Changed My Mind About Blurred Lines

29 Jan

So.. That’s embarrassing, isn’t it?

Well, I think it’s better to have a real discussion rather than pretending I understood the outrage over the song Blurred Lines. It really did skip over me that “blurred lines” had anything to do with drugging her. I’m the WORST at knowing about drug references. I didn’t catch that for a while. Also, I have a habit of.. well, just.. being a bit naive about bad intentions. It doesn’t matter how “aware” I am of things, sometimes even the most obvious stuff runs right past me without me catching it.

Really and truly, I thought the song was about not being able to cross over those lines because had a boyfriend. I kept focusing on the relationship part.. rather than the “I’m just going have sex with you one way or another” part. That’s rape. The drug reference blew it wide open for me. Then I could see it. 

I talked about this a LOT with friends.. it just didn’t make any sense to me. But about a week after my post I changed my mind about the song. 

And promptly forgot to write another post about it here 🙂

Blurred Lines: She Wants It?

1 Oct

Blurred Lines

So there’s this song that’s been getting a lot of attention: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. When I first heard it, I loved it. I mean, I turned the stereo up or stopped whatever I was doing to go out on the dance floor. All I ever heard was “I know you want” and something about good girls. The beat took over everything else.

Since I heard the outcry against the song, and watched the parody. Which I also thought was funny and then it was confusing because sometimes when people make a point.. just.. *sigh* Whatever. So lets move on, right? But then I read this post against the outcry against the song. Then there was this video of teenagers responding to the song. The responses were mixed: confusion, irritation, jaws dropped but mainly confusion.

Hey, I’m right there with you.

The most common response was: If this were a feminist song (as Robin Thicke claims), then this video would be different. It would be respectful.

But what the HELL does that mean? What does respect mean? What does respect toward women mean? The knee-jerk reaction is “women who respect themselves keep their clothes on” or “if that man respected that woman, he wouldn’t need to take her clothes off.”

And then.. there are the lyrics which didn’t initially bother me. Even the “I know you want it,” the classic line that every R&B song I grew up with has in it, didn’t throw me into a tizzy. And that’s one of the lines in the song that pisses a lot of people off. Perhaps my desensitization is because it is a line that’s in many songs. The people who are swatting away the angry commotion with the excuse, “But it’s just a pop song and it’s not like pop songs are ever high quality” aren’t doing us any favors. But I also feel that sigh with them.

Then there was this post: a mix of the song lyrics and real words spoken to sexual assault victims/survivors by their rapists. Currently, I feel that is pushing the line of connections. Though I can certainly understand it and see the point being put out there.. That these words “I know you want it” and the woman in question is being called a “good girl” inviting the “madonna/whore” complex all over again. And then there’s the title of the song, “Blurred lines.” When I finally went to read the song lyrics, I had a different reaction than I anticipated. So many people were upset about the song that I thought I would be too.

So first, I’ll say this: the song is definitely degrading but does it invite rape culture? I’m not convinced.

It’s degrading because he doesn’t care about her relationship. He doesn’t care to support her in keeping it. In a nutshell, he thinks cheating is perfectly fine and he’s doing his damndest to convince her of that. That’s the most disrespectful part of the song (that and Pharrell’s lyrics. DAMNIT PHARRELL! I’m such a fan. Stop being a dick). The rap portion of the song is obnoxious and typical masculine arrogance. I hate it when women are called bitches in a context of “thing,” like bitches are something to have. Well, in that case, you can kindly fuck yourself and.. really, I mean just that.

But it is NOT degrading for the many reasons that have people up and arms: “You’re a good girl,” “I know you want it.” Here, read it for yourself:

I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
[Pharell:] Everybody get up
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

When I read the title “Blurred Lines,” it is now put into a context of “I hate the relationship lines. You can’t do anything even though you want to and damn I wish you would.” It does not say to me, “I’m gonna have sex with you whether you want it or not.” The song is talking about cheating, not rape. But if you chose to solely focus on specific lyrics, then yeah, you could say he was talking about rape. But that doesn’t include the context which is sorely needed.

