Mar 8 2012 10:43am

Dr. Drew Gets Schooled on E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey

Last night, Dr. Drew continued to discuss the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon with the help of four women—including his wife, who liked the book.

(His first mention of the book resulted in Team H&H Rants! Dr. Drew is Wrong About E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey.)

Dr. Drew went on to say that Fifty Shades is a dangerous fantasy that is a fictional potrayal of Stockholm Syndrome—where hostages have empathy for their captors. He takes issue with the contract Christian Grey presents to the heroine, Ana Steele.

None of the participants seem to recall—or know, even!—that Ana doesn’t ever sign the contract in the course of the book, thus negating the argument that she is being forced to do things she doesn’t want to.

Only one of the four women on the panel didn’t like the book, and her biggest objection to it is that it is “horribly written.”

Do you think men and women are so far away from each other in terms of their fantasy life, as Dr. Drew’s clear befuddlement at the women’s responses seems to indicate? Or is there something else going on here?

What do you think?

E.L. James's Fifty Shades Trilogy: ‹ previous | index | next ›
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1. CdnMrs
Do you remember when Twilight was at it's peak? Feminist bemoaned the fact that it's story would give impressionable young women false expectations about boys and parents worried that their precious babies were on their way to Hell in a handbasket because of the vampires. I could kind of stomach that. Twilight was written for young women, girls even and I think that discussing literature meant for our kids is important to know what they're reading and how they're feeling about it. The thing is, Fifty Shade of Grey is written for women. Adult women. Women who should have the brain capacity to think for themselves and determine the difference between fantasy and reality and whether or not a book "works" for them. So I take issue with a man (or anyone really) telling me what I should or should not be reading and that by reading this book I'm potentially harming myself and my relationships. I am a 32 year old, University educated woman and what I read is my choice and my marriage/relationships are my resonsibilty. So please Dr. Drew, back away from my bookshelf and stick to peddling your brand of doctoring to someone who's too dumb to think for themselves.
Christopher Morgan
2. cmorgan
Ok, as a guy that read the book I have a couple of thoughts.

1) I'm new to romance. I've had highs and lows, and I will be the first to admit that the books clearly aren't written with the heterosexual male as the intended consumer. I was very much in over my head on this one.

2) I neversaw the book as violence towards women or as going a leap back in feminism. It's the opposite. It's women embracing their sexuality. Is it everyone's particular flavor? No.

3) Drew, in my humble opinion, is over thinking this whole thing. A problem facing many highly educated and intellegent people. They insist on seeing allegory and deeper meaning in everything. Sometimes a story is just a story and a sexual fantasy is just that.

4) Christian and Ana's chemistry is undeniable in this book. As is the fact that Ana has Christian wrapped around her little finger. If anything, she does what she does, W/O ever signing as Megan pointed out, to make him happy. Which, according to this book, is the point of a Sub.

The book is essentially about two people enjoying one another's company. Nothing more. Drew should just back away. But the cynical part of me says that he is going to keep at it, because just as Erotica is increasing it's presence on the shelves and women's reproductive rights is a go to issue for the upcmoing election, he stays relevant and increases his exposure as a thearpists by continuing talking out his butt about something he is clearly unwilling to give a fair chance.
Tori Benson
Oh Dr Drew...your such a nudge. *sad face*

cmorgan-Says it well. Sometimes a book is simply a book.
Mindy Belby
6. o2b5ft2
It slays me that fiction meant to entertain is being taken so literally because it is being marketed towards us poor weak women. No-one thinks that after reading Stephen King we will rearrange our homes by making the walls bleed. Simmer down. Some women like to read about sex. It's ok Drew-boo. The earth will still rotate, I promise. It doesn't mean that anyone has been abused or that anyone is being abused. It means *gasp* we like to read fiction. It's a very good, very healthy thing.
K.M. Jackson
7. kwanawrites
I have a feeling that some men are threatened my this book as they are with popular women's fiction and romance. It's a field dominated by women for women and they just don't have a handle on it. The fact that it also makes lots of money burns them up. It's a place where they clear don't have the power and that is scary for them. So here we have Dr. Drew sticking his nose in where he is not an expert and refuses to educate himself by STILL refusing to read the book but somehow demanding that women listen to him as some sort of authority. It makes no sense.
Also I think he and some other men may be afraid of this book thinking if their wives do enjoy it and are vocal about it they may ( just may, and this is where fear comes in and all the loud posturing) ask for more from the men in their lives that they are not willing to give. Because as you all know we women can't separate real life from fiction. Eye roll.
Just my 2 cents.
I will give Dr. Drew credit for inviting his wife on as a fan of the book. Good for him and her. I still think if he wants to talk about he should at least read it but also step back and be quiet on the subject with this one.
Shannon Gleichmann
8. Shazzy71
I'm confused. Did Dr. Drew read the book or not? He talks like he did, but an other poster says he didn't. And he titled the segment "Dangerous Fantasies", but then says that real BDSM is great. So, reading about it is bad, but doing it is good?
A contract represents informed consent. Would he rather the character go into the relationship without the knowledge of what might happen? If there were points in the contract that she found objectionable, they could negotiate those points and come to a compromise. She would have signed of her own free will. The contract represents Safe, Sane, & Consentual, a tenet in the BDSM community. Whether or not she signed it is immaterial, she read it and has the knowledge. Those types of contracts are rarely legally binding anyway.

