Posted by: Susan Hanniford Crowley | April 17, 2012

“Did You Read That 15 Shades Book?” by Leia Shaw

“Did you read that 15 Shades book?” my aunt whispered conspiratorially at Easter dinner.

Yes, I’m blogging about that again. You might think a post about 50 Shades is likened to beating a dead horse. I thought so too. But no, the horse is very much alive. In fact, it was on the radio last week. The topic, not the horse. Nobody knows what happened to the horse.

I wrote a response on my blog to the Today Show outrage about a month ago. You can read it here. But if you missed it, here’s my stance. I read the 50 Shades series. Though I enjoyed them, and tend to defend them against haters, I won’t be making Team Christian t-shirts anytime soon.

So why am I bringing it up again? If you’ve been reading my weekly posts, you might have caught on that I like to analyze things. Not scientifically of course. That’s too much work. But I do pay attention to human nature. And I have a thing for studying patterns and trends as it relates to my career. EL James has done something right. And when someone does something THAT right (meaning a million dollar empire and movie deal), I wanna know why and how so I can copy it.

So here’s what I, analyzer extraordinaire who whips these posts together last minute and wouldn’t know real research if it dropped an anvil on my head (in the name of research), ascertained.

Women like a project.

We see someone hurting, we want to fix them. We see someone sick, we want to make them better. We see orphans on TV, we want to give them a hug and be their mommy forever. I have two adopted kids, you don’t have to tell me about wanting to heal the world.

Is it a woman thing – some deeply engrained mothering instinct that demands we fix broken people? Different from a man, who sees a broken table and immediately attaches his manliness to his ability to fix it – like his penis will magically fall off if he needs help.

I’ve seen women fall into this “If he just (enter character trait or action) he’d be perfect” trap too many times. We make the assumption that WE can be the person that finally makes the man see the light. We can turn the bad boy good. The commitment-phobe knuckle-down and propose. Hallelujah, the man has reached his full potential and it’s all because of this miracle-worker!

In 50 Shades we watch Christian Grey through Ana’s eyes. He’s a hurt, broken man, traumatized by a horrific early childhood, who just needs a good woman to understand and love him. The fact that he happens to be rich, handsome, and kinky only makes him more desirable. Imagine! I can heal this poor man while he buys me fancy jewelry and gives me the best sex of my life! How deeply satisfying that must feel. In more ways than one. No wonder women are going crazy for him.

In the real world, people rarely make dramatic changes. I believe everyone is a work in progress, but I also think it’s incredibly stupid to marry someone with the hope of changing them. If you don’t love them unconditionally and you can’t live with them exactly as they are right here and right now, you have no business getting married.

But we’re not talking about real life, are we? No. 50 Shades is an erotic work of fiction. Fantasy. And if in my fantasy, I want to turn hot, rich Christian into the perfect man, well, get the hell out of my way. It’s my fantasy life. What are you doing here anyway? Seriously. What’s this post even about?

I’m not sure but I’ll leave you with this bit of wisdom. My experience with trying to heal the world has taught me one significant truth women tend to overlook. People aren’t like broken tables. They can’t always be fixed no matter how much you love and care for them. No matter how much time and attention you give them. Even when you think you have all the right pieces…sometimes they just can’t be made whole again.

So have a great time with your fantasy life. Heal those poor 50 shades of brokenness while being tied to the bed and pleasured for hours on end. But make sure, when it comes down to it, you know the difference between fantasy and truth.

 

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Responses

  1. All I can say is “Stick and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me”. Tee hee. I haven’t read the books, but I’d like too. I have read other books on BDSM and I found them very exciting. All I can say is keep writing them.

    • Lol! i can’t stand that song and it used to be on the radio all the time. well you keep reading them and we’ll keep writing them.

  2. I agree with what you say. I have not read the book or books in question. However, what I have learned after 43 years of marriage, we all have baggage that we bring into a relationship. If one does not have uncondtional love for the other person the relationshop will fail because that baggage will be unpacked shortly after the I dos are said. The question will remain does one love someone enough to help them unpack or will they walk away.

    Of course we love romantic and erotic writings. But we must remember there is a reason it is called “Fiction”. Just my two cents worth.

    • yep. fiction is fiction. sometimes it mirrors reality, most of the time not. thanks for commenting jeannie!

  3. Well said Leia! I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been married almost 21 years and you do have to take the good with the bad. None of us is perfect or perfectly happy all the time. Romance, erotica and most forms of fiction are great for escape and fun, but shouldn’t be confused with real life! Great post! :)

    • Thanks Casey! And props on 20 yrs!

  4. I have it sitting in my TBR pile, but have not gotten to it yet. My question is, if he’s handsome, rich and hot in bed … why change him? I don’t mind reading erotica, but there has to be a story. I hate it when there is so much sex in the book that it gets in the way of the story line. Now you have me thinking, Leia … maybe I should move 50 Shades up to the top of the pile!

    • Gerri, a lot of women complain that christian doesn’t need changing. But he’s full of self loathing. And he’s super controlling. Deal breakers for me. I won’t tell you what happens but there more than just sex in the books.

  5. I haven’t read the series and I’m not sure that I ever will. I like the idea behind the story but for some reason he doesn’t appeal that much to me. Trust me, I like BDSM stories just not the idea of this one.

    Great post.

    Marika

    • like i said, i enjoyed the series. i dont think it’s the best thing since sliced bread but it was a fun, intense read. but if you like light bdsm, you might at least like that part of it. that said, there are a great many bdsm out there too.

  6. I definitely want to read the book.. have heard so much about it. As for “fixing” people, I think that’s what the problem with relationships is this days. I think a successful relationship is one where people don’t try to fix each other but accept one another just the way they are, flaws and all…


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