I don’t agree that talking about spanking and hair pulling is degrading. When we say “we wanna get nasty” or “be an animal in bed,” our default thought is spanking and hair pulling. To some people, these phrases can mean only that or mean more than that, but generally those two things are the first actions we think of. I will agree with one of the bloggers (who made the mistake of calling herself a feminist and not a Feminist), that this is total slut shaming. DUDE. STOP. TELLING PEOPLE HOW TO FUCK IN BED. SERIOUSLY. If we wanted that, we’d let Virginia’s insane attempt to pass a law against oral sex happen. Just.. UGH. It’s not up to you to decide what is grading for one person or another. It’s a sensation and when done with a partner who is excellent in communication and loves you, it’s a good thing. It’s not a terrible thing to submissive, you know. So long as it is a choice and no one spent time convincing the person to be spanked. This is the kind of nonsense that makes it difficult for word Feminist to be taken seriously.

And the one thing that would make this song a completely rapey song that he didn’t say? Don’t pretend like you didn’t want it or something along those lines. Instead, it’s a song about a douchey guy who is willing to encourage a woman to cheat on her boyfriend. And calls women bitches, like we’re things to have. The encouraging to cheat part, that’s what gets me. Why are relationships not respected? *sigh* Sad.

Or is it because the song is coming from a male that we just automatically dismiss it any of the possibilities labeled above and label it as degrading? Or, am I completely missing the boat on this one? Please share your thoughts and comments! I’d love to talk it out. Opinions can change. For now, this is my thought.

Feminist Tyson, Rape Manuals & Texas Justice

20 Jun

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Oy vey. So much going on in the news: a 15 year old girl is told to cover up by a TSA agent, a man was acquitted by a jury even though he killed an escort in Texas, there is a rape manual on kickstarter, and Tyson is a feminist?

This is madness.

The story about the man who was acquitted by a Texas jury, even though he murdered an escort, is something everyone has been talking about. The jury took 11 hours, split over two days, to decide whether or not to convict him. He would have faced a life sentence in jail. Admittedly, I’m not always sure what the correct punishment is for people. I am not a believer that jail solves things. I do think it is sometimes necessary. I also  know our prisons are overrun and run for profit much of the time. I hope this man has to go through serious counseling, at the very least and serves some kind of time for something. I don’t know what the clear answer is here.

But that he was found NOT guilty because under Texas law, he had a right to shoot her because she had stolen his property: either his money or HER vagina..

That’s what gets to me. This is wrong. This is flat out wrong.
You do not have the RIGHT to shoot an escort because she chose not to have sex with you. No, you don’t. You.. DON’T. I don’t know if he had the intent to kill–likely not. Maybe he meant to seriously harm but not kill (not that it matters in my book). I don’t think most people are sociopaths (that’s 4% of our population). I don’t think most people mean to do a LOT of things they do but they do them and they should be punished adequately. What I do think happened is this man was raised in a culture where it is okay to shoot people whenever he feels he hasn’t gotten what he wanted. That is clear because the jury supported him. This woman did not pose a threat to him. She did not break into his house, with a gun or any other weapon, threaten him, etc.. He lost money. He shot her over $150.

But the reasons.. the reasons for which her death was justified by the jury not convicting him? I.. I am at a loss for words. How is that anyone can claim you have a right to shoot someone because they won’t give you their vagina?

At any point in time, businesses have a right to refuse service. What he should have done instead of SHOOTING her was finding a way to get his money back. He clearly didn’t understand what an escort is and paid thinking the service was something else (prostitution).  Okay, so he was upset he didn’t get the service he paid for (though not one she offers,clearly). You cannot SHOOT people because you are pissed you didn’t get the service you thought you would.

