I’ve Read Fifty Shades and I’m NOT Ashamed of It

Dear readers: Because this is my blog and I will write about what I’d like to, some of my posts will touch on sensitive topics or will not be suitable for a younger audience. For the sake of courtesy, those posts that I feel may be fragile, I will preface with a warning. So, if you didn’t notice from the title, the content discussed in this article is delicate and not suitable for children. Thus, parental advisory is noted here. 

I’ve pondered over writing this blog post for quite a while now and haven’t up until this point for fear of upsetting some of my friends who would disapprove. But, I can’t sit in silence any more. I recently read an article written by this woman about how she won’t go see the movie Fifty Shades of Grey because she doesn’t like the subject manner and it was unfair to her husband to watch something like this. I can respect that choice. Different people obviously have different levels of comfort with nudity and sexual content. But, unlike this woman (who doesn’t tell others what to do), there has been a slew of articles written by holier-than-thou people (specifically ones who HAVEN’T read the book) talking about how people shouldn’t read/see Fifty Shades and those who do should be ashamed of their choice. Many of them claim that the book isn’t right because it’s unfair to your husband/future husband. Many of them say that the book is ungodly and doesn’t exemplify righteous behavior.

Here’s my response to that: I am a Christian woman who has read the Fifty Shades of Grey series. I’m pretty sure God doesn’t hate me and isn’t disappointed in me for reading a book. And, I am not ashamed of my choice to read it. Quite frankly, it shouldn’t even matter that I’m a Christian woman in this situation. I am an adult. I can think for myself. I can decide what’s okay for myself. (I personally think, as an English major, I would be a hypocrite if I chose not to read a book simply because of insensitive topics.) So, I am NOT embarrassed to say that I’ve read the Fifty Shades of Grey series and I will NOT be made to feel bad about it either.

For all those people saying others shouldn’t read this book because of the sexual content, tell me this: Did you read The Scarlett Letter? Did you read Canterbury’s Tales? One Thousand and One Nights? The Diary of Anne Frank? Lolita? Madame Bovary? Ulysses? The Perks of Being a Wallflower? How about a Judy Blume book? Most young girls of my generation read Judy Blume books. They were considered a staple. Did you ever read her book Forever?

All of those classic works of literature talk about sex, sexuality, and/or genitalia IN DETAIL. You aren’t about to say those are “mommy porn” or shouldn’t be read because of their sexual content, are you?

Okay, for argument’s sake, let’s say that you haven’t read any of those. Here’s a better example for some of you– a more commonly read book–

Have you ever read the Bible?

Do you realize how much nudity and rape and sex there is in that book? Would you tell people that they shouldn’t read it because of the sexual content and acts of violence? Would you label those parts as “mommy porn” and tell people it’s sinful to read them?

I think we should all just STOP judging a book based on its general idea or based on its themes. Yes, there is obviously a lot of sexual content in the Fifty Shades books. I’m sure the movie will have a lot too. But, there is a point to it. It’s not sexual content just for the sake of sexual content. There is a plot and character development and all the other necessary components to be considered a valid book. Are we to just ignore any potential storylines and important messages in the book all because it’s themes are controversial? Should we simply say nobody can read it?

All in all, we learned it as young children– don’t judge a book by its cover. So, let’s don’t judge a book without actually reading it. And let’s don’t tell other adults what’s right and wrong for them to read.

One thought

  1. So I feel compelled to respond to this (for anyone reading the blog and/or responses to it) that I, as her mother, made the decision to allow her to read these books at 16 years old. I was ASKED by my daughter, which makes me a pretty lucky mom, and I considered saying “no”. But, my reasons for doing this were two-fold, and I stand by my choice.
    One reason is because I realized a long time ago that I can NOT slow down the rate at which society accepts and/or changes what is acceptable for the average population, but I CAN slow down the rate at which my children are SHOCKED by it. Regardless of how much we try, our children will see, do, hear about and find things in our world that are not comfortable or easy to explain. EVERY DAY young people are exposed to things that in my generation (not as much) and the generations before me would have been considered not only inappropriate and sinful, but also hateful, evil and outright unconscionable. It is my job as a parent, to slow the rate at which this becomes something that is altering to their personalities and the only way to do so is to expose them to it….slowly and with supervision and explanation.
    The other reason I allowed it was because, quite frankly, I LOVE to hear my daughter’s opinion on things. I had read the books (actually found that the story was overshadowed by the sex sometimes and nearly put them down) and had my own thoughts about them, but to hear it from another person’s, and more importantly my daughter’s, point of view gave it different meaning and/or insight. I don’t recall more than one particularly graphic conversation about the obvious content. In fact, after getting that out of the way, I recall it being more about the story and less about the way it was depicted. I found it both interesting and comforting that the plot was WAY more important to her than anything else and sharing and communicating about it only increased both of our love for reading and our mutual respect for each others opinions.

    Bottom line: We cannot keep our children from living in this world in any way morally or legally acceptable. Today we are exposed to everything from public mutilations to nudity as plots to television shows. There is more violence today in a 30 second commercial than I used to be allowed to see in an entire movie….and everywhere you look, sex is being used as a means for selling things….magazines, programs, books, etc, etc, etc. I know that it is uncomfortable to explain these things to our children…..but banning and/or ignoring them doesn’t make them go away – it only makes it harder for them to deal with when they finally come in contact with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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