This morning’s Today show discussed E.L. James’s book Fifty Shades of Grey, and the Fifty Shades trilogy in general.
There’s so much wrong with what was said. Where do we start?
First they say, “there is a dirty little secret in the suburbs.” Okay, about that: Fifty Shades was never a whisper, there’s been us actual readers talking about it for months now, and on the other hand we have Twilight fans screaming their discontent because the trilogy started out as Twilight fan-fiction.
The research that the Today Show did on this story was horrible. They interview a bunch of “Book Club Members” who really don’t have a clue, sorry, but telling us you are in a book club and then stating you haven’t read a book in nine years, does not a book club make. And to the mother that downloaded it to her daughter’s Kindle, yes I DO see a problem with that. *Shudder* They didn’t even have a statement from E.L. James.
That aside, we have a more serious issue: Dr. Drew.
We all know Dr Drew; he comes out in the middle of a celebrity storm and opens his mouth, regardless of anything. For the most part we ignore him, but today he screwed up, big time. So much so a few of us at Team H&H had steam coming out of our ears. Please note, Dr. Drew says clearly that he hasn’t read the book, but of course this didn’t stop his mouth from moving. Had he read it, he might have had some better things to say, but since he didn’t, he left us all going WTF?!
“We are going beyond the issue of when people often start by saying men are aroused with visual material. Women are aroused by using more of the brain. But this is going beyond that. As laura berman said in the piece, the swept away fantasy is common. But it’s going beyond that into actual violence against women. I have to tell you. This is the part maybe I’ll get heat for. But there is a lot of violence against children in this country. there are various kinds of physical abuse. People subjected to those experiences are especially aroused by these images.I’m not saying the average women can’t be, but it’s especially arousing for them.”
Dr. Drew makes the leap from Fifty Shades to violence against women and children. SAY WHAT? That’s right, people, according to Dr. Drew, if you’ve read Fifty Shades it’s possible you are aroused by violence against women and children. I know, I know I damn near went through the TV screen at that one. We all know, Fifty Shades of Grey is vanilla, not real BDSM. Can you imagine if it was a real hardcore erotica? Dr Drew might say we all want to be cannibals!
“That’s good. Particularly women who may be having a drop in libido, don’t take medication, read a book. It says something socially about us that’s a little bit disturbing.”
He then goes on to say that it’s “good” that it’s spicing up some marriages. Wait, now it’s okay for us to get turned on by erotica and have our way with our significant other? Color me confused. Oh wait, now he’s saying its saying something about us socially. What is it saying other than it’s FICTION, it’s hot and it passes the time.
Heaven forbid us women want a little roll reversal in our FICTION. I’ll be completely honest with you all, if a man wanted a BDSM relationship with me in REAL LIFE, I’d be the Dom. I don’t take shit, so I can’t see myself submitting to anyone. But in my fiction, tie me down with a tie, please.
What the Today Show failed to do was have EL James on, fail number one. Fail number two, to have someone uneducated on the novel, hey there Dr. Drew, to even open his big mouth in the first place. So Dr Drew, if by some weird chance you find this post, kindly read the book and get back to us.
Like Natasha said. What I find most offensive about Dr. Drew’s comments is that he doesn’t even acknowledge that women are devouring this book in droves, thereby negating any comment he might have about the kind of behavior the book appears to promote. What it says? Besides that it’s fiction, as Natasha points out? Is that we like to read romance. And some people who haven’t read a book in years are reading this one.
I don’t take issue with the fact that he hasn’t read it; all of us make assumptions based on things we haven’t ourselves experienced, based on anecdotal evidence. I don’t think he’d like it very much if he did read it. I do take issue with what he assumes about the book, the people who read the book, and the BDSM lifestyle. Basically, he’s assuming someone who reads and enjoys this book also would enjoy violence against women and children. He’s making as sweeping a generalization as anyone ever has about people who read romance. That is so offensive and ignorant it’s still hard for me to generate a coherent thought.
Take it down a notch, Dr. Drew: People who read and enjoy this book like reading about relationships of a certain kind. That is ALL that says about this book, and the people reading it.
How would you respond to Dr. Drew’s comments?