Why.. why is this any different? Oh right because it’s about sex and women’s bodies and people still think you can possess them whenever you want. That you can own people. And is that so surprising in a world where slavery STILL exists?

This blows my mind. Really. I don’t know what else I can say about it that anyone else hasn’t already said.

To the TSA agent who shamed a young girl in public for her clothes (reminds me of the University student who wrote a letter to the girl about what she was wearing, that it was distracting and she should protect the men around her):

There are some things you should keep to yourself. That comment was one of them. If you are uncomfortable with the way she was dressed, it is not up to you to embarrass her. If she was being rude or upsetting people around her, I could understand why you might want to speak up and correct her behavior but you have ZERO right to tell her what she can and cannot wear.

That is up to her parent. Not you. So zip it.

It came to my attention yesterday that there is.. a rape manual seeking support on Kickstart. Of course, that isn’t what the authors calls it but the exerts on Reddit clearly lay it out for anyone to read. I quote:

“All the greatest seducers in history could not keep their hands off of women. They aggressively escalated physically with every woman they were flirting with. They began touching them immediately, kept great body language and eye contact, and were shameless in their physicality. Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically.”

“Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.”

Sex

Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”

Wow. Just..

(crickets) (blink).. (blink)…

This is dangerous and I’m glad it’s being talked about. There is a difference between being dominant and being an aggressor. First rule: You ALWAYS ask for permission. Good grief. Always. Nothing gets past that.

You cannot be dominant toward someone you don’t know. You cannot be aggressive toward someone who hasn’t said that they liked it or it was okay.

This is immature masculinity. This is exactly what I spoke about in the radio show yesterday. We have to replace this with mature masculinity. There is no other option. You do not need to take in order to get something you want. If you do this, if we practice this, we will keep violence in our societies.

What people repeatedly miss about dominance is that you can only take something that has been given to you. Doing anything less than that makes you a predator, an aggressor, an assaulter. People get caught up in the romantic notion of “man grabs woman around waist because she says no but he knows.. she wants him.. because she kisses him passionately and slowly sinks down to her knees..” Lets stop there shall we? That is the picture this guy is painting. No is not a yes. I do understand that some people play that game of “come get me. I’m going to say no but I really just want you to chase me and pin me down and take me.” But that has to be discussed. It is NOT a default all women possess. You might luck out and it might be something she wants.. Or, you’re a rapist.

Is that something you want to risk?! I don’t! I don’t want to risk that.

Get the consent first, then play.

And by the way, the hand on the thigh or small of my back when I haven’t asked for it? Really creepy.. Really, really creepy. But the hand on my thigh or small of my back when I have given my consent to that person? Hawt.

Consent is sexy.

*****

Tyson a feminist. Well.. I’m not sure I’d call him a feminist (mainly because it is a little disconcerning to be called something when you haven’t said it yourself. It feels forced and pushed on you, you know?) but I do appreciate his recent insights into his humanity and community.

SLCFeminist is pretty upset Clutch Magazine recently called Mike Tyson a sort of feminist.

but one comment a feminist does not make. Danielles explains how she cannot, “condone his violent behavior, especially when it was directed toward women,” but she can understand,  ”how he got there.” Wait, what?! Ultimately, she tells the reader that, “Feminism seeks to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, are treated as equal human beings. And that’s what Mike Tyson wants–to be seen as human. It’s what we all want.” Fair enough, feminism advocates for fair treatment of human beings, but fair treatment of human beings doesn’t necessitate that feminists overlook a harried history of an abusive misogynist because he makes a few salient comments.

Well, that is true. Making a few enlightened comments doesn’t make anyone anything. When you identify with an idea, or belief, or focus, that is done with a lot of active work. So I agree with SLCFeminist. This doesn’t make him a feminist but his recent reflection does line up with feminist ideals. He said:

“We as people — men — in my experience, we are told we are superior to women, they come from our rib and this and that. That’s all our insecurity, to make us feel like someone, like a slave master. I’m so happy to reach a stage in my life, a paradigm shift. Everything I did believe was a goddamn lie.”

