THIS IS HOW MY BRAIN WORKS...

"

I will admit it. I have read all three books in the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

I am not admitting this because I am ashamed of my sexual desires or even because I feel the need to rant and rave about the poor writing quality of these books. (And it is extremely poor. I set my Kindle to count how many times the word “gasp” is used in the third book and the total was more than 70). I am admitting this because I feel the need to share my opinions about what I consider to be the incredibly — and dangerously — abusive relationship portrayed in the books.

When I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey and learned they began as Twilight fanfiction, I swore I would not read them. I have read all of the Twilight books and I did not enjoy them. I found the relationships between Edward and Bella and Bella and Jacob to be patronizing and emotionally abusive, and I also thought the writing was pedestrian at best and boring to read. Why would I devote the limited amount of time I have for reading for pleasure to a series like this?

But as the dialogue about Fifty Shades of Grey increased, both in the media and amongst my friends, my curiosity was piqued. I attended a talk titled “Fifty Shades of Grey - Bad for Women, Bad for Sex” and decided that I should see what all the fuss was about.

To quote the book, I gasped. I rolled my eyes. I even bit my lip a few times. But not for the reasons Anastasia, the protagonist, did. I did out of exasperation, boredom and disgust, but also out of fear. After reading this book series, I am deeply afraid that this type of relationship will be viewed as the romantic ideal for women. And I consider that to be extremely dangerous — much more so than anything that takes place between Christian and Anastasia in the Red Room of Pain.

Could the character of Anastasia Steele be any more of a stereotype? She is an introvert, has low self-esteem, has abandonment issues from her father, apparently has only one close friend who bullies her and even though she works in a hardware store, she doesn’t seem to possess any self-sufficiency aside from cooking for her roommate and herself. She seems to have no sexual identity until Christian Grey enters her life and requests that she become his Submissive in a sexual relationship.

In order to be Christian’s submissive, Anastasia is expected to sign a lengthy and detailed contract that, amongst other requirements, requires that she exercise four days a week with a trainer that Christian provides (and who will report to Christian on her progress), eat only from a list of foods Christian supplies her with, get eight hours of sleep a night and begin taking a form of birth control so Christian will not have to wear condoms. Anastasia negotiates a few terms of the contract with Christian (she only wants to work out three days a week, not four), but all of her negotiations are only within his framework — none of the terms are hers independently. Nothing in their relationship is hers as an independent.

The character of Christian Grey is a rich, superpowered businessman who was abused as a child. He is in therapy, and Anastasia frequently references his therapist, but based on how he treats Anastasia, he doesn’t seem to be making much progress. As Anastasia’s relationship with Christian progresses, his controlling tendencies affect her life more and more. When her friend takes portraits of her for his photography exhibit, Christian buys all of them, because he does not want anyone else looking at Anastasia. (They weren’t even in a relationship when he did this.) When she is hired as an assistant at a publishing company, he buys the company — to make sure she’s “safe” working there. When she goes out to a bar with her one friend, against his wishes, he flies from New York to Washington State that same night, just to express his anger — and exercise his control over her. When she does not immediately change her name at her office (in hopes of maintaining some professional autonomy, given that he bought the company she works at), he shows up, unannounced, at her office, in the middle of her workday, to pick a fight with her. When she asks why it is so important to him that she change her name, he says he wants everyone to know she is his.

Christian’s possession of Anastasia is the cause of much of my disgust and fear of the book’s influence on people and how they view romantic relationships. After they exchange their wedding vows, the first words he says to her are, “Finally, you’re mine.” The control he exercises over her does not reflect his love for her; it reflects his objectifying of her. Christian never views Anastasia as a person, let alone an independent woman. He wants her to obey him, and even though she refuses to include that in her wedding vows, it is exactly what she does. When her mother questions her choice to keep her wedding dress on rather than change before traveling for her honeymoon, she says, “Christian likes this dress, and I want to please him.” Her desire to try some of the “kinky fuckery” in his Red Room of Pain comes from wanting to demonstrate her love for him, not her own sexual desires.

Wanting to please Christian apparently includes subjecting herself to verbal and emotional abuse from him ‘til death do them part, because any time she tries to stand up to him — which isn’t often — he berates her, guilt trips her and beats her down verbally until she apologizes and submits to him. After she uses the “safe word” in the Red Room of Pain so he will stop, he bemoans his sad state of mind later, mentioning that his “wife fucking safe worded him.” He is not concerned with her well-being or why she felt the need to use the safe word. He only cares about how it affects him.

