Links on the Travesty that is Fifty Shades of Grey

Oh, how I hate to see that dreck making bank at the theatre. Thing is, erotica for women is so thin on the ground in popular culture that crap like this gets made into a movie, whereas the quality stuff like The Boss series doesn’t. However. Let’s hope the FSOG horror show opens up the market for better things (and full male nudity in film, which I hear didn’t happen in a film meant for horny heterosexual women, WTF?!). In the meantime, those of us who hate FSOG can continue to say why it’s so horrible. Other than the fact it won’t show us whole nekkid dudes, I mean.

Jenny saw the movie. She live-tweeted it, if you want her on-the-ground impressions, and reviewed it thoroughly. She also has these excellent posts, which I wished to commend to your attention:

“Get Over It!” How not to respond to critics of 50 Shades of Grey. Very useful for those people in your social media feeds who get ragey when you say mean things about their favorite things.

Don’t Do This Ever: “Giant piece of human garbage” edition. This is how EL James responds to rape victims. EL James is a terrible human being, and I hope she loses all of her money paying penalties for tax fraud or similar, and that the government uses the money she’s had to cough up in back taxes, fines, and penalties to open new domestic violence shelters and start a training program on BDSM.

Speaking of domestic violence, donating to a shelter or program would be an excellent way to counter the terrible messages of these terrible books by this terrible person. Especially if you enjoyed the books or the movies. Which you can! All of us love problematic things. But be wary of campaigns that are shadier that Fifty Shades himself.

In case you were wondering if EL James’s loyalest fans are less terrible than she is: they are not. At least one of them doxxed a blogger who explored the domestic violence in Fifty Shades. The good news from that roundup, though, is that EL James is trying to take total control of the movie franchise, which should result in films so horrible that even her mostest loyalest fanatics might realize their hero is selling them frothy pig shit and calling it lurrrv.

Samantha Field wrote a piece about her abusive relationship: I Dated Christian Grey: How Women Are Groomed For Abuse. Those women who are in denial about Christian Grey’s abusive qualities might need you to gently shove this under their noses, so that they’re reminded that even beautiful people can be horrible. Samantha follows up that post on her own blog.

Image shows 50 Shades noose cover. Left side says, "Fifty Shades of Abuse Romantacized. No thank you." Right side has list of "Signs of an Abusive Partner: Jealousy and possessiveness; Sexual violence; Verbal abuse and disrespectful behaviour in front of others; Not listening or responding when you talk; Unpredictable temper; Damaging or destroying your possessions; Controlling where you go and who you see."
50 Shades of Abuse Flyer – Canada

Roxane Gay’s thoughts on the movie can be found here, and they are insightful, funny, and may make you feel better if these books are guilty pleasures for you.

Two folks from the BDSM scene chat about the movie, and it’s made of awesome. I especially love we’re getting the rare perspective of a male sub here.

Cynthia Jeub has written an open letter to Ana Steele, reminding us that Ana isn’t to blame for her own victimization, which is a very good thing to keep in mind.

Just when you didn’t think it could possibly be any worse: the conservative Christian crowd has a movie out that is their alternative to FSOG. It starts with the male protagonist making the lady go stand out in the cold because he’s too honorable to be alone with a woman. I’m with Iris Vander Pluym: please do not ever marry us, Christian d00ds. Stay far, far away.

Now. In the wake of the FSOG crapfest, can we please get some movies out that show consensual, kinky, hot-as-habanero relationships that don’t include abuse or stalking perpetrated by the romantic lead? Please?

Links on the Travesty that is Fifty Shades of Grey

12 thoughts on “Links on the Travesty that is Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. rq

    I’ve heard good things about Secretary, but haven’t managed to watch it yet. I think Jenny Trout has talked about that one before.

  2. rq

    Oh! Also, where the two BDSM folk discuss the movie, they open up with a discussion of condoms – the condoms are so significant to the movie because, in the books, Mr Grey goes on and on about how he hates condoms so much, he forces Ana to get an IUD just so he doesn’t have to use them. So, what could have been a super-duper good lesson about safe sex is… about control and about how Christian Grey loves Ana SO MUCH he’s even willing to wear a condom for her, if he really must. Until he can set his own rules.

  3. 4

    How much do I hate it that badly-written dreck, romanticising an abusive relationship so shitty that the country runs out of red-flag material, is what is given financial backing by money-men (I’m betting most if not all of the powers behind this are men, if only because the mainstream media in general are – surprise surprise – mainly controlled by men) and marketed as finally-mainstream-erotica-aimed-at-women. It makes me want to puke.
    The whole thing has got cis-het-male-approved written all over it.

