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Fifty Shades of Popular Controversy


Fifty Shades Darker/Universal

Love it or hate it?  Or maybe a little bit of both? So many people read the Fifty Shades series and then so many more thought about it for a long time before being compelled to finally pick up a copy. I fell into the second category. I was torn; I was not sure I would be interested in reading a BDSM story but, on the same hand, the popularity of the series intrigued me.

I talked to others who had read the story and some were disgusted by the writing style while others seemed to overlook it because they enjoyed the content. As an English teacher, I was not sure I would be able to get through an entire novel that many felt had been poorly written. It was time to read it and form my own opinion so that is what I did.

Though E.L. James is no Wordsworth or Longfellow, I really don’t think that poetic writing is what she was going for overall. It was about the story. A story that was widely popular yet at the same time created much controversy.

Many felt that the telling of a story with BDSM elements equated to abuse. Fans don’t see it that way. Rafaela, 27, read all three books and watched the first movie. She differentiates between abuse and BDSM and said that she enjoyed the story and does not agree that it glamorizes violence against women.

The question then becomes, why are so many women who choose not to participate in this kind of relationship so ready to read the book? Though there are many reasons, many of which are scientifically researched, it may just boil down to our fascination with Grey. He possesses so many qualities that are attractive in a man and wraps them all up in one neat little package.

Thirty-year-old Vanessa admits to having read the first book of the series because of all the attention it was getting from friends and the conversations that were revolving around it. As she points out, though Grey seems tough and domineering, he has a fragile and loving personality which can be seen as he develops and begins to fall in love with Steele.

Is it the best piece of literature I have ever read? No. Is it the most controversial story I have ever read? No. So why did I read it? Like many fans, for pure entertainment.

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