I’m going to try and keep this short, since if you’ve read my liveblogs you know pretty much what I’m going to say, but here it goes:
THESE BOOKS ARE GIANT FLAMING PILES OF TERRIFYING SEXIST BULLSHIT.
“But they’re just for fun! And Christian’s hot!”
NO. NO HE ISN’T. HE’S A GIANT ASSHOLE WHO MANAGED TO GET ANA TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM AFTER BLATANTLY STALKING HER AND BEING A GENERALLY CREEPY FUCK, AND THEN THEY GET MARRIED AND HE ROUTINELY ORDERS HER TO DRINK ALCOHOL SO SHE’LL BE MORE WILLING TO HAVE WEIRD KINKY SEX WITH HIM.
DID I MENTION THAT HE THREATENS TO RAPE HIS PREGNANT WIFE? BECAUSE HE DOES.
There’s a difference between writing about things like sexism and rape and misogyny and ADVOCATING FOR THEM.
The problem with these books is that they portray Christian and Ana’s relationship as THE IDEAL RELATIONSHIP. You’re supposed to want to BE Ana, that’s half of why it’s written in 1st person present tense, so you can feel like you ARE Ana.
At no point in these books is it acknowledged that Christian is a creepy fucking psycho and a sexist asshole, and at no point does anyone CALL HIM ON HIS BULLSHIT.
Ana tries to call him out a few times, but in the end they end up fucking and everything is magically okay after that.
If you’re going to write about psycho sexist assholes, SOMEONE IN THE STORY HAS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY’RE PSYCHO SEXIST ASSHOLES. SOMEONE HAS TO POINT OUT THAT WHAT THAT CHARACTER IS DOING IS WRONG.
If no one points out that the person is wrong, then the reader can get the idea that BEING A PSYCHO SEXIST ASSHOLE IS OKAY.
AND IT ISN’T.
There needs to be CONSEQUENCES FOR BEING A PSYCHO SEXIST ASSHOLE, AND FOR LETTING A PSYCHO SEXIST ASSHOLE CONTROL YOUR ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE.
Oh, that’s the other important thing I need to mention:
THESE BOOKS IN NO WAY ACCURATELY REPRESENT THE BDSM LIFESTYLE.
BDSM couples rely heavily on CONSENT, which is something that Ana and Christian don’t really ever use, because half the time Ana drinks before they go have kinky sex (because she thinks it will “loosen her up,” when really you shouldn’t need to loosen up to have sex with THE MAN WHO YOU’RE FUCKING MARRIED TO). Submissives enjoy being tied up and beaten (to varying degrees), just as much as the dominant enjoys tying them up and beating them. And if the dominant says “I want to beat the shit out of you.” the submissive needs to say “Okay, that’s fine,” and if the submissive says “no, that isn’t okay,” the dominant needs to say “Okay we don’t have to do that.”
Ana and Christian have this really weird dynamic where Christian never asks Ana if anything is okay, and Ana never says no because A: She’s fucking terrified of Christian and B: because it’s what HE wants, and what HE wants is all that matters.
OH, AND ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING: MARRIAGE DOES NOT MEAN “AUTOMATIC CONSENT.” IF YOUR HUSBAND WANTS TO HAVE SEX AND YOU DON’T, YOU SAY NO. IF YOU SAY NO AND THREATEN TO SCREAM, IF HE SAYS “NO ONE WOULD HEAR YOU” AND STEPS FORWARD, YOU GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE BECAUSE THAT’S NOT OKAY IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.
Basically, I could rant about these books for literally a thousand years, but I won’t.
They are awful, there is literally ZERO redeeming qualities anywhere in any of the 3 books, and I honestly welcome anyone who wants to argue with me on that.
These books set terrible examples for relationships, and set women up to have ridiculous expectations that could theoretically throw said women into relationships that are dangerous. Even more terrifying is that women who are IN dangerous relationships are stripped of their rational thinking because these books teach you that whatever the dude in the relationship wants is totally fine, because what HE wants matters, and what YOU want doesn’t, because if you LOVE someone you should let them do whatever they want to you.
The books teach you terrible thing about how relationships function, what “love” means. They are flagrantly misogynistic and classist.
Not to mention the fact that they are three of the worst written books I have ever read in my entire life.
And there you have it, folks! I have read all three books, I have hated all three books, and I never want to read them ever again.