If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll remember my post entitled, ‘The Pink Room and Fifty Shades of Grey’. It was about Child sex trafficking in Cambodia and how pornography was the beginning of this thriving industry. After watching the video posted above I’m still pretty worried about 50 Shades of Grey and the impact that it’s having on society.
I think the scariest part over all is when we find out that E.L. James was inspired to write her book by the Twilight series, books that were meant for teenagers.
I can’t lie, I read the Twilight series but eventually came to the realisation that Bella had no idea what real love was, that what she felt for Edward was infatuation, and the fact that she appreciated so much that he wanted to kill her pretty strange. Their relationship was based on sadness, death, and depression, not on love. Oh, and those really intense descriptions of their wedding night? That was far too much for the teenagers that read the books. Teenage girls became infatuated with Edward Cullen and had no real concept that what he and Bella had wasn’t a relationship but some odd obsession.
But now a grown women has taken these books and made them into something for adults. No longer can we say, “It’s okay, they’re teenagers, they’ll grow out of it”, because it looks like it’s not just teenagers who are obsessed with this sort of infatuation. As we grow we realise that society doesn’t provide the kind of love that we’re really looking for and people turn to sex and pornography to feel better about themselves.
The second problem is that this book is not a work of great literature. It pales in comparison to works of Tolkien and Dickens, Bronte and Austen. James admits that she would write her book on her Blackberry on her way to work; where is the space here for real thought or consideration of artistic motivation? How can you possibly write a novel, a work of literature, something that inspires, on a mobile phone? She also tells us that she “just sat down and wrote a novel” as soon as she had finished reading the Twilight series. Novels, great works of literature, take more than “just sitting down and writing a novel”. They taken time, effort, a lot of planning and research.
Some of you will probably call me a “literary snob” but it worries me that people are becoming more and more entertained by bad literature, predictable films, and generic music. The X Factor claims to be looking for that one singer who has something different yet every person who is made famous by it sounds just like the rest. If your art doesn’t fit into the box that society wants it to then it probably won’t do very well.
The third issue is the amount of sex in the book. I mean, yes, that is its whole purpose, but it scares me that this is exactly what made it popular. James, in the video says, “Well, it’s a love story.” So sex equals love, right? I think the sad thing is that a lot of people think that’s true. For a lot of people sex means attention which means affection which, somehow, means love. I don’t think Christian Grey loved Anastasia Steele, I think both of them were lonely people who had very little in their lives and knew nothing but loneliness. I think their obsession with violence in sex says even more about this and makes me wonder why exactly people enjoy this so much. Is this something to do with why grown men like to pay to have sex in brothels with young girls who can’t defend themselves? There must be a correlation some where.
Don’t get me wrong, I make no judgements on the readers of this book, but I do worry about what was going on in the head of the author, how the entertainment industry was so willing to accept her work, and what exactly is happening to society as more and more people become obsessed with sex.