The women’s liberation movement wanted women to think of themselves as individuals with a brain not just breasts. Women have been fighting for equality for over one hundred years, yet one book, one movie will bring us back to the days of being at the beck and call of our Lord and Master, i.e., our husbands or lovers. I am saddened that it is not men who are flocking to read or see this story, but women who are at the edge of their seats with the “romance” of this fictional piece of trash. After decades of teaching my students that love does not mean pain or abuse, E.L. James brings us back to the story of “O” when men got their thrill from whipping a woman and using her for their own needs.
I am appalled by the reaction this story has received from women of intellect. These are women who have knowledge of what can happen when a man views a women as merchandise. These are women who have attended psychology and sociology classes. Yet, they view Fifty Shades of Grey as a romantic novel about a woman who turns a man from “beast” into a “prince.” Women who have lived through abuse know that most men who are abusive do not change, if anything they become more violent. These are the same women who viewed Pretty Woman as a possibility, a prostitute turns princess. This rarely happens as well.