I was originally going to call this post: In Defence of Fifty Shades.
But I am not really looking to defend it.
Full disclosure: I read the Fifty Shades series (yes, ALL of them) and I liked them.
Just because I liked them, doesn’t mean everyone else is going to. And yes, I get why someone wouldn’t like them. I also get why people might not even want to read them. But that is the beauty of books, you don’t HAVE to read them. If they don’t interest you, if you find the topic offensive, then you don’t read it.
Here is the thing that i need to get off my chest….
I see posts, or hear people talking about it ….. that never read the book. The Facebook post/conversation would go something like this….
I haven’t read the book BUT….
Then there would be a whole tirade about how the book wasn’t well written, or that it was misogynistic, or promoted rape culture…or a litany of ills that the book seemingly portrays or represents.
First, if you haven’t read the book….how do you actually know? You don’t. So don’t make judgements or assessments on something you don’t know about.
Second, it is completely reasonable to say, I refuse to read this because of the subject matter. And, even more reasonable to say, I don’t want to read it because the subject matter makes me uncomfortable. But that is difficult to say. I think it’s easier to trash the book and look for reasons to hate it, then to admit that either the subject matter offends you or makes you uncomfortable.
Here is my take: the book was wildly popular. The trilogy has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide (yes, I had to google that fact). And it’s possible (here is where my opinion comes in) that people read that book that haven’t read a book in long time…or even ever.
I remember when the Harry Potter series came out and there was backlash that children shouldn’t be reading about such violence and magic. I was like, are you kidding me? That series has got so many people reading books, including children and young people, and how can that be wrong. As a reader and book lover, that gets me excited…to see other people get excited about reading.
Also, (again, my opinion) this was a way for women to start to explore their sexuality and have words to talk about what they want or don’t want. I think that is pretty empowering.
And, I get it, this isn’t a serious work of literature. If you want literature, go and read War and Peace (I did, it’s delightful). Criticizing the bad writing or literary value of the book is like criticizing cotton candy for not being more nutritious. It’s not, never will be and wasn’t designed for that.
So if you want to hate on the books and/or the movies. Go right ahead. But hate on them in an educated way. That’s all I ask.