The question that I kept asking myself as I read the books was why Anastasia stayed with Christian, and the answer I found was that she has absolutely no sense of self worth. She only feels sexy when he says she is, and when he insults or patronizes her, she accepts what he says as the truth. One of the passages that disgusted me the most was when Anastasia was at a club with Christian, dancing and thinking to herself that she never felt sexy before she met him and that he had given her confidence in her body. Yes, being with a partner who frequently compliments you can increase your confidence, but Anastasia went from zero to one hundred thanks to Christian. None of that came from within herself. Because of his influence on her, nothing in her life came from herself — her job, her home, her way of life, or even her self-esteem.

The co-dependency between Anastasia and Christian is alarming to read and even more to contemplate. When she breaks up with him at the end of the first book, the second book finds her starving herself and wasting away to nothing until he contacts her again. When she thinks his helicopter has crashed in the second book, she thinks to herself that she can’t live without him. Their marriage only comes about because he is scared she will leave him, and when she asks what she can do to prove to him she isn’t going anywhere, he says she can marry him. Yes, origins of insecurity and desperation are a great start to a healthy marriage.

When Anastasia finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and shares the news with Christian, he rages at her, asking if she did it on purpose and storming out of the house, disappearing for hours. Even though Anastasia thinks to herself that the pregnancy happened too soon in their marriage, she never considers terminating it.

The themes of the novel — that love alone can make someone change, that abuse from a spouse is acceptable as long as he’s great in bed, that pregnancies should always be carried to term even if the parents are not ready to be parents, and the ridiculously antiquated, Victorian idea that the love of a pure virgin can save a wayward man from himself — are irrational, unbelievable and dangerous.

Our culture has seen a radical shift of ideals moving towards traditional gender roles and Fifty Shades of Grey is a shining example of that. Early marriage to one’s first sexual partner, having a baby even when saying neither of the partners is ready to be a parent, and submission to one’s husband as the head of the household are all aspects of life that feminists and progressive thinkers have worked to move beyond. Anastasia and Christian’s relationship is not romantic. It is abusive. The ways he tries to “keep her safe” are not masculine or sexy. They are stalking. Fearing one’s husband’s reaction to an unexpected pregnancy is not normal, because “boys will be boys.” It is sad and dangerous and should not happen in a healthy relationship.

Fifty Shades of Grey was one of the best-selling books of the year. Sex toy classes have been inspired by it, as have new types of cocktails. The film adaptation is already in the works. I sincerely hope that honest discussion will be had about the book and that the Christian Grey ideal of romance is not one that will be perpetuated throughout our culture. The best way that can happen is through open, honest dialogue that leads to healthy relationships of two equal partners. That, in my opinion, is sexier than anything that can happen in the Red Room of Pain.

"

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Fifty Shades of Feminism - A Response to E. L. James’ 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

(via exgynocraticgrrl)

Spread this like wildfire on all media!

(via laughterbynight)

Good wifi on the Hogwarts Express this year

victorydancebitches:

can-i-please-kiss-you-if-i:

neverknowinglybeserious:

a-hobbit-john:

hiiddles:

wife-of-loki:

MINE IS CRAPPY
WHAT CARRIAGE ARE YOU IN!??!?!

COME TO THE BACK 

THE SLYTHERINS HAVE HACKED DUMBLEDORE’S WIFI

1GB BITCHES

Thanks to the Ravenclaws, guys.

The password’s “AL0H4M0R4”
Pass it on. 

wolvesofcolor:

juvjuvychan:

mzminola:

hungrylikethewolfie:

I just need, like, a million fics featuring Stiles trying really hard to be bros with Boyd, and Boyd just sort of blandly tolerating him.

#everytime Boyd says they’re not friends #he’s like #SOON

all i see is

princewenyuan:

the funniest thing is that the tattoo actually reads “part of an asshole race”

bleep0bleep:

villainette:

What do you mean there was never a plot arc where Boyd got some answers, Erica got to tear shit up, and Danny got to use his talents? 

