I heard today a UK charity called for people to hand over their copies of Fifty Shades of Grey so they can be burnt in a huge bonfire.
While I don’t like the idea of burning books or any forms of extremism and intolerance (remember the Nazis?)
, I can see their point. I like to listen to both sides. That said, I’m really uncomfortable with the idea. Burning books, burning flags? No. What will this achieve?
One can only hope this is done to shock in hope of garnering publicity for the charity and highlight what victims of domestic violence go through. I can also understand this charity’s frustration as authorities cut down on the services they provide for these victims. Not so long ago some of these women were told by their local authorities to go and sleep in the Occupy movement tents because of a lack of hostels.
Really? What a ridiculous suggestion!
When I was asked, as an author, for my views on the Fifty Shades phenomenon, I declined to comment, pointing out I hadn’t read them. No problem, they said, we’ll send you a copy right away. Ah thanks, not my type of book was my reply.
I have toyed with the idea of reading them since everywhere you look, someone is talking about it. Comments, reviews, articles in newspapers, you can’t escape the wildfire.
The more I read, the less I was inclined to read these books, even though I enjoy reading different genres and have at times been nicely surprised. It’s just not for me and that’s fine.
The fantasy of the young virgin being taken in charge by a millionaire is nothing new, but I baulk at the idea of reading a novel where someone enjoys inflicting pain. Oh, but he has a tormented past. Hmm, so what? Many more have had a difficult start in life, no reason to turn on others, on the contrary. There is a time when people have to grow up and make their own choices.
While victims can find solace and healing with others, this sounds a bit extreme. Most of the healing has to start from within. Imagine if all of us who had a difficult childhood did this? In reality, you can’t just change people, not unless they want to.
Some will say this is a novel, no harm done. Perhaps, but will it do anything to help change attitudes about rape and violence?
Each to their own, but let’s not forget the vulnerable, the victims. While everybody are making jokes, they’re still suffering.
- UK women’s group plans ’50 Shades of Grey’ book burning (theglobeandmail.com)
- Local DJs Ignite ‘Fifty Shades’ Controversy (fox8.com)