuse. In theory, BD isn’t even about sex, though it does often lead to it with couples who are practicing.
Toward the end of the book, Grey beats Ana with a belt because she’s not really into being “punished.” He hits her six times, and he keeps going as she cries.
Never does Grey stop to ask if Ana is OK, like a dominate would upon hearing his partner cry. Especially if it was the first time he enforced pain in a session.
BD really is about the sensuality of restraint and trusting your partner to stop when a safe word is used. Grey fails at this.
Grey gives Ana a safe word, but she becomes so conditioned to accept abuse that she doesn’t use it. He punishes her for that, too.
It’s also bothersome that Ana starts the relationship as a virgin, so her first sexual encounters are abusive. She tries to escape, only to be roughed up some more.
Yeah, that’s really hot, ladies.
Grey takes full advantage of the fact that Ana is unaware of what she’s getting herself into, and that is unacceptable as well. It was manipulation on his part.
James openly admitted that “50 Shades of Grey” is a piece of fan fiction based on the “Twilight” characters Edward and Bella. It’s strange and twisted that it became a book.
James’ writing is so extreme and fanciful that it shows she did zero research. For example, it is unrealistic that Ana and Kate can afford living the way they do as college students.
The whole book was just a bad idea. On “The Today Show,” Dr. Drew Pinsky, a celebrity sex therapist, said the book was “horribly written” and “disturbing.”
Not only is the concept disturbing, the fact that James, and many other women, find it “hot” and want this kind of “relationship” is insane.
There weren’t “50 Shades of Grey,” there was one: An abusive man who had no idea what he wanted. This book has no depth. It’s just a rape fantasy that sold millions of copies.
Then came the movie, released on Valentine’s Day. The only way it was going to get an R-rating was if producers took out all the rape and abuse, which they did.
If the movie truly correlated with the book, it would have gotten the killer NC-17 rating and never survived the box office. It differs from the book so much that it is unrecognizable.
Conclusion: The movie “50 Shades of Grey” is probably worth more because it took out everything that was wrong with the book.
This column was a winner of the Missouri College Media Association Awards in 2016 in the Entertainment Reviews category.