Read the rest of the article here. I think that is an awesome thing to come to terms with Mike. You’ve done quite a bit of damage and your self in the present is much better than the one before. I’m happy for that. I don’t know the details of the accusations against him as a rapist. I know he was convicted. Considering how hard it is to convict anyone of rape, I have a feeling he’s guilty. The evidence must have been pretty damn good. It’s clear you have a ways to go.

but at least you have a good start.. I guess.
Too bad it was so bad for so long..
But at least.. it sounds like you’re doing the right thing now. That’s all anyone could hope for.

Catalyst Con & Radio Show Announcement

17 Jun

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Interesting thing I just head via Sex Out Loud: Statistically speaking, teenagers wait to have sex until later in life when they are able to talk to their parents openly and honestly about sex (and no, this doesn’t mean warning them not to have sex). Listen to the last 10 minutes of the latest episode of Sex Out Loud to hear The Sex Positive Parent discuss this.

There is a lot going in the world of Modern Sex Culture. I’m planning to attend Catalyst Con at the end of September. It’s a collection of sex educators, psychologists, counselors, activists and oh so much more who come to speak about their favorite topics. How could this NOT be awesome? Topics range from Language Matters: How to Speak Sex Positivity So That People Lesson, The Five Biggest Myths About Sex & Aging, Pros & Cons: Liberty Vs. Legality (by a former Lusty Lady!), What is Normal? An Exploration of Sexual Behavior, Diversity and Judgement, The Politics of Producing Pleasure: The Feminist Porn in Industry and Academe, Feminist Porn 101: What it is, What it isn’t and Why it Matters, Male Circumcision: A Humanist Perspective (a topic near and dear to my heart. I support this documentary, “The American Secret: The Circumcision Agenda”), Managing Your Message: Can You Really Control What Gets Published and oh so much more.

I would love to go! It’s only $110 for the full weekend in LA (until June 20th, then the price is hiked up to $150. It is still insanely cheap).

Please donate to Modern Sex Culture so she can go and report all of this lovely information back to you 🙂 Kindly look to the right of this post for the Paypal donation link.

Coming up! Modern Sex Culture’s first radio show, tomorrow! It was supposed to air last week but there was some major last minute things to take care of in my personal life and I was incredible sick: in bed with a fever, a zombie. I’m not sure how often I will produce this show. For now, I think it will remain at every two weeks but I may get too excited (meaning, I can’t shut up) and will likely produce it every week in the future. But one step at a time here! I don’t want to stress myself out. I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew and spitting it back out.

I’ve been waiting to do this radio show for years. Now I finally have the time. 🙂

Children: Makeup & Bras

27 May

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A little over a week ago, I asked Facebook what they thought of my tension over children in make up and/or in adult styled clothes? Most people agreed putting make up on children sexualizes them. To be clear: My tension with children in makeup is because I do not believe makeup and/or sexy clothes should ever = sex. Because it doesn’t! Clothes and makeup can be expressions of SO many things.. Though sometimes they are representations of feeling sexy and/or attractive (which, to be clear, does not mean sex). I took serious issue with my knee-jerk reaction. Consciously, I do not agree with my subconscious. There is some work left to do, you know?

I do not think we should contribute to an idea that clothes and makeup, used to be attractive or to enhance attractiveness or.. whatever the reason, should automatically equate with sex. That leads to our default assumption about someone who is wearing “attractive” clothes (whatever that means; the definition varies from culture to culture) and/or makeup is looking for sex or wants sexual attention. THAT is dangerous and simply untrue. There are so many reasons why people wear clothes that revel the lines of their figure or use make up to enhance features (or play down certain features). So much of it is just normal in our culture anyway. It’s just.. habit and expected (many women put make up on for the work place. It’s only recently the requirement of wearing makeup has been disputed).

