Though the days of couples carving their initials into treestumps and undeniable love-at-first-sight reside only in fiction, the fact is, you can't deny the appeal of falling in love while wrapping yourself in a Snuggie and slurping instant noodle soup. Online dating services allow users to construct and hide behind tippy-top versions of themselves and simultaneously lust over the photoshopped versions others. While one could argue that these websites such as OK Cupid attempt to build love from sham, statistics show that online dating was the root of 17% of last year's marriages.
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.
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