WARNING: Brace yourself, it’s going to be loooooong rant.
First of all, I shall make it clear that I don’t like using foul language, at least when it comes to writing. Usually, the use of foul language is reserved for my outbursts at inanimate objects, at the privacy of my home, usually when nobody is around.
However, this simply had to be said in order to be completely honest to myself and the ones who decide to read what I have to say.
Dear reader, please bear in mind that this is personal opinion and in no way represents view of large group, organization or whatever. It is my own and as such, you might agree, disagree, cheer, curse or spew a bunch of profanities at your screen while reading it. In any case, I don’t seek approval. I’m simply stating things from my point of view.
What got my knickers in twist is a book. Yes, a book. So, let me start from the beginning, in order to get the idea. And remember, I’m responsible only for what I have written, not for the way you understand it.
Being bored out of my wits, I decided to experiment with a ‘new’ genre of books. New to me, of course. I have always been attracted to psychological thrillers, forensic science, vampire books and some of the works of Stephen King. I was so happy in my little literary bubble and if I didn’t like a book, I would just say ‘It’s crap’ or if it impressed me ‘A good read’.
There are bunch of books that I have read, re-read and re-re-re-re-read, and to make it to that list, they had to be good. REALLY good.
What doesn’t matter to me, when it comes to books, is the critique and reviews. I have my own set of standards and I abide by those ‘rules’ of mine when it comes to books and movies for that matter.
So, back to the ‘offender’. You see, the genre of books that I decide to experiment is romance. I gave myself the task of reading 2 romance novels and see what is the thing that has on women to keep them reading. Boy, oh boy, did I come to some conclusions! Of course, I’m not speaking about all women of the world, but a circle of women that I personally know.
I read the 2 books as originally planned and then, I posted a status on a social network about that. A dear friend had seen it, and decided to surprise me with a gift.
‘Didi, it will knock your socks off, you will be converted, trust me on this one’ – she said.
We have known each other for some time now and she knows my taste in books, however, she cannot comprehend my taste in music, but that is another story.
So, in order to please my friend and I admit, the curiosity took the best of me, I decided to give it a go. The gift I received is a trilogy named ‘Fifty shades’.
OK, I said to myself, ‘ere it goes, another couple of hours that I ain’t getting back. I expected your run of the mill, ‘Oh Jack, I can’t live without you, please love me’ and ‘Yes Jane, I love you, I want to marry you, have 7 kids with you’ and they rode into the sunset. After all, that is the experience that I’ve had with romance novels….when I was 13 and stopped reading them.
I have read the first instalment of the trilogy, ‘Fifty shades of Grey’
The first dozen of pages kept me amused, and when I say amused, I mean slightly sarcastic with a smirk on my face. You see, I speak sarcasm fluently and am not afraid to show it with facial expressions.
Here we have Anastasia (Ana) Steele (awfully grey surname, or is it me?) who is just about to graduate from university. She’s 21 year old virgin who had just about 2 kisses and never ever touched herself ‘down there’.
She’s clumsy, she drinks English breakfast tea, cannot hold her liquor (not many heroines in the romance can't), eager to please her friends (and later on her lover), smart (that is yet to be discussed later in this post), drop dead gorgeous, but very insecure about her body image, and she comes from middle class upbringing.
I must say, I’m still on the ‘case’ where the author got the inspiration for Anastasia’s character. The first thought was from the Romanov dynasty or Disney Princesses, but that is yet to be determined.
Christian Grey (you see the connection, Grey, Steele?). Mr. Grey is 27 year old, godlike looking (Adonis comes to mind), grey eyed Dominatrix, messed up on the inside. He’s zillionaire, coldly composed and unusually comfortable barking orders to the employees of his enterprise. He’s Fifty shades fucked up (his words, not mine). He has a dark secret and he doesn’t do love. He does fucking. He doesn’t want to be touched. Hard fucks and some BDSM for a good measure is his cup of coffee. In fact, he quite enjoys giving punishments and everything was all right with him and his contract Subs until Anastasia showed up.
My theory goes that Christian Grey is largely based on Christian Troy (Nip/Tuck), they both had tragic early childhoods and then became very rich and successful, but very damaged individuals on the inside. Incapable of love, seeking fulfilment in carnal pleasures is much easier to them rather than dealing with the complexity of emotions.
At this point, I want to make sure that I’m not a judgemental about anyone’s lifestyle, bedroom partner choices or sexual appetites or preferences.
Oh yes, back to the plot. So, Anastasia ‘falls’ for Mr. Grey and he’s not indifferent either. However, what he doesn’t know is that she’s a virgin .Total, complete and absolute virgin.
Anastasia has no idea that Mr. Grey is dark on the inside. Her gut feeling is screaming ‘danger’, but as a true martyr, she fights the gut feeling and goes along with his play…
He ‘makes love’ with her the first time, but advises her that after that will be all fuck, no play and shows her his ‘play room’.
As I said earlier, eager to please, Ana goes along with Christian’s demands.
The girl is in love, just after couple of weeks for goodness sake! And we don’t want her to lose him now, do we? (Please read the last 2 sentences with as much sarcasm as you can get)
In the plot of VERY expensive and lavish gifts and torturous emotions for both of them, Christian starts feeling (excuse the pun) ‘something’. He’s even allowing himself to be a ‘cuddle bunny’ (Sheldon Cooper’s words TBBT) as the ice rock in his chest (commonly called heart in regular species) starts to feel fuzzy. Or maybe that is the burning jealousy that Ana might leave him for one of her other suitors. (As per ‘rule’, ALL heroines have at least 3-4 suitors romantically interested in them and eager to love them, marry them and make babies)
So after some ‘tug of war’ emotional and physical, it comes to the point that Ana has to be punished for displeasing her ‘Master’. Besides having the annoying habit of biting her lower lip which turns Mr. Grey into a sex machine and her nasty habit of rolling her eyes which Mr. Grey finds offensive, she’s going to be spanked for breaking a rule. She doesn’t like it at all and tries to leave him, but there’s ‘something’ that pushes her back into his arms (he’s allowed to touch for Pete’s sake, he’s the Dom).
