Feminism and 50 Shades of Grey

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  1. profile image0
    beaddveposted 11 years ago

    50 Shades of Grey has been increasingly popular, especially by women. The book has been mainly focus on BDSM activities and how the main leading character, Christian, control the young girl, Ana, in many ways.

    In feminist view, BDSM activities are considered as a symbol of male-domination. But is it true? So, what do you think?

    1. tammyswallow profile image91
      tammyswallowposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I just finished reading this book. While it is entertaining, I think it is a bad thing for young girls to be reading. This is all about male domination (I haven't read the other two books yet). It is dangerous to tell young women that if you want a rich man, or any man for that matter, you have to subject yourself to his emotional, financial, and physical punishment at his whim. It romanticizes violence against women and teaches them that some men are worth enduring physical abuse. It is a dangerous book and I doubt the feminists would back it up.

    2. LauraGT profile image86
      LauraGTposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for asking this important question, but I think you may be confounding two issues. I do think 50 Shades of Grey sends a harmful message to women (I wrote a hub about it!)  But, I don't think what's portrayed in the book is an accurate portrayal of S&M or that S&M activities should be judged by the controlling/abusive nature of the relationship in the book.

      The separate question of whether BDSM activities are a symbol of male domination is a very interesting one and one that I'm not qualified to answer!  As others have said, I think in the BDSM world males and females can play both roles equally, though I have no idea how it usually breaks down.  I guess the larger question worth exploring is whether this type of relationship, when entered into by two (or more!) well-informed consenting adults in healthy for those individuals.  That's a genuine question!  Perhaps for another forum post!

      1. profile image0
        beaddveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Laura, yes I think at the time when I wrote this forum question, I was not quite understand how feminists stand and their position. For me, this book is to idealize and fantasize many things, for example, women can win over men's love , male dominance over women, etc. Yet, I like this book because it gives a very important example for us. In other words, I think this book is a pornography more than just a novel.

        The BDSM activity is another issue, and I am still thinking about it philosophically. And, I can't say much about it!

        PS I am writing a hub to reply your article now. I really like your hub!

  2. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 11 years ago

    There is an aspect called Femdom as female domination.

  3. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    I think it's disturbing that a book so poorly written with a confusing message is #1 on NYT. It was originally written as an e-book.

    1. ASchwartz profile image67
      ASchwartzposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It was actually originally twilight fan fiction.

      I have to agree with you. I found the writing style lacking. If not for the shocking and graphic sex scenes I doubt this book would have gotten much attention. I didn't even finish the first book.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image85
        rebekahELLEposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        My hair stylist asked me if I had read it and I had never heard of it. She gave me this look and then I said what's it about, aging? lol

        She laughed and told me a little about it, so I bought it for my Kindle. I had read also how she originally wanted to write for a Twilight type audience. It was her first novel and she published it as an e-book, where anyone can publish anything. A publisher picked it up when they saw the sales volume.

        I can't really get into it because of the writing style. The sex scenes don't interest me. If I'm going to spend time reading, it needs to have more literary attraction than these books. If I had a young daughter, I would be concerned if she thought this portrayed a healthy relationship.

        Give me a Hemingway or Henry James novel and I'm content.

  4. Disturbia profile image60
    Disturbiaposted 11 years ago

    One can't explain the whole BDSM culture here in just a few sentences, but people who practice this lifestyle do so because they want to and they enjoy the erotic role play. It's not just about male-domination either. There is plenty of female domination out there as well.

    1. Ron Montgomery profile image61
      Ron Montgomeryposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thankfully, yes...

    2. profile image0
      beaddveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I cannot deny this view because such view consists to lesbian feminists. They hold that BDSM activites is a matter of enjoying and wanting.

      There is a debate between radical feminists (holding a view that BDSM activity is a way to show male dominance female) and lesbian feminists (holding a view that BDSM is only a matter of enjoying the activity.)

  5. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    The book is by no means intended for children.  As for feminism, that is about doing what you want rather than conforming to stereotypes.  If women want to be subs to read about being a sub as a fantasy--why not.

    1. habee profile image91
      habeeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree.

  6. habee profile image91
    habeeposted 11 years ago

    I haven't read the books, but some women like being submissive ONLY in the bedroom. In fact, in all the other parts of their lives, they might be assertive or even domineering.

  7. Ron Montgomery profile image61
    Ron Montgomeryposted 11 years ago

    I made my wife beg me to buy her a copy...

    1. profile image0
      beaddveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Get a copy on kindle before you read it in public. As a man, I have read a paperback copy in public, and my experience was not so good. LOL

      1. Ron Montgomery profile image61
        Ron Montgomeryposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I doubt that I will read it.  My "must read" list is long and from what I've heard this book is very poorly written.

  8. MaryD profile image70
    MaryDposted 11 years ago

    First let me say that you must read all 3 in order to understand the story. Second, in sub and dom situations, all parties are in agreement (consentual) and anyone who goes beyond those boundaries are treading into dark waters for sure.

    I consider myself 'feminist' and am not offended by reading these as they are completely consentual adults and I understand this is a work of fiction. Do I believe that there are real people out there living lives similar to these characters? Yes I do. (As an adult sex educator I can say this!)

    I agree that these books are NOT for young girls, they are ADULT fiction.

  9. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    There is no one feminist position.  But as a feminist I do not believe in censoring fiction or telling people what fantasies they are "allowed" to have.

  10. mega1 profile image80
    mega1posted 11 years ago

    doesn't BDSM stand for "Bio-Diversified Solar Mechanization"?   Gosh, I'm just SO out of the loop!

    1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
      Hollie Thomasposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_the … _stand_for

      just in case you didn't know, but somehow Mega, I suspect that you did. smile

  11. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    I would hope that no one is giving their young daughter erotica to read.

  12. Hollie Thomas profile image59
    Hollie Thomasposted 11 years ago

    I'm a Marxist-feminist, some of you may have guessed. lol I wouldn't dictate what a women should read either.

  13. kerryg profile image83
    kerrygposted 11 years ago

    As a feminist, it dismays me that the series is so popular, but not because of the BDSM, such as it is. (I'm not into BDSM myself, but I have on good authority that the sex in the book is actually quite vanilla by BDSM standards and that the relationship is NOT considered to be a healthy BDSM relationship because it is not entered into with the free consent of both partners.)

    It was originally written as Twilight fanfiction and has a lot of the same problems as the original - poor writing (poor innocent thesauri are raped even more thoroughly than Ana, plus the author butchers US geography and slang) and a tendency to portray a controlling and borderline abusive relationship as something romantic to be aspired to. Ugh.

    I'm usually thrilled when a fellow fanfic writer hits the big time, but in this case I think it gives us all a bad name. mad

  14. recommend1 profile image60
    recommend1posted 11 years ago

    I am not a fan of feminism, not because it theoretically equalises women, but because it has failed so spectactularly, leaving us with the promotion of the down-side of female behaviours and the up-side demoted and with a whole new raft of female character disorders.   BDSM is also a character disorder.


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