It was 2012… I was laying beside a pool soaking up the Spanish sun… Children playing in the swimming pool and surrounded by holiday makers. In my hand I held a copy of the much awaited for in anticipation – Fifty Shades of Grey. As I looked around the pool I noticed that every female on the sun loungers all had a copy too. It had been the same on the plane journey, a copy of the bonk buster in every female hand in each row. I’d heard about it through social media sites, all my friends were reading it and posting pictures of their copy, it was the new-found sexual liberation and enjoyment for women. I was in the right category apparently. A mother and approaching my mid-thirties. This was mummy porn. Of course I wanted a copy. In fact, I didn’t just buy the first copy I bought the set of three because I felt confident that I like the rest would enjoy the book. And indeed I bought into the idea that this was sisterhood. At the time I knew very little about the book (still don’t) other than the hero Christian Grey was supposed to be such a magical species of the male sex that each page would practically be orgasmic. So I turned the first page and started to read. Easy enough prose, perfect for holiday reading. But quite quickly I became quite disappointed. The idea of this sex god of a male was arrogant and aggressive. I felt confused. Was this what everybody had been raving on about? Was this the man who was making every woman’s pulse race? Did women want a man who would tell them what to do? I confess that I made it to chapter five and got bored. I decided from those first impressions that this was a book about a man who wanted to control a woman who was weaker than himself and that was not something that interested me in the slightest. I bought many magazines and continued on my holiday without reading another word from the Fifty Shades book.
Three years later and the film has been released against the wishes of active campaigners of domestic abuse and violence against women. However for the majority, Christian Grey has whipped women up into a frenzy once again.
Therefore, my blog over the coming weeks is going to be an exploration of Fifty Shades of Grey and whether it’s just a harmless bit of mummy porn or whether it is degrading to women, taking women a step backwards from the amazing journey that women before us have battled for the freedom that we have (that is still not perfect) today.
Women’s Liberation – the movement that took place between 1965-1970 – removing attitudes and practises that preserve inequalities, assuming that men are superior to women.