Monday, June 25, 2012

Spell it Out, Sister! "50 Shades of Grey" and Classism

You're getting an extra entry at both fan behest & because I was downloading Prince songs. I also planned to go into the office today but worked at home b/c I didn't want to risk being struck by lightening on my walk to the subway as I walked under the trees on our sidewalk.

As you read before, my husband foisted 50 Shades of Grey upon me. I still stand by my statement that it's totally porno & that is the only reason it's on the NY Times Best Seller List. The porn aspect has also been the consensus among everyone I know who's read it. Furthermore, you're not reading it for the author's writing skills. I've heard multiple people say the writing was excruciating or plodding in some fashion. I promised to write a rant topic on it after I read it; a little late but it felt fitting to write it now.

I do give the author credit for a realistic ending for the first book. If it stopped there, my inner feminist would be happy since I like realism in my media. However, it doesn't. I, however, do since I know I'd be disappointed in the lead female character for going back to that situation. It also has some very negative commentary & I'd hate to think men believe all women are that way. Let me tell you right now, we aren't.

One thing that really pissed me off was the covering up of terms. I hear that in urban fiction, you will see the word "dick" to refer to the guy's private parts. However, if it's a white romance author you see things like "manhood" or "he inserted himself." In this book, "vagina" isn't used but "me" or "my sex" is.

Why are white people so damn bashful about sex (at least Americans or those from a puritanical culture like this British author; I'm sure the French are just fine with it)? I sure as hell can't write it credibly but maybe I've done too much of it & have the added baggage of my religion infused childhood blocking me. Any sex scene I ventured to write would have comedic elements, probably because some of my actual experiences did have comedy in them. I know my artistic limits & I'm pretty sure that's one of them.

Listen, sister: if you want to write a porn tome, don't be bashful. Be direct, damn it! Spell it out. You have adult readers. We aren't stupid. If you're going to be that graphic anyway, why censor that for us? Playboy's sex stories sure don't play that censorship. They spell it right out for you. None of their authors are bashful about it. They put it right in your face 100% & I'm sure make no apologies for it.

If you're going to "go there," why not take us all the way. There are Prince songs more graphic than this book. Seriously, though I would still pay money to go to a Prince soundtrack wedding (circa early career to mid-90s songs).

I was also looking for anal in it only to find none since that was mentioned in the book as something this guy liked to do. With all the buildup, you expected it to happen & it didn't.

One other thing: with the book written from the virgin female character's perspective (whose name also sounds like she just stepped off a porn set according to hubby), I totally understand how Psycho Boy lost his mind after we gave our virginity to each other. I did not lose my damn mind after I first had sex; I did not have illusions of turning some guy into a "flowers & hearts kind of guy" like this character does. She reminded me of Psycho Boy in his attempt to change me into a "flowers & hearts" kind of gal who'd go run off with him into the sunset. Getting that insight was interesting & I finally understood it more when my family claimed I ruined this guy. Sure, I was like "this is great" when I first did it but I had better later on (much, MUCH better in fact) & it was a lot about rebellion from the strict upbringing I had along with having a means to do it without having anyone I had to go to class with or deal with regularly finding out information I didn't want them to know. Man, if they knew some of that stuff I'd have never had any peace or quiet & would likely have been disappointed with lack of skills. You have to work to impress redheads. Case in point: Vampire Boy had far more sexual experience than me when I met him (he was my 3rd; I was his 10th) & he actually told me I was the best he'd ever had in that realm.

Personally, I don't think I ruined Psycho Boy even to this day considering I was prepared & deliberate in my choice to lose my virginity. If he wasn't, he shouldn't have lied to me about being mature enough to handle it. Not all women are trying to make a man into a "flowers & hearts kind of guy." We can be just as cold and unfeeling as any guy. Nor did I do anything I knew I'd regret later on.

Oh, and the money thing. I should mention the male lead in this book is a guy with tons of money & that's presented as part of this woman's attraction to him. Unlike many people, that shit doesn't impress me; it's more likely to piss me off. I remember dating my husband & saying that if he'd come from money, we wouldn't be together. In my view, the money thing goes to class & how you grew up. A person who grew up having to work for things due to lack of money has a very different mentality and mindset from someone who didn't (unless maybe that person wasn't coddled by their parents & there was no perk to having $ that factored into their upbringing like no bailouts or paying for college). I don't care how nice or compassionate you are about it; people from 2 different worlds on that end are never going to truly understand each other in a romantic context. It's just so much a part of who you are & how you handle situations as an adult that I don't think you can really understand it if you haven't lived it. I knew a rich guy would never be able to fully understand me & probably couldn't accept the fact that I wasn't going to be bought or take shit from him b/c of his net worth.

Not being able to fully understand someone means, in my book, that you can never truly love that person for himself/herself. Then if you can't love that person fully, how can you possibly have a future together? As my mind ran & still does, you can't! You just can't. It's the same thing with differences in education.

My own academic prowess & background is something so integral to who I am and what I believe in that if you weren't as educated or had that drive to get an education, you'd never fully get me. My own mother warned me about that when I was dating Psycho Boy & I feel that relationship proved that point.

That's not to say you couldn't be friends with people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. I have some myself; you just sort of have an unspoken agreement that you don't say or do certain things since you know it would be hitting below the belt.

Now to get sleep. Remember, if you're going to write graphic sex scenes go big or go home (as the saying goes)!

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