Even after dismissing this reason for being uncomfortable in my subconscious and reaffirming with myself that clothes/makeup does NOT equal sex (I have plenty of habits to undo), I still felt uncomfortable.

So.. why?

There was a comment left on my FB page that this robs children of their childhood. I think this is what bothers me. It’s not that I don’t think children should learn about how to be a fantastic adult. I do! Childhood is the foundation for how are default adult characters will be. And that’s the problem I have with putting adult makeup and adult clothes on children. There is sooooo much time for this later in life. In fact, MOST of our lives, we will spend being adults. Playing with clothes, playing with our hair.. and while we say looks are not important.. we understand, as adults, that our societies will judge us based on our looks, how we present ourselves. I’m not saying that doing this is correct way to be but it is a reality (which is why I fight rape culture; because people still think how a victim is dressed contributes to rape and well, the victim had it coming. That’s flat out wrong).

Childhood should be about building character. They already watch adults primp, figure out what clothes to wear, spray on cologne or perfume and fix their hairs.. or not do any of these things. They are observing. So why put them in the position to make adult decisions? Why can’t they just left to observe a while? Those years of figuring out how they want to express themselves are coming up fast.

Then again, I have a friend who lets her daughter (under the age of 10) dye her hair the color she wants (I thinks he picked pink). I think that’s awesome! But it was seeing a 7 year old I know, happily showcasing her bras to me..  made my heart sink and my stomach cringe. Seeing her in eyeshadow got to me. That is what triggered this discomfort. She’s just a little girl. It doesn’t seem like costumes .. or playtime. It felt too grown up.

Perhaps I haven’t figured it out just yet.. What do you think?

University of Washington: Sex Workers Q & A, Tomorrow!

23 May

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Tomorrow is an exciting day for me! For the first time, I will be speaking a formal public setting about having experience as a sex worker! And to be able to meet this other fabulous people I’ve heard about (via The Stranger or the grapevine) is making this an AWESOME day!

So if you happen to have an hour free tomorrow and live in the Seattle area, come on down!

This is exactly what I have been wanting: a healthy place to talk about sex work and gain experience. Educating the public on sex workers is a passion of mine though I didn’t realize it until the last few years. I was jealous of a sex worker who spoke openly about it at the first Portland SlutWalk. It changed my fear into desire.  She was courageous and I wanted to be like her. Someday, I hope I have a chance to thank her.

Pushing to speak publicly about it has not been an easy task to wrap my mind around. My number one concern has been my safety. When I moved to Seattle and began a new venue of adult entertainment, a man I was dating at the time advised me not to tell anyone since not everyone “will understand.” I took his advice to heart for a number of years but in the process I learned I was simply living in fear. There was this whole section of my life I “couldn’t” talk about and that’s… very strange for me. It’s difficult learning to balance privacy, safety and.. sharing. I’m not a very private person so this has been a strange and sometimes painful adjustment.

It became even more important to me to speak out and up for sex workers (who cannot speak up publicly for various reasons) when I was sexually assaulted several times (or threatened with it) in the course of 2 years. The chances of being sexually assaulted significantly increases for people who are sex workers. People I was open with about my work treated me in interesting ways: Many thought they had to save me, assuming I had terrible self-esteem. Many thought I was cheater (or as they said, “promiscuous in a relationship”). Some thought I needed attention to feel better since I wasn’t “well off” as they were (that definition has many meanings and they all meant different things by it). I was once told how embarrassing it would be if my mother knew that all I grew up to be was someone who swung around a pole…

And I ask.. Even if I was using my body to be empowered, why is that so terrible? Don’t we do this all the time in many ways? By the way we choose to dress that day or choosing to put on make up (or NOT put on make up. That has also been a source of empowerment for me)? What about athletes who use their bodies to make money? I’ve never understood sex to be an embarrassing thing (this is what lead me away from Christianity). I feel ZERO shame about being a sex worker.

