Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Fifty Shades Phenomenon

Today, the train conductor was sitting down and reading the last installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy instead of paying attention to train stuff. I don't mind. Books beat out working 100 to 0, and it's not like she was the one driving. Then I saw two other women reading them while they were standing in the aisle waiting to get off. I overhear (loud) conversations when I would rather be sleeping, and see a huddle of women standing around the display at the bookstore. So what is it getting everyone all hot and bothered? Easy. SEX.

And not just "Mommy and Daddy love each other very much" sex, but "I want to tie you up and finger-fuck you" sex. And it's right then you realize.... all these people don't give a shit about the book. They're only in it for the sex. Socially acceptable sex that they can carry around with them and read in public.

Now, if you saw a guy sitting on a park bench--beautiful, hideous, use your imagination--reading a Playboy, would you go up to talk to him? Or would you immediately peg him for a pedophile or crazy stalker and rush quickly by or even turn around and avoid him altogether? No matter what your reaction, the point is you just don't do that in public. Playboys are left firmly in the bedroom, possibly between the mattresses, and consumed in secret/shame/joy.

Americans are known for being stuffy and shy when it comes to sex. I never had Sex Ed in high school--a public, liberal school with a big budget and unique location that fed it students from trailer-park to Major League Baseball families. I had Don't Have Sex Ed. Please.We deny teenagers condoms thinking that solves our problem, and instead end up with a whole bunch of pregnant teenagers and no values or respect about sex.

I don't really know what I wanted to say when I set out to write this post. I read the Nook sample of Fifty Shades and it was terrible. Grade school writing with horrendous characters and full of contradictions and I didn't even get to read any of the fun parts. I just discovered this blog: MommyPornAndMe, and I'm much more interested in reading his funny commentary than I am the book. I guess that's what I wanted to say. It's hypocritical that this book is a bestseller in a country that can't even educate kids about sex. I have nothing against the book, I definitely don't have anything against sex, but the whole thing just makes me sad. I want a good book to be a bestseller, and not a book that inspires this.

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