Of course, like most stories in my life, this happened because I got drunk and made a stupid decision. Despite my saying that I would never ever read this trash novel, I found myself drunk and bored in the hostel bar with it staring at me from the hostel bookshelf and so I succumbed. And because I had started it, of course, I had to finish it.
Once I was done I had some incredibly mixed feelings about this book especially since so many people have read it and loved it and it has now been made into a movie. With a discussion with a friend who is in the BDSM community and a lot of time to sit and think, I have come to the following conclusions about this book that all women need to know and understand. Please either revel in or forgive the excessive sarcasm.
- BDSM Relationships are about ultimate trust and respect
From the learning that I have undertaken since starting to read this book, it is my understanding that those who enter a BDSM relationship do so with mutual understanding, respect and trust. Open communication is pivotal in establishing the boundaries in this relationship. All I hear when I read this book is “I’m Anastasia and I don’t want to do this” and then “Oh but my name is Christian and I don’t care what you want, I want you and I will do whatever I want. And if you don’t like it now, I will make you like it later or I will leave your whiny, clingy, virgin arse. Oh by the way, here is a new car to lessen the pain of your rawly spanked arse”. I’m sorry. But this just does not fly with me at all. A submissive should have the power to say what they are and are not willing to do and have it respected. There is no respect here at all and boundaries continue being crossed regardless of how many times she says no. Not on.
2. No woman should believe that she can change a man ever
One of the largest themes of this book is how this massively ‘fifty shades of fucked up’ dude who was abused and burnt with cigarettes as a child and was introduced in his adolescent years by a child molester to BDSM to help save his soul from doing evil things. He then becomes so overwhelmed by this incredible girl he meets that to an extent he is willing to change his sadistic and massive control freakazoid ways to become an ‘ever considerate partner’. Well I call bullshit. At no point in time ever should a woman go into a relationship thinking that she has the ability to change whoever it is that she is with. You either learn to love and respect who they are for all their flaws OR you walk away. This book propagates the ridiculous idea that as women we have this ability to change the man. Especially if he is all damaged and screwed up from his childhood. We just need to fix it and make it better and of course because we are so awesome this guy is going to change for the better. It is deluded. It is stupid. You should never expect this to happen EVER! Because it very rarely does. And you are really not going to be the exception.
3. A person who gives you ultimatums and takes away your choices does not love or respect you
“You will drive the car I tell you to”, “you will behave like this or I will punish and manipulate you”, “oh you want to go on a holiday and see your family and get some time to think? Ok, but let me just jump on my private jet 30 minutes after you leave and follow you there because I just can’t stay away, I need you so much!”. What utter trash. A person who cannot respect your need for space or boundaries and gives you ultimatums in respect to your choices instead of sitting down and coming to an agreed upon compromise is not a person you want to be with. Why this book propagates a person who gives ultimatums as being ‘oh so sexy’ is beyond me. You know what is sexy? Considerate. Respectful. Honest. These things are sexy. You know what else is sexy? Allowing your partner to have time away from you to digest whether or not they actually like you or whether or not you are a psychopathic, stalker arsehole without your constant input.
4. There is a difference between love and addiction
“Oh no! I can’t stay away from him! He’s an abusive manipulative arse, but I think I love him!” For the record if this is how you are feeling then you are not in love, you are in addiction mode. Love is open minded. Love recognizes flaws, challenges them and accepts them in an honest way. Addiction is that clingy, needy, whiny ‘I need you with every inch of my body, right now’, honeymoon period rubbish that doesn’t come from a logical mindset. When you keep going back despite all the crying and tears and unhappiness and lack of assurance and jealousy, you are not in love. You are addicted. And you should be getting out. Excusing shitty behaviour in the name of love sets a bad example to young women and men everywhere. This is not how we should treat each other. Men will think they can. Women will think it is normal. This is not what a relationship should look like. Lets do our daughters and sons a favour and show them that this shit is not acceptable. Maybe then we won’t wind up with so much domestic violence and psychological abuse in relationships.
5. Having sex with somebody after you get into an argument with them does not solve your problems
Here’s an idea. After I bring up an important issue that I have with our relationship, lets deflect the question and start having sex instead. Yep. Great idea. Then nothing ever gets solved and we take all of the horrid feelings we have to deal with and replace them with orgasmic ones instead so that we never have to deal with anything difficult ever. This again comes back to respect. Respect enough to listen and hear. Then come to an agreement. Then have sex. But understand that this whole sex to fix problems is a very bandaid approach to relationships and again shouldn’t be encouraged in a book that is read by women everywhere and encouraged as normal and erotic. Here’s another sexy idea if I haven’t already stated it. Respect. Communication. Mmmm….. so sexy right now.
6. Relationships are about open and honest communication
Pretty much my summary point. People in loving romantic relationships should consider each other equal. Not all of this ‘you tell me everything about you and I will evade any personal question that I don’t feel like answering today or ever and then spank you. And then have sex with you’. Sharing should be equal. A partner should be able to share and to listen. You know, it again comes back to that thing Aretha sings about all the time…. what was that again?
7. Money can’t buy me love…. or can it?
And now we come to The Beatles. Women, listen to The Beatles. Not drug-influenced stuff about Lucy and skies and diamonds and octopuses gardens in the sea, but the ‘money can’t buy me love’ bit. Because it can’t. But this book embraces the notion that when someone is pissed at me, I can control what they are doing and smother them with love in the form of a Blackberry and a MacBook Pro and a new Audi…. anyone see a whole bunch of brand name dropping here?? It is also a massive question as to whether money can apparently buy you awesome advertising in the form of an erotic fictional novel that preys upon the need of the average female to feel swept off her feet and wanted by a powerful man that nobody else has managed to change but her because she is so wonderful and special and can have an orgasm in thirty seconds flat every time…. but then again, I’m clearly a pessimist. What would I know?
In all seriousness though, if I ever have daughters, I would not want them reading this trash. Too many people in today’s society class this abusive rubbish as entertainment. It is yet another piece of advertising geared towards all of the insecurities of the woman. Be better than that. Because you are better than that. Put down the silly novel that promotes domestic violence, lack of respect and emotional abuse and start setting a better example of what is and is not acceptable for yourself and for all the youth that you are a role model for. And if you find yourself caving to any of these points above, recognize the signs, and walk away. Because if you don’t, you’ll wind up just like Anastasia. With no sense of self, and a being a complainy, needy, puppet of a man, who doesn’t have any respect for you and who clearly doesn’t deserve a good woman. Same for any of you boys out there in the reverse situation. Got yourself a manipulative and controlling woman. Ditch that bitch. The more we accept that this form of treatment of each other is acceptable, the more damaging it will be to our society. Rant over. Peace out!