  4. 6

    Dana, “rare perspective of a male sub”, there are plenty of us out here, trust me.
    @rq: Secretary is a fun, strange movie, but please don’t expect anything remotely resembling an actual D/s relationship from it either.

  5. 8

    Let’s hope the FSOG horror show opens up the market for better things (and full male nudity in film, which I hear didn’t happen in a film meant for horny heterosexual women, WTF?!).

    I was just noticing this the other day during some (ahem) research. It’s so strange that US culture is so prissy about the sight of penises. European and Scandinavian mainstream films show all kinds of explicit sex scenes that are a far cry from hardcore porn but are still infinitely hotter than anything Hollywood would ever allow. Even in the US, films got away with much more male nudity and steamier sex scenes in the 70’s-early 80’s. But of course nowadays and for most of my life Thou Shalt Not Show Cock has been etched on our film commandments because doing so would apparently: a.) force all of us straight males to suddenly turn gay, b.) make baby Jesus cry or c.) something, something…think of the children…something. And besides, people just don’t want to see that sort of thing (provided we ignore all data on porn-viewing which every now and again shows male nudity.) It’s rather bizarre that such a Phallocentric nation as ours is so queasy about the sight of a penis. And even when they are shown I believe only softies are allowed or else the film is automatically categorized as porn. Maybe if movies were allowed to show them there would be less need for guns and other symbolic substitutes. At the very least we’d have much hotter movies.

  6. rq

    Okay, thanks for that. :) Jenny Trout has presented it as a sort of anti-50Shades movie, for a BETTER representation. Any movies out there that get it right?

  7. 11

    It has it’s moments and there are a few inside references that if one wasn’t involved or knowledgeable of the lifestyle that would probably pass right by most so the writer at least did some research. The main problem with it is the portrayal of those involved in the lifestyle. The male Dom is a tortured soul, barely able to live with himself due to his desires. To tell you the truth, it is very light in the S&M department so I’m not so sure what he all worried about. The female sub is an adult virgin just released from a mental institution with a history of cutting. So of course, those of us in the lifestyle are all suffering from some rather severe mental issues, typical fare for the portrayal of the lifestyle in most all television and movies.
    Unfortunately I can’t give you any real examples of a movie or show getting it right. On the rare occasion I have seen a bit part, passing mention or a reference of some kind done right, but nothing in depth and ongoing concerning the dynamics of a loving, long term D/s relationship. Perhaps now that a studio has put money into doing it wrong and shown there is money to be made with the subject matter, one may decide to try and do it right…it’s a nice thought.

  8. 12

    I beg to differ that there is little erotic literature intended for women in popular literature. There is a fuckton of it (that’s a technical term). And you don’t have to pay a dime for it.

    I know it is common to sneer at fan fiction, and FSM knows if the only fan fiction you’ve seen is the the modified Twilight fan fiction story that became 50 Shades, I can understand why. But the truth is that while Sturgeon’s Law most definitely applies, there is an astonishing amount of really first class writing out there. You do have to hunt a bit. Quick use of the back button is an important skill. But there is some AMAZING stuff out there. And much of it is erotic. There is het and slash and fem slash (in addition to “gen” in which love interests are not an important part of the story).

    Most fan fiction is written by women, though there are a few men who write, including one or two who are at the top of my author list. Some is deliberately and even uproariously silly. Some is dark as hell. Some authors are obviously working out some issues. Some is very kinky. Some is clearly written by sheltered 15 year olds. Some has intricate plotting. Some, or maybe most, is deeply romantic. About half of it is pornographic. I was rather surprised to discover that I prefer slash, but well-written het is nice too, and what ever floats your boat, I can assure you you will find.

    There are people whose work I wish I could buy, because they deserve a reward for the wonderful entertainment they have given me. As it is, I haven’t bought light fiction in a couple of years. There is no need.

    To find something you might like go to An Archive of Our Own and choose your favorite show. Note there is a search window. Open the relationship tag and choose who you want to be together. Then change the Sort By pulldown to KUDOS and hit search. You will have a list of the most popular examples of fan fiction with the pairing you asked for. There may be several thousand stories that meet your requirements, though a few shows (and a few pairings) don’t inspire a lot of fan fiction. Most fan fiction authors are careful about warnings for non- (or dubious) consent, violence, etc.

    Seriously, go check it out. Whether you want a story that is just like the show, or want to explore the many variations on the theme or simply want some porn that is not what you get in mainstream porn, you are going to be surprised at the richness available.

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