But what is very shameful to me is the way human beings have decided they could treat me because they knew I was one. And that it hurt me. It was only other peoples’ shame that made me feel shameful and doubtful.. was there something wrong with me?

I can say this: I have not seen a sex worker any more “broken” than any other person on the street: accountant, game developer, program developer, bicyclist, marathoner, CEOs, etc. You name it: people are people.

So why do sex work? Honestly, it’s just interested me over time. It happened because I answered an ad to be a phone sex operator. Before that I had explored posting erotic/nude photos while I was 80 lbs overweight as an exercise: to find beauty in my body that I was having trouble feeling comfortable with.. and to also inspire others to feel good about themselves too. So I tried phone sex work and it was fascinating. I even told my Dad. Not because I thought he’d want to know (he didn’t) but because I would be more embarrassed if he thought I wasn’t working. And it turned out it was fun, weird, scary and also.. very helpful to a lot of people. I did cam work and various things (though nothing illegal because I’m a pansy about having anything “on my record”–I’m still a “good girl”).

What I learned is this: Sometimes people just need to tell someone. They need someone who is empathetic. Sometimes, unfortunately, their partners for whatever reason are not at liberty to do that. Sometimes they are liars. Sometimes their partners enjoy them coming to me. Sometimes I see couples enjoying themselves.

What I learned is compassion and to be more open and less condemning. And yes, being a sex worker was very empowering for me because as a friend put it: We are practicing our boundaries. My friend was dead on about that. I’m not going to pretend sex work is always fun. It isn’t. It’s like any other job: trite, boring, requires patience, etc. Except sometimes you have to deal with seriously strange or scary people (who feel they are allowed to be this way to you). And sometimes it requires so much critical thinking I need a nap afterward. It’s frustrating, maddening and mind blowing.. because it is rare to see this side of a person.. unless you are very patient and non-judgmental.

People are amazing and sex work has made me love them more and tolerate less bull shit in my life.

And, one last bone to pick: Sex work is NOT sex trafficking. Jesus Fucking Christ. If I see one more person confuse those two things… 😛

So anyway, come down tomorrow and join me.. and some fabulous, smart, educated people (because believe me: you can’t be a dummy to do this work that’s for sure).

Fify Shades: An Abusive “Love” Story

14 May

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Entertainment Weekly’s review is spot on: In a class by itself. I always appreciate writers who know exactly what to leave in and what to leave out.

Criticizing The Fifty Shades Trilogy is an easy task. There are many, many things “wrong” with it but all books are not meant to be pieces of literature are they? No, they’re not. That is a lesson I’ve finally learned to appreciate. I expected it to be bad writing and to be a silly story. It does stem from Twilight fan fiction. The whole vampire love story really isn’t my thing. It doesn’t get me going and I suspected this wouldn’t either. But a lot of people like it and I had to find out why.

There are some decent things about it: It’s a fast read because the characters, the story and the expressions are not complicated. Hell, if you’re confused as to why kind of mood Christian is in, she’ll fill it in for you:

“You’re upset because of what happened last time. I behaved stupidly, and you.. So did you. Why didn’t you safe-word, Anastasia?” His tone changes, becomes accusatory.
What? Whoa-change of direction.
“Answer me.”

Oh well there you go. She told you twice. It’s also a “love” story. A hugely successful man who never lacks control is finding it difficult to maintain for this young woman. That is the story line for the quintessential Harlequin romance book (either the man or the woman in the story has to be wooed. As far as I know, it’s always the same). There is something pleasing about two people being pulled out of their comfort zones and learning to love. That’s a nice thing and one many people can relate to. That is partly what makes for a story that sells. Throw in sex and you’ve probably got something someone will want to read somewhere.

When I think about it, “BDSM” is what separates this book from Harlequin. I placed BDSM in quotations because you should know reader, this is NOT BDSM.

