Sun 8 Sep 2013
Posted by Mary Anne under General Writing
Yet another writer has penned an anti-”Fifty Shades of Grey” rant. This one is in Pajiba and is entitled: “Women Who Have Never Had Decent Sex Outraged By Warped Fantasy Movie Casting.”
Like most such rants, it says more about the writer than the subject. This piece makes the writer appear to be bitter and brittle, too snobbish to appreciate the appeal of a good romance novel. It paints a portrait of someone too insecure to consider that the books’ readers could simply be smarter, more emotionally grounded, and far more secure in their acceptance of humanity’s infinite variations than the writer could ever understand. You know what? That makes this writer, again, like most of them.
Them? Yes, them – meaning, those who consider themselves superior to others. Such superior beings imagine that they are very open-minded when in reality their view of the world is so narrow that it cannot encompass the possibility that they are wrong. This particular writer, Courtney Enlow, a/k/a Courtney Enlow Hall, has the egotism to imagine herself as far more gifted, even, than the author of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, Erika Leonard, a/k/a E.L. James. Of Ms. James, and all of her readers, Ms. Enlow says:
” …some simp of a drooling moron with her hand firmly clenched between her thighs as though she can will Edward into being through masturbatory efforts alone but cannot say the proper names of the body parts because that would be naughty WOULD go on to write the most popular book among fellow drooling morons, no longer satisfied by rubbing against their sparkly body pillows until the funny feelings go boom.”
As though having the gall to make such a sweeping generality wasn’t enough, Ms. Enlow compounds her egotism by blending in a dangerous dose of absolutism, casting herself as the Judge and the Jury in the following statement:
Which leads me to the real issue at play here: proper sexual activity. Because I blame the utterly outrageous popularity of these god-awful books on abstinence-only education and the reticence of parents to teach their children about sex and their need to punish their kids for exploring their bodies. If these adult women were in enjoyable, healthy sexual relationships, they wouldn’t need these books. You may think I’m joking, but look around you—if you know someone who legitimately loves these books, who gets the funny squirmies while reading them, who won’t shut the fuck up about Charlie Hunnam, this person has never had good sex.
In reality, fans of “Fifty Shades” know that the book isn’t about sex – it’s about love. Ms. James wrote a great book about a man whose views on life, love and the world in general were drastically altered when he fell in love. Ms. James’ “bad boy” had some tough experiences growing up that warped his early sexual experience. And yes, reading about Christian’s naughty secrets is an erotic experience, but it’s one that can be enjoyed by men and women from all walks of life and all backgrounds. Yes, Courtney – “Fifty Shades of Grey” is an erotic romance but love – the adult sort of love enjoyed by people who aren’t so intellectually superior that they judge before they experience – that kind of love has a great many erotic components. Or it does, if it’s a part of the kind of healthy sex life enjoyed by people blessed to have both “good sex” and “good love.”
Ostensibly, the piece was written to talk about the uproar among Fifty fans at the casting of Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson as Christian and Ana for the film. Some fans wanted Matt Bomer & Alexis Bledel cast as the leads and have started an online petition. I hope the concerned Fifty fans read this story where Charlie Hunnam is talking about his sexual chemistry with Dakota Johnson. His descriptions remind me of Shonda Rhimes talking about casting Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo as the leads in “Grey’s Anatomy.” That chemistry has carried Grey’s a long way for a long time – and it has instilled loyalty in a legion of fans (like a crazy duck lady). If Charlie and Dakota have the sort of sizzle that Mer/Der do on Grey’s, then they have the most important ingredient to make the film a success. Black wigs, contact lenses and talented makeup artists can create the appearance, but no one can fake the chemistry – it’s either there or it isn’t.
As for Ms. Enlow, she should forget her Ivy-league lessons and spend a little more time observing and appreciating all of the vast differences amongst the men and women of the world who have read and enjoyed “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Fans of the book aren’t all women, they aren’t all American and they surely aren’t all idiots. She will find fans of the book across all continents, all walks of life, all sexes, ages and races. Fans of the book aren’t all ANYTHING.
There surely are Fifty fans who enjoy good sex regularly and still enjoy reading a good love story. But then again, I’m talking about people who actually read the trilogy. I suspect that doesn’t include Ms. Enlow…
In fact, I suspect that this writer is not even a fan of the romance genre. How sad. I could speculate about the writer’s inability to feel romantic love. I could say that only a person devoid of any human emotions could fail to appreciate “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I could say that someone who would actually write such absolute nonsense has NEVER had a moment of intellectual honesty. I could say that, but then I’d be making the same sort of snap judgment as Ms. Enlow, and I’d never do that.
How many readers of “Fifty Shades of Grey” are bright people in good relationships who enjoy healthy sex lives? I really can’t say. My crystal ball is in the shop and Mr. Duck is conducting illicit experiments with my Swami Hat. But I hope that most fans of the book don’t have good sex. I hope they have GREAT sex….
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