50 Shades of Grey, the bestselling book that you caught your mother reading in the bathtub, tells of a post-grad, virginal woman's experience as a submissive in a BDSM sexual relationship. Despite her initial hesitation and isolation, she ultimately engages in her subordinate role, desirous of the painful pleasure that he concedes her.
Explicitly erotic and yet wildly popular, 50 Shades of Grey apparently taps into a specific sexual "fantasy" of many women: a lust for submission.
Well, pardon me, but I couldn't imagine a "fantasy" that seems to mirror female reality much more accurately. Is author EL James perhaps implying that women, even behind closed doors, would rather be in a poisiton of subordinance? Does she reinforce pornographic standards that women must find their own loss of control appealing? Is it wrong to find this sexual dynamic appealing? Are we reading too much into this, and do I have to keep imagining my mom in a bubble bath?
Make your voice heard about the book noone will stop talking about on Thursday, June 26th from 7-9 at Revolution Books 146 West 26th Street, Manhattan
(btw 6th & 7th Avenues, #1 to 28th St.). The discussion will be hosted by Sunsara Taylor and the Project to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
First: the background. I am a blogger for Refuse the Silence, an organization headed by the great Morgane Richardson and the people that hosted this event. And, because I am a huge nerd, I got giddy at the idea of seeing some of my favorite bloggers speak at this event about something I really care about: race in the feminist movement.
(The picture is of me and Latoya Peterson (editor of Racialicious) after the event! Don't we look chilled out?)