With the 50 Shades of Grey books the most popular novels in the country right now (one out of every five fiction books being sold in the United States as I write this is one of the 50 Shades books), there is plenty to say about the series.
Over at Crushable.com, author Katherine O’Clare talks about one of the things that bothers her, and me, the most about the books: the fact that they falsely portray an abusive relationship as BDSM. From the article:
When women are already fighting against rape culture so pervasive that they are expected to just not get raped, what will a novel like Fifty Shades of Grey do? BDSM is already largely misunderstood. It’s esoteric enough as it is. A mainstream novel that equates BDSM with emotional abuse will only affirm false conceptions of what bondage and discipline really entails.
And so I am not OK with Fifty Shades of Grey. I am not OK with seeing four or five or ten people reading it on the subway. I am not OK with knowing that those people are reading some version of the hell I got myself out of and that they’re getting off on it. I am not OK with yet another modulation of the “she was asking for it” defense.