They discuss some of the issues, promises follow and then at the very end of the book, she’s asking for it…HARD. She gets beaten (almost) black and blue (or in her case just crimson, as it seems that Mr. Grey likes that colour on her behind) and decides that it was too much. (And the guy brought her Arnica cream and Advil, to nurse her sore ass, how nice of him!!!). (Please, turn your sarcasm on)
Now, that I’ve given you the gist of what’s been going on, it is time for my ravings.
What, you thought that I’m going to make this easy for you? Ha! No way…you’re gonna scroll to the end and gonna like it!
- What do dinosaurs and virgins have in common in 2011?
A: They’re both extinct species. (21 year old virgin is hard to find. At least statistics speak for that. I didn’t say impossible, I just said HARD)
If one is virgin in the physical sense, and is described as smart individual, how come they manage to look as utter twats and two bricks short of a full load? But I guess in the interest of keeping the readers hooked, one has to be a tortured soul at the point of being idiot sometimes.
In my personal opinion and experience, if your inner voice is screaming ‘danger’ at you, you just go with your gut feeling and gracefully bow out. You don’t tempt fate, unless, of course you’re suicidal or adrenaline junkie… Or H.M. Murdock (The A-Team).
- You have to be seriously disturbed individual to do things in the name of love.
What everyone should know is that love isn't really real. Love is just a chemical reaction in our bodies, what our hormones make us feel. Lust is driven by testosterone and oestrogen. Then adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin do the rest. It's not something magical, it's just science. (Sheldon Cooper TBBT)
- You have to have no self-respect at all to go out of your way just to make someone happy. (We’re talking here about adult individuals relationships).
Love is give and take, mostly it is compromise based on COMMON SENSE among other elements.
- How women can see the events in THIS book as love?
The author does great disservice to women in this book. Thing is, (in my opinion which is not so humble at this point) that a highly impressionable individual might misunderstand the happenings as a ‘normal’ part of a relationship, that is they might get the (wrong) idea that it is OK to make yourself feel like dirt if it pleases your lover while you’re left dazed, confused and damaged. Again, please bear in mind that no bedroom activities are judged, just the emotional state of the ‘heroine’.
Empowering women since the 19th century (officially, or according to popular literature and search engines).
Dear Anastasias of the world: We’re living in 21st century. Women are capable of making their own decisions (surprise, surprise!) when it comes to their minds, bodies and feelings. If you actually open a book that you can learn something from, please do. It will make you feel better and it will make you set some of your priorities right.
- Misplaced genres
This book definitely goes into my ‘bad sci-fi’ pile. You cannot be an inexperienced idiot that just jumps on the train going nowhere. Or you have to be completely stupid, or you have to have some serious issues. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for stupid. Fortunately, with a professional help and some medication, issues can be remedied and controlled.
- Sex sells
We all know this one, it’s not something new. However, I find it quite surprising when it comes to women. I’m in no way implying that women do not have sex appetites, however, I do find it on the silly side that women have to read trashy pornographic novels in order to feel good. Word of advice: Jump the bones of your partner, you might feel MUCH better after that instead of fantasising about imaginary characters. There’s some scientific evidence that the actual act makes you feel better. Why would you resort to imagination when you can get the real deal? It’s beyond me, and any clarification would be appreciated.
- You have the power
YOU really have the power. You really shouldn’t sell yourself for less. If you don’t want to be someone’s ‘cuddle bunny’ or Sub, all you have to do is make it clear to them. Do not send them confusing signals or live in the hope that they ‘will understand’. Go with the safe bet, say it out loud or darn it, even write it in black and white if need be.
- Reading romance novels is bad for you
How come all the ‘heroines’ are drop dead gorgeous with the ideal ratio of body proportions, doe eyed, full lipped with eyelashes longer than a peacock’s tail, have a bunch of suitors sending them roses and other worldly gifts? What about frumpy ‘ole us that sit in their tattered pink dressing robes and try to make difference by educating poor lost souls about the basic human rights and liberties?
If you believe that anyone who is in a book is better than yourself and you go out of your way to conform to the ‘ideal’, you must be a teenager. And you might even get an eating disorder. Been there, done that.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t go to the point of no return. I learned that if I’m no good the way Mother Nature made me to the people around me, it’s ‘Hit the road Jack’. I’m not living to please anybody, except myself. If I don’t like it, I have the power to change it. If someone else doesn’t like it, it is their problem only, not mine.
- I’ve learned a lesson
I’m keeping my piehole shut about any ideas that pop into my head. Experience had shown that every time I get an idea and someone pretending to be a friend is around, they get my idea, present it as their own and get material compensation or non-material recognition for something that was mine to begin with. So, yeah, I will voice my opinions loud and clear, but the ideas will remain locked into the deep, dark corners of my brain where nobody yet has been brave to venture.
- 11. Thank you
A big THANK YOU goes to certain individuals that I’ve known for long time, some of them for short time and even some that I never met, but I had the pleasure of exchanging written communication. For all their opinions, words of encouragement, some good natured scolding and guidance, I AM a better person. And I am grateful for that. My personal world is better because they’re in it and they unselfishly share their opinions and views.