Vandaag las ik op The Huffington Post een oproep van twee organisaties in Engeland die opkomen voor slachtoffers van huiselijk geweld om op vijf november aanstaande een (hun eigen?) exemplaar van de bestseller van E.L. James: Fifty Shades of Grey te verbranden!
Het zou sadomasochisme verheerlijken en zodoende mensen laten geloven dat misbruik en geweld de normaalste zaak van de wereld zouden zijn. Hieronder mijn commentaar dat ik naar aanleiding van het bewuste bericht op de site plaatste.
“I do not think I can put into words how vile this book is and how dangerous I think the idea is that you get a sophisticated but naive, young women and a much richer, abusive older man who beats her up and does some dreadful things to her sexually,” Clare Phillipson of Wearside Women in Need told BBC.
Hm… I wonder whether this lady actually read the book…
A book burning? What a silly, if not nauseating plan, what a stupid witch hunt! It makes me think of dictatorial regimes and fanatic movements where book burnings are ‘normal procedures’, and also the fatwa against Salmon Rushdie for his Satanic Verses came to mind, an action we were all so indignant about…
We’re talking fantasy here, a fairy tale! I’ve read the trilogy, it’s not very well written, and it has two volumes too many. Only one would have sufficed. The author emerged from the fanfiction world where thousands of women, including myself, have (had) fun with creative writing on an amateur and free basis, and that shows.
Even though I’m happy for her, for her success, the author’s writing skills are modest, to put it kindly. But the story isn’t about abuse at all! At least, not about abuse of women. Ironically the male lead appears to be maltreated during his early childhood. Anyway, this book isn’t even about SM. It’s a romantic love story between a very successful rich but in many respects unhappy young businessman (27) and a girl who studied English literature, who’s not naive but, at 21, never fell in love before, and for that reason, never made love before either.
In this book nothing happens with the girl what she doesn’t want, quite on the contrary, so, a huge difference with truly abused women. She determines the boundaries. As Mr Gray says (quote from the top of my head, so probably highly inaccurate but a correct tenor): ”Actually, the submissive is the dominant, ‘cause the submissive stipulates the boundaries.”
And I think this is a fascinating theme for many… Must be, otherwise it wouldn’t be such an enormous bestseller.
I wonder whether the organizers of this book burning (a pathetic act of hysteria) actually read this book. If so, they would have known that it has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the abuse the victims they stand up for endure or have endured. Actually an insult towards them, I think. If they had actually read it, I’m sure they wouldn’t have thought it necessary to give those who enjoyed this story, who did nothing wrong by doing so, a guilt complex, let alone organize a book burning.
Copyright 2012, Renée Olsthoorn