The modern woman in each of us would likely assert that our gravitation to “Fifty Shades” has nothing to do with any kind of buried envy of the protagonist. She is young, naive, and many would argue, distastefully codependent. After all, who even contemplates signing a sex contract, having your food, your clothes, your alcohol, your sleep, your car, your dating schedule, heck even your masterbation schedule dictated? This is something Michelle, Hillary or for crying out loud, even Barbara Bush wouldn’t advocate. The women’s movement of the 70’s fought for our rights to express, contradict, go braless and play with ourselves as we wish. Somehow I’m not thinking Gloria Steinem would have desired Christian’s twitchy palms…..or would she??
Many of us assume roles in the bedroom outside our public personas, granted most don’t involve giving up their God-given, civil liberties, but never the less, it’s not uncommon. But this book invites us to ask the question, “how far would you go?”
Despite our modernness, many are not only finding that question intoxicating but life altering. Unfortunately, for a certain sect of women (all my friends, I might add) their needs have become much greater than society and more importantly, their husbands, can endure. Perhaps Christian’s insistence on nutrition and personal trainers isn’t so far off after all, but who would have thought these middle aged, mini-van driving zealots would have tapped into this level of physical exertion. It’s nothing short of “Anathasia Envy” run amuck.
Granted these very women have been in the most viscous cycle of potty training, playdate, homework hell you can imagine for the last 10 years, but their
“Envy” is over the top. They’ve lost all perspective. While their poor husbands donned a heaven-like smile when their wives started the book, those very same men, trying their best to love, cherish and obey, have been “Fifty Shades of f****ed” to the point they are having to seek psychological therapy and physical safety.
One husband I know, peers around the bedroom door before entering to see if his wife is reading. He envisions the good ole days when the bedroom was for sleeping. His groin, so overused it’s chapped and peeling, is begging for a break.
Another poor fellow was forced to endure hour and a half personalized tutoring sessions at the Hustler Store, at the end of which his wife had maxed out her credit card and was panting and foaming at the mouth to get him home only to find her Christian had passed out in the whip section. Despite his less than firm state, after having received her B12 shot that day, she drove his listless body home at 90 miles an hour, planning their next tryst. This poor fellow–she forced him to tie her hands to the bedpost recollecting with envy the “slam” that Anstasia received and praying hers would be as brutal (threatening to whip him with her new Williams-Sonoma sauté pan for failure to comply) and then waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Overwhelmed by the pressure and out of refills of Viagra, he gave up, hopelessly crumbling onto the floor, knocked out cold by the thought of more Christian.
I’d say this constitutes envy all right. If we don’t find a way to tone these women down soon, these husbands are going to be mere shells of their prior selves. These fanatics have answered the question, “how far would you go?” and then some. Perhaps EL James is helping us to redefine the modern woman. With Christian in our lives, we definitely will not need hormone replacement therapy. We may not be as sexually independent as Steinem had hoped, but clearly many a reader has proved herself more than happy to trade her feminist side for some twitchy palms any day of the week….