Why I won’t read Fifty shades of grey..
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
~ Oscar Wilde
I am not really the kind of person who would judge something without really knowing what its all about. I feel guilty when I watch the trailer of a film and exclaim ‘Cheers to another crappy film!’. Most times the instinct works, but when they don’t – that’s a kind of guilt trip I don’t like to take. After movies came into my life, I was drawn away from my reading habit – most of all, romance. But then there was so much ado about this erotic novel ‘Fifty shades of grey’ – (I mean it surpassed the Harry Potter series in less than a year) I thought, it must be something.
And I was right. It was something. As I read it, the writing groped me in. Even though I was fed up of ‘the white cotton shirt and grey linen pants’ from almost every erotica I have read; even though the clichéd definition of the perfect man made me sneer – it was the way E.L. James wrote the book that had me interested. The occasional funny one-liners, the self-talking, the feeling of being a ‘nothing’, the habit of tripping and losing it at the worst timing – was something I could understand and perhaps even relate to. So, I kept reading, not really blushing – but now and again squeezing my legs while my hands caressed the neck – which was quite inevitable, cos de facto I was reading porn.
The book was different and I chose to respect the author’s fascination and fantasy. Also, I wanted to know what Anastasia (the protagonist and the narrator) would do when she is asked to sign the legal papers to indulge in BDSM. Or rather, what Christian would ‘make’ her do next. I mean, yes – I am repulsive to Utopian men like him in erotic novels – but, that’s just because I have grown out of that phase where ‘the-more-unrealistic-the-better’ prevails. Despite that all-so-old (still -not -very -wise) feeling, I didn’t want to make my prejudices to be the reason of any judgement I make.
I was skimping past the lines, quite nonchalantly but not really disinterested, when all of a sudden I stopped reading. A feeling of deja vu hit me. The kind of deja vu in which someone I knew was Anastasia. I just couldn’t read any further.
I knew how it was to be in love with a man who intimidates the hell out of you. In Ana’s case, it was the money and the looks – while in her case, it was the intelligence – brilliance – unswerving faith in his beliefs that drew the girl to him. He was a guy you cannot argue with, because he always made sense. Always. At that moment she was Ana and I wanted her to stop because I knew James would make it titillating for her audience while truly, its torture. Its depression and desperation. I feel her point of including BDSM was an extreme form of expression to get her an audience this big which is quite fair.
I am sure James wouldn’t make it that easy for Ana, because I knew it wasn’t for her. Despite that, even the thought of a reconciliation at the end of the trilogy made me cringe. To be so intimidated by somebody that its impossible to say “no”; to be so hopelessly submissive for what? And then to even think that you can actually make it other way round. That’s romantic but highly misleading. When Ana asked him what will she get out of such a deal (BDSM and no namely relationship), Christian says ‘me’ – and I couldn’t relate more. And again, it is not the BDSM part I am referring to. I will repeat that it is (I feel) an extreme form of expression.
I have real life spoiler for you guys – please don’t fantasize the likes of Christian. You don’t wanna be where Ana is and most of these ‘seductive’ men with emboldening glazes are just too dangerous and not in a sexy way. Same goes for my male friends. It is NOT OK to be so intimidated by anybody! You don’t need to be brave to be with them, you need to be stupid. It might be enlightening in the beginning, irresistible in the middle – but the final phase must be a ‘let go’. And as for my friend, she’s out of it. It still affects her today, to think of who she was and who she is now – but even though Oscar Wilde’s right, there is hardly any room for regret. This is life. And this is how its all supposed to be. The only thing that really matters is what we truly learn out of them. The point is not to forget but instead learn to let go and live with the rest.