And this is what is incredibly upsetting about the book. E.L. James has not sold a BDSM love story; She has sold an abusive “love” story. I’m currently reading the second one, Fifty Shades Darker. It isn’t making me quite as mad as the first one (yet) because my bar of expectation has been set. I’m only on page 80 and by now I have asked myself the question, “Did she know how popular this book would be? Or at the very least, did she write it with the intention of it being popular?” Did she mean to send out this message that people who are into BDSM go there because they were abused and that they later can’t “love” like other people? That is incredibly disturbing. I hope that is not what she thinks of BDSM people and I hope that is not what she intended to say.. but she has in this book.

So why am I saying it is abusive? Christian doesn’t “not know how to love,” he is controlling, manipulative and a stalker! Within a few days of knowing her, he “growls” at her when she calls him drunk and demands she tell him where she is. When she doesn’t tell him, he tracks her down via her cell phone and shows up. Never asking if that was okay and arrogantly putting her in his car to “take care of her.” Even though she refused to give him her location. Now it could be argued that she wanted him to find her, except that, despite her curiosity, she is clearly afraid of Christian. You could also say here, “Oooooh but he just doesn’t know how to love and he doesn’t mean to be so mean and scary! She can change him!” Except:

“This is not a man I want to cross.. ever.” Pg. 139 in Fifty Shades of Grey

There are many examples of this throughout the book. This is just a small one and I didn’t take note of everything but I do remember reading a lot of lines like this.

Abusive people are constantly written up as “people who need love!” Well, yes, they do but in the mean time, they are abusive people and you will be hurt. I’m afraid this trilogy does nothing but sell abuse to people and to use BDSM as a tool to do it with.

BDSM does often center around “control:” Control the Submissive and the Dom have agreed upon. Absolutely NO ONE should be forced, intimidated, bullied or coerced into it, which is exactly what Christian does to Anastasia. He does make sure to ask her if something is okay but he usually does this after he has thrown a temper tantrum, pouted, been angry or stern with her. He uses intimidation which is always chalked up to him “not knowing how to love because he’s 50 Shades of fucked up.”

Fuck you E.L. James.

He’s constantly telling her how to eat, what to eat, what to wear, he shows up on her doorstep when she has childishly told him goodbye through email. She didn’t invite him. He shows up. That is not romantic, it is creepy. Creepy ass shit. In theory it sounds really nice. “OOooh he loves me soooooooo much he just can’t stay away.” Yeah. He has issues respecting boundaries.

E.L. James.. have you experienced a man not staying away when you’ve made it very clear you do not want to have anything to do with them? It’s fucking scary. At first it’s simply alarming. Then when it repeats itself (as it does in this book) it becomes terrifying.

But Christian is good at getting what he wants. Often people who are “in control” publicly are very good at putting people to ease, even if behind the scenes, they show frightening characteristics. So it’s easy to see why Anastasia would be hoodwinked into think he’s “just so in loooove with me!! Wheeee!” And I’m sure he is but it is a scary love and a very unhealthy one.

A BDSM Dom/Domme would have never allowed any of this to be set up this way. He wouldn’t have fucked her hard her first time as a virgin. That shows a lack of care and consideration (to say the least). I’m not even sure he’d be willing to engage with her but I suppose in special cases that could happen. The problem is not that Anastasia is a virgin (though that is a bit of an issue for a mature Dom, I imagine) but that she has no sexual agency. Why would any Dom/Domme want to engage with someone so incredibly inexperienced and not in touch with themselves. It’s plain irresponsible. This woman hasn’t a lick of an idea of what BDSM is about.

And one last thing: Dios mio! Really? Every time (so far) Jose is introduced, he says this within the first few lines. Also there was no reason to mention he is the first of his family members to go to college. It had absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Way to stereotype.

I’m sick of selling damaged psyches as romantic. There is a lot more to say about these characters but I’m still learning them. I’m sure I’ll have more to say.

I think Kate is the only one who had any freaking sense in this book. Way to go Kate.

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