|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
7 July 2012
|Word of Mouth
I give up, I give in, I surrender, I'm beaten. Submissive, controlled, murdered
(at least two a week), lacking identity (Mrs Whoever)...I don't care anymore.
Clearly this is what women want...answering that endlessly, repeatedly asked
My empathy, support, rants now will only be directed at uneducated women in
the third world who live without choices. Wobble unsteadily on your 8" £300
stilettos with knees bent looking perfectly ridiculous. Read your 50 Shades of
Grey trilogy. Evidently the hardcore anti-female porn permeating the sexualised
culture isn't enough.
Personally, I've never read chick-lit, never watch rom-coms. Obviously in the
minority. I read the prologue of the fastest selling paperback and e-book ever in
a book shop. I had to suppress my laughter. I thought it was a joke. Then I
opened to an arbitrary page and had to stop because the writing was so
pathetically inept, so cringe-making, toe-curling "...my inner goddess is doing
the merengue with some salsa moves". Reading another page, 'I'd like to bite
that lip," he whispers darkly. ... Jeez, I'm a quivering, moist mess, and he hasn't
even touched me. I squirm in my seat and meet his dark glare'. I shook my
head in total disbelief that anyone could actually write that appallingly bad.
Anastasia Steele, Christian Grey? Says it all.
Set in America? Is there a bigger market there? Is it so that Ana can say "Holy
Cow!" 84 times in the trilogy rather than 'Crikey!'? In an interview with the
Sunday Mirror, Erika Leonard, nom de plume E L James – 48 yrs old mother
of two teenage boys (lovely) from Brentford - said that during a recent PR trip
to the US her many fans told her the Fifty Shades trilogy were the first books
they had read in years or ever. "That was the most extraordinary thing – the
people who said they hadn't read a book in five, ten, 20 years, and they've read
all my books in a week. One woman said it really made her want to encourage
her children to read books." Harry Potter didn't do it then? "Thank you for
releasing my inner goddess." Sex slave - inner goddess - what?
Cashing in: Steele and Grey’s sexual exploits took place in a series of luxury
hotels in the west coast, one Seattle hotel is now offering guests a ’50 Shades
of Seattle’ package that lets them recreate some of the novel’s strategic
moments. Instructions included? S&M gear as well?
The US licensing agent for Fifty Shades is to sell clothes and accessories.
Doesn't it all begin with mothers living vicariously through their little girls dressed
as tiny pink princesses trained to wait for their handsome, rich, masterful
princes? Followed up by £500 for US styled proms, plastic surgery...lap
dancing can't be far behind.
James met with her hundreds of submissive-seeking fans in London at £20 a
ticket. With James raking in £1m a week, £3.2m for film rights - £20? She told
her devotees that calling her books 'mummy porn' was a lazy way to describe
her work. Young virgin Anastasia: "...coming apart at the seams, like a spin
cycle on a washing machine, wow". Wow? Oh wow! James refused to reveal
her 'favourite toy' at the Institute of Engineering and Technology (really). The
middle class porn-starved mums said "It was like talking to a girlfriend... it was
very inspirational...it's a love story...it's not rude." Journalist Yasmin Alibhai-
Brown described the books as "grubby and foul". She burnt her copy.
If women are so sex-starved and experience so little satisfaction, passion -
shouldn't their boyfriends, partners, husbands be reading these books, rather
than their daughters? If these hundreds of pages of are the product of James'
exhaustive research and fantasies revealed - what has her husband been doing
all these years? Why the TV screenwriter has been waiting to write his own
best seller; a young adult thriller. Quelle surprise. Clearly not a dark knight, a
white knight, Sir Gawain, Lancelot Bluebeard, a Greek God, Adonis,
Michelangelo's David as his wife described Grey.
'Romance' publishers, Mills & Boon promise to re-release their most erotic
'romances with a sinful edge'; 12 Shades of Surrender. I fear this is just the
Feminism? What's that? Equality? Why?