#somewhere in another world there’s a whole subplot that never showed up in the show #where Isaac tells Boyd and Erica about losing Cameron #and for the next few weeks they spend their nights curled around him #keeping him safe from dreams and memories alike #and then one night curled there in the darkness Boyd tells him about Alicia #and Erica sits up and a stray scrap of light from outside catches her eyes #and they shine like a predator’s and she says ‘we can find her’ #and maybe a few days later Isaac catches Danny after lacrosse practice #and tells him ‘we’ll trade you answers for answers’ #and Isaac and Boyd tell Danny about werewolves and everything going on with Jackson and Lydia #and then ask Danny for his help finding Alicia #and he tells them Jackson already explained—but he’ll help them anyway #because no one deserves to never know what’s happening to their loved ones #and then when they find her (because of course they find her) they’re trying to figure out how to get to her #and Danny just scoffs and says ‘what—you think you’re the only ones with packmates?’ #and they don’t give him funny looks because by now they know to trust Danny #so they just plan to take a four-day-weekend #Danny clears their absences on Friday and Monday in the school system #and Lydia agrees to run interference with the teachers (and take care of notes and homework assignments) #and then when Erica and Boyd and Isaac are about to leave for the bus station #Jackson pulls up beside them and rolls his window down and then rolls his eyes and tells them to get in #Isaac makes a Mean Girls joke more out of reflex and shock than anything else #and Erica asks about the car—it’s a Porsche Cayenne; it belongs to Jackson’s mom; it’s not up for discussion— #but it does seat five and it’s a lot better than taking the bus #and if a couple hours down the road Boyd meets Jackson’s eyes in the rearview and asks why he’s doing this #Jackson opens his mouth to say something smart but in the end what comes out is a halting #’Danny says pack is supposed to be family-and you’re supposed to be my pack-and this girl is your family-so’ #and he shrugs and probably looks a little lost for a second and then just puffs back up and says #’we’re still not talking about the car—and you still can’t drive it’ #and all Boyd says is ‘fair enough’ (via ereborne) 

bleep0bleep:

villainette:

What do you mean there was never a plot arc where Boyd got some answers, Erica got to tear shit up, and Danny got to use his talents? 

 (via ereborne

officialhamlet:

i want realistic modern fantasy like

someone finding a dragon egg and livetweeting the process of trying to hatch it (with no prior knowledge on how a dragon egg should be hatched)

a guy selling an enchanted sword on craigslist

a tattoo artist who does spell runes but for really mundane stuff like conjuring a bound demonic pen or for summoning your keys

summoning a demon for the vine

selfies with mermaids

prank calling wizards

itemfinder:

 (via vulcains)

sociolab:

collegenowsociology:

What does this infographic tell us?

Racism is institutional.

sociolab:

collegenowsociology:

What does this infographic tell us?

Racism is institutional.

forwardtozion:

knatalie:

#she terrifies men because she forces them into their true shapes #she is the sea there is no room for pretense in her #she will not allow anyone to render her less than what she is #she will not allow others to be anything than what they are #barbossa is a corpse and davy jones is nothing more than shell and bone and ruin dredged up from the ocean floor #’calypso’ is greek for ‘to conceal to hide’ and that is her root#she is the truth waiting to devour you from beneath

I’ve been waiting to see Calypso on my dash.

"Reading this made me so sad because I love seeing you in your videos and photos being so happy and wide eyed, like the world isn’t harsh and unfair as it actually is. I hate thinking about your pretty face covered in tears, because I know why you’re crying because I’ve been in your place. This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change. People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them, or for no reason at all. It’s just what they do, and you’re a target because you live your life loudly and boldly. You’re bright and joyful and so many people are cynical. They won’t understand you and they won’t understand me. But the only way they win is if your tears turn you to stone and make you bitter like them. It’s okay to ask why. It’s okay to wonder how you could try so hard and still get stomped all over. Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing and dancing around to your favorite song. You’re going into high school this week and this is your chance to push the reset button on how much value you give the opinions of these kids, most oh whom have NO idea who they are. I’m so proud of you and protective of you because you DO. If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more. Every time someone picks on me, I’ll think of you in hopes that every time someone picks on you, you’ll think of me… and how we have this thread that connects us. Let them keep living in darkness and we’ll keep walking in the sunlight. Forever on your side, Taylor."

- Taylor Swift on a fan’s instagram post. [x] (via dancingonmyowns)

weiweipon:

returnofpowerbastard:

this dog is that character you think is evil but actually has a heart of gold

image

laughhard:

I never noticed this.

laughhard:

I never noticed this.

jackhoward:

onemaytolerateaworldfullofdemons:

The only sort of pictures you should be reblogging of Jennifer Lawrence

I don’t agree. There’s a really good one of her holding an oscar while giving the finger. 

Taylor Swift replies to a fan on 8.31.14 on Instagram.