Is it just me, or does he only talk over people who disagree with him?
Christopher Morgan
9. cmorgan
He does talk over people Shazzy. Which to me is incredibly annoying.

He admitted in a previous Today show interview that he hadn't read it. I'm sure he recieved back-lash from a lot of people and has since at least skimmed it. I doubt that he approached it objectively however. I'm sure that having been forced into reading by his producers/fans didn't really make for an unbiased reading. Especially seeing how strongly he feels either way. The best part is the look on his face when his wife defends the book.
10. pamelia
I couldn't watch it all. Just couldn't. Between the one "expert" making a list of all the male authors she could think of who have written erotica (because if men write it it can't be all bad??!!) and Dr. Drew spouting off about how Ana has to sign a contract (which she never actually signs, hello!) and then 'Drew's insistence that this must be some rape fantasy? Hoo boy! I love when people talk about books they've never read!
11. lisa61
Dr. Drew said "rape fantasy" - I have read the book which is a fantasy. I have been raped which was not. This man does not know what he is talking about plus the fact that he isn't a woman!! I used to watch and listen to him - not anymore. He needs to hush and let us make our own judgement on the literature we purchase with our own money.
Catwoman Felisamorata
12. Catwoman
Regarding the comment from kwanawrites and "requests"....I asked. He gave. And flat out ROCKED MY WORLD!!!
Elizabeth Halliday
13. Ibbitts
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James is now #1 on the New York Times E-Book and E-Book & Print Combined best sellers lists!
14. Musing Bookworm
I am really impressed that these issues are being openly discussed. This book hasn't really hit Australia yet but I can't imagine such an open and intelligent conversation happening on our screens. I say WELL DONE! They might not have agreed with eachother, but they did show they could debate the point without being derogatory. HUGELY IMPRESSED.
Jonetta Allen
15. Jonetta/Ejaygirl
@cmorgan I really appreciate you sharing your male perspective as we don't hear from your gender enough in this genre.

One extremely insightful point you made was how Ana really was the one in control. I've not seen this point made before either here or during either of the television segments. Christian was trying to blur the relationship and sexual boundaries, assuming the dom role outside of the bedroom. Ana ended up controlling their relationship through her email dialogues and their conversations about the contract and set the sexual boundaries. It is really important to evaluate the series as a whole instead of just the first book as the complexities of the relationships and characters become profound.

If all of these "analysts" would just READ the series, the discourse might be more meaningful and intelligent. I'm referring only to the criticisms and concerns about the sexual meanings. (The issues with the story's origins being steeped in the Twilight series are a separate topic.) And, I really wish Dr. Drew would just leave the book alone. We should use this opportunity to engage others who have more relevancy and can offer much more interesting perspectives.
16. aolson
The thing that bothers me the most about the people that say this series is so horrible for women, they either didnt read it or they are not women....DR. DREW. Ana starts out as weak but she doesnt let 50 get away with his shnitz. She walks away and I think thats the best part of the series. She stood up and said...this is not for me. Takes courage and I think women like to read about women that arent doormats or who choose to be submissive..THEIR choice, not a rape fantasy...shessh Dr Drew, Im so disappointed in you. If a man writes about a woman tying him up, its about control/letting go...but a woman who CONSENTS to being tied up is a rape fantasy. Not very fair is it?
Catwoman Felisamorata
17. Catwoman
@aolson, I've also noticed that same trend, e.g. those who blast the books haven't read them and don't know squat about the D/s dynamic - especially the rather mild version in these books. As for Drew Pinsky - well, it's about the ratings. Something else, just a guess mind you, but I would bet that even if he read the books, the deep psychological story here would zip right over his head...
18. Karena Polnana
DR> DREW...grow up...this is a fabulous book.... Ana is in control and they love each other.....
19. Brielle Foster
Thank you so much for the wonderful book! I finished it a few days ago and cannot get it out of my head. It is pure magic. It was everything I hoped it would be and much more. ...
christian grey
20. kbf
The is pure majic. A fairy tale. That her love and strength will change the bad boy into her prince charming and she come out intact in the process. That her love and strength is strong enough to keep putting up with his "flaws" and control. A fantasy fairy tale to sweep us away from reality.
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