50 Shades of Moody-broody

Warnings: The Fifty Shades series is extremely sexually explicit and involves BDSM. Because of that, and because they are not exactly well-researched or high-quality literature, I will mention things such as abuse, rape, rape culture, male dominance, sexism, relationship violence, and consensual BDSM. Also, the books began as Twilight fanfic, so I will be mentioning Twilight (which is a major squick for a lot of people just by itself).

Extra trigger warning: Domestic violence

After the bizarre set of email exchanges I wrote about last week, we move on to moving on.*  Kate and Ana are packing up to leave their apartment and venture into the Wide World of Post-College Adulthood.  I’m sure there’s a deep metaphor in there somewhere, right?

At Christian’s insistence, Ana has accepted his gift of a brand-new Audi (which is now ironic, given the Super Bowl ad).  He sends Taylor (his trusty aide) to pick up Ana’s old Beetle.  The fact that Taylor tells Ana, unprompted, that Christian is a “good man” seems out of place.  The only thing she asked was how long Taylor had worked for Christian–nothing about Christian’s moral character.  Ana’s thought is pretty telling, though:

Can I trust him?

Er, no, Ana, you can’t.

There’s some boring stuff about how José has come over with food to talk about their college years.  This may be the one time I’m okay with Ana’s inner goddess showing up, if only because the rest is to mind-numbingly dull and unimportant.  Unfortunately, I’m ready to slap the inner goddess when Ana says she’s

…waiting not so patiently for Sunday.

Ana, honey, isn’t that when you have your appointment with the gynecologist?  Not something I await impatiently; but, hey, if that’s your thing, cool, I guess.

Elliot (remember, this is Christian’s brother and Kate’s Man-Flavor of the moment) shows up and he and Kate proceed to go at it with each other as though there are no other people in the room.  Now, I realize that my college experience is different from Ana’s, since I attended a Christian school.  Still, I think that Kate and Elliot would have had more sense than to do whatever the hell “sexing”** is in front of other people.  Also, Elliot

winks a big blue eye at me

I guess he’s a cyclops?  (I realize winking is done with one eye, but the way this is phrased just brought a very different image to mind.  Sorry.)

Ana laments that she misses how “uncomplicated” José is.  My first thought was, “Well, we wouldn’t have this stupid book if you’d chosen him, now would we?”  And then I remembered that José tried to force himself on her.  Never mind.

So now we get to why I titled this post Moody-Broody.  At the beginning of this section, Ana says that Christian is “fun” one minute and “formal and stuffy” the next; now he’s emailing, calling, and texting her because she didn’t contact him when she got out of work.  He worries about her and doesn’t like that feeling.  Oh, poor baby.  We get another “double crap” from Ana, who wonders

Will he ever give me a break?

No, Ana, he won’t.  You know why? Because he’s a controlling bastard, that’s why.  I know that in this book we get all the fluffy-bunny happy endings (or at least, we will in book 3), but in real life?  This scenario usually ends in beatings (the real kind, not the BDSM kind), humiliation, and/or death.  I just can’t fathom how anyone is reading this and finding it romantic:

He is suffocating me.  With a deep dread in my stomach, I scroll down to his number and press dial.  My heart is in my mouth as I wait for him to answer.  He’d probably like to beat seven shades of shit out of me.  The thought is depressing.

I understand that this is fiction.  But if this is how you, person reading this blog post, are feeling about a real relationship you are in, then please get out.  Get help.  Tell your friends (non-disclosure agreement be damned).  Whatever you do, don’t stay with a person who makes you feel afraid–even if in between things seem wonderful.  I believe people can change, but you are not responsible for changing anyone but yourself.  You are not responsible for changing an abuser into a better person.

This chapter continues, but I’m going to leave you with some real stories of real women who have been through abusive relationships.  Again, if any of this sounds familiar to you, please seek help.  This list of resources is a good place to start.

I’m here too, and you can contact me through this blog if you just need someone to listen.  I’m not a replacement for the help you may need, but sometimes it’s okay just to need to let stuff out.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*This book is very poorly edited; so many fine examples in this chapter.  It makes my inner grammar police to the angry dance.

**This is how Wikipedia defines “sexing.”

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10 thoughts on “50 Shades of Moody-broody

    • I thought before reading the book that it would just be badly written former fan fiction that didn’t quite get BDSM culture right. I went into it thinking the biggest issue was associating being into BDSM with having psychological issues (not that a person can’t have both; just that the only reason for it would be having issues). If this book were not intended to be “sexy” and if I didn’t know that she ends up married to him with a child at the end of the series, I would think it’s a good commentary on abusive relationships. But in actuality, it’s romanticized/fetishized domestic violence.

      • VERY truthful. If women weren’t so mesmerized about how insanely good looking this man is supposed to be it would certainly be thought of in a whole new light.

  1. “non-disclosure agreement be damned”

    Pro tip: If your relationship requires a non-disclosure agreement, something is probably wrong.

    This whole thing is such a mess. I do appreciate your series on the book, though. Now I don’t actually have to read it.

    • Ha! True. I certainly wouldn’t want to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

      And I’m glad to be of service, sparing the world more victims of this tripe.

  2. Wasn’t planning on reading the book, but enjoy your insights on it. Often wondered what the fascination is with this book and its topics. What does it say about us, as people, that we love it so much?

    • That’s a great question. I still don’t understand the fascination with romanticizing emotionally “fixing” or “saving” someone else. This whole story is an over-the-top version of that theme.

  3. Another good book to read on domestic violence is called “Heavy Hands, i don’t remember the author and I’d have to go find it to tell you & it’s buried somewhere w/ the rest of my old school books

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