It is the fastest selling book EVER, and it has sold over 10 million copies and is currently topping the number one bestseller list. 50 Shades of Grey is the publishing sensation credited with reviving the interest in erotic literature.
Women everywhere are reading the E.L James sexually explicit trilogy. It has become the fastest selling paperback in UK history – ahead of Harry Potter and Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.
However, not likely to part with her cash for the books, Samantha Brick, the writer who caused a controversy when she claimed that women hated her because she is beautiful has branded the books demeaning to women. In an interview on This Morning, Samantha Brick said that the books were “pornography aimed at women.”
Using the term mummy porn, Samantha Brick explains, “This kind of safe, middle-class word makes women think it is ok to read.” She then goes on to brand the female character; Anastasia Steele a victim and a sex slave. “This is not where we are in the 21st century. Women are moral compasses of society.”
Debating with founder of erotic website Cliterati, Emily Dubberley. Samantha Brick compares the marketing campaigns surrounding the books with the rise of men’s magazines in the nineties. “We could have described the whole launch of the men’s mag generation with this – Nuts, Loaded, Zoo.” This comparison is drawn from Samantha Bricks point due to the editors of these magazines saying that they shouldn’t have portrayed women in the way that they did. Brick then goes onto explain that due to the avid marketing campaigns, the book has been forced upon us and it could compose a serious health risk if anyone attempted to imitate the bondage scenes within the novel.
We live in a generation where women are able to embrace their sexuality and play out their fantasies. As a fictional novel, as in many sex scenes in books and films, safety and precaution isn’t a consideration and Samantha brick thinks this could be dangerous. And we agree, readers will imitate the scenes, and the book is spicing up marriages all around the country (and world) and yes, there have been deaths in the past where people have gone too far, but what happens in the book is an exaggerated version of what is possible in real life. Common sense comes into place and we would like to think (though not always the case) that people know their limits.
It is a new generation of women who experiment, explore and sleep with four men in one night and discuss it the next day over lunch. The taboo is fading and what happens behind close doors no longer stays behind closed doors. 50 Shades of Grey highlights this and with the female character being a virgin, the story represents the extreme of the situation. Women have every right (and they do) of enjoying sex as much as men and this shouldn’t be shameful. Gone are the days where there is a divide between men and women. Women are no longer called whores, instead a sexual appetite is celebrated. The novel is not demeaning towards women, it is liberating. It explores S&M in a way that has never been done before. It isn’t harmful, only different. And yes, S&M is still extremely terrifying to many, but talking about it is no longer limited to the bedroom. And the character is not a sex slave as she is willing. If anything, she is a slave to lust, which I am sure we can all relate too.
This is our opinion. What do you think? Is the book harmful like Samantha Brick suggests? Or is it light entertainment for bored housewives? Or is a gateway introducing a new genre and new generation of readers, thinkers and doers?
Whatever you think about 50 Shades of Grey, erotica is no longer confined to the sock drawer.