I can see you all rolling your eyes now, but bear with me, because I, for one, learnt a valuable lesson over all this hoohaa about the books and the movie.
You see, when Fifty first registered in my conscience, I didn't pay it much attention, mainly, because it's written in first person, and that is not my preferred reading. Add to that the general low opinion of those in the lifestyle about the accuracy of the books, and I thought to myself, "Nah, won't waste my time."
Which is where this story should have ended. However, it didn't and hence started the lesson. One I know, and practice in every aspect of my life...
Namely: Form my own opinion, before I jump on any particular bandwagon.
I can't even tell you why I didn't do that on this occasion, because I really ought to know better. I try very hard not to jump to conclusions and judge anyone or anything without the full facts, normally. After all, as the mother of a large family, who attachment parents, and breastfeeds full term, I've been at the receiving end of my fair share of snap judgements.
It has made me develop a very thick skin, something that has come in very handy in my writing world, I tell you.
However, I digress. For whatever reason I jumped onto the fifty shades of shite wagon, based solely on other's opinion, scathing reviews I read, and plenty of quotes taken out of context, showing Christian Grey to be nothing short of abusive and his relationship with Anastasia as a poisoned example of what BDSM isn't.
Hmmm. one thing wrong with this picture. It wasn't MY opinion, but other people's, and you know what, no matter how much you trust another person's judgement on anything, you really shouldn't take it as gospel, unless you've done your own research on the matter, and have reached the same conclusion.
In my sort of defence I did try and read the free Kindle sample, but I didn't even make it halfway through, because I got too hung up on the bad writing that everyone else kept going on about, and yeah... the whole first person thing. I also always stated that I hadn't read the books, but....
Such an innocuous word...but...
What I should have done is kept my mouth shut and simply said, I haven't read them, so I really can't comment.
So, what changed, you might ask. Well, with the movie coming out hubby surprised me by saying he wanted to see it. I think curiosity got the better of him, and he wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So, me being me decided, I better read the books to see how they've worked it into the movie.
With a certain amount of, I can't believe I'm doing this, I bought the latest trilogy version of Amazon, and started reading... and reading.... and....yeah....
Now, I'm not sure whether this latest version has been re-edited, but the writing didn't jar as much as I recall that earlier free Kindle Sample doing. Actually it wasn't half bad and with it being first person, I quickly got sucked into the story. The love story that is, and say what you will about fifty, that love story is what kept me reading.
Yes, I wanted to freaking well strangle her inner goddess after just a few pages, and Ana herself seriously got on my last nerve at times, but Christian, abusive?
Errr, no. Is he overbearing, controlling, possessive to the point of stalkerish? Hell, yes, but I kinda like that in my literary heroes, at least. Would some of his behaviour get him arrested, were he not filthy rich? Yes, probably, lol, but then again this is fiction, and I have no issues with suspending my disbelief, and just enjoying a story line for what it is, entertainment.
I've heard it say that he doesn't get Ana's consent and that he ignores safewords?
Erm, unless I read a vastly different version, please show me where that happens? Yes, Ana never signs that contract, but then they are really not that common in the lifestyle anyway, and the two of them spent plenty of time in negotiation as they well should.
Not once does he do something Ana does not agree to. Does he push her out of her comfort zone, push her too far on a few occasion. Sure he does, but then... duh... he's a Dom. That's his job.
Safewords, again, where is the issue? There are two safeword occasions, as far as I can see. One where Ana should have safeworded and she doesn't! Yes, I might have sworn at my Kindle and called her a few choice words under my breath, but that doesn't make what Christian did, non-consensual.
It makes her a silly girl, who cannot be trusted.
On the one occasion she does safeword, he stops immediately and is equally as horrified as he was on the occasion when she didn't safeword. Again, where is the abuse in that?
I've also heard it say, it's completely unrealistic, because he goes vanilla for her. Hmmm, he never goes completely vanilla. He still very much needs to be in charge and that never, ever changes, apart from one memorable scene where I went WTF along with Ana, lol. And there is plenty of kinky fuckery, as they put it, going on along with the vanilla sex. Negotiation, you know, folks.
Plenty of real life BDSM relationships have vanilla times. There have to be. I dare say even in a TPE 24/7 relationship there will be moments when the person in charge, simply put, has to re-charge.
I could go on and on, but I'll be here forever, and I'll bore you all to tears. The thing is, every BDSM relationship is going to be different from the next one, and the one portrayed in Fifty might not be your typical one, but that doesn't make it wrong.
Is it the best BDSM book ever written? No, of course not, but it isn't that bad either. There are lots of things the author got right, and as an introduction into the lifestyle, I can see why it appealed to so many people.
And while we're on the subject, I enjoyed the movie too, even if hubby came out of there muttering loudly about the irresponsible rope work.
You see, hubby in Sir mode takes his rope work very seriously, and that still rankles him, but as for the actual story..in his words.
"It was quite enjoyable."
And that is my opinion too. I enjoyed reading the books. I laughed, I cried, I fanned myself, and once Ana stopped being an irritant, even rooted for her. And Christian? I really liked him, and the more we got to know him, the more I did like him.
Abusive? Hell, no. He's a tortured soul, who carries the mental and emotional scars of a horrible early childhood, and it takes Ana to finally help him heal.
Nothing wrong with that. Like I said, I read it for the love story, and that still makes me smile, and I shan't forget the lesson.
Always make up your own mind, before you voice an opinion!