Last year, on recommendation of my friend, I read the first two books in the Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James.
While my fantastical attention was intrigued to the slightly taboo, BDSM subject matter, my literary attention was not intrigued by the poor grammatical and editorial matter of the books.
You may be wondering, “Well, if it was so poorly written, why did you read two of them?”
Well, you know when you keep staying in a shitty situation, whatever that situation may be, and it’s so cyclical and predictable, that you keep a tiny sliver of hope in the back of your mind that if you just stick it out a little bit longer, things will change and get better and you’ll reignite the flicker of the flame that once was? That’s why.
And do you want to know what happened? Not that. It never got better. Because what I described is also the definition of insane behavior.
Fast forward to last week where I was recruited to appear in a segment on our local Fox news station to share my opinions on the book, in general. I made it apparent during the on-camera conversation with the reporter that I’m the “furthest thing from the sun when it comes to being prude.” Meeting me goes something like this:
Me: Hi! My name is Jess. Nice to meet you!
I went on to speak at length with the reporter about how I found disappointment in the series because of the mature subject matter, being presented in an immature, fantastical way with certain elements of victimization in the character development of both Christian and Anastasia. That it was offering a very skewed glimpse into the world of BDSM that, I believe, will do more harm than good in “spicing up the bedroom again for moms and housewives across the globe.”
Then I was on the news and in an online article, twice, as an “offended reader”.
Being the only willing contributor to the story to offer my name, a simple Google search of my name would immediately discredit the validity of any of the quotes from the anonymous valley moms about the book. (see: VAGINA!)
It’s quite obvious that this was a grasping for straws move on the part of the reporter, and I suppose if I were into shoddy journalism, I’d have done the same thing. I’d be sorry that’s a sharp jab, but my wound is still festering.
I’d be less upset if she’d at least attempted to guide the dialogue to get me to speak on the topic of her article/the segment. But that never happened either.
I enjoyed speaking with her in the moment because the conversation was intellectual, thought-provoking, and compelling enough for me to spend 45 minutes out of my day with her.
Now, I know that my life and character, in no way, hinge on one local news article about a silly YA book fad, but I think it requires a little clarification for the credibility of myself, as a human, nay a woman, with a brain in her head, unscathed by the taboo topics of the world.
I am Jess. I am not a prude. I am not offended by Fifty Shades of Grey.
I’m only an offended contributor.