Alright. By now at least someone you know has read 50 Shades of Grey, or you’ve read it, or you’ve heard of it, or your favorite sex shop is inexplicably covered in “50 Shades Inspired Kits!”
I too was curious about this “phenomenon,” or at least about how people were so surprised about it. I mean, women reading erotica? With sex in it?! Get out of town and take a bus! I admit I read the Twilight series. It was all pretty awful, the writing, the characters, the story. And yet somehow awfully engaging. Bella is a disaster of a shero nightmare from the Hades pit of despair. As a lover of Tamora Pierce, I felt the icy grip of shame clutch at me whenever I read a page of Bella’s incessant whining. So when I heard someone had published some erotic fan fic, and that the public at large was into it, I was curious, but not ready to commit.
Fortunately I was saved. Apparently E.L. James is a worse writer than Stephanie Meyer, has unwittingly (I can only hope) romanticized domestic abuse and completely and totally misrepresented the kink/BDSM community in ways that amount to slander. The fact that she barely admits that her work is fan fic and actually is SUING PEOPLE FOR WRITING FAN FIC BASED ON HER NOVELS makes me actively dislike her. But what alerted me to these horrors and saved me from wading into a feminist nightmare alone was a woman named Jenny Trout.