Piccadilly Market: 50 Shades of Grey is turning me 50 shades of pink

Monday, July 23, 2012

50 Shades of Grey is turning me 50 shades of pink

My first ever newspaper column appeared in the Geelong Advertisers Saturday GT lift out.

Erotic novel is not to be toyed with

Fifty Shades of Grey is turning me 50 Shades of pink and not for the reasons you would think

I am sure you have heard about 50 Shades of Grey in some shape or form over the last few weeks. Everywhere I turn, its there. It could quite possibly be mentioned in every 4th post on my Facebook feed. There are people devouring the trilogy in weeks and are left wanting more.

What is turning me 50 shades of PINK is not reading the book, well maybe a little but more on that later, it is more the places I am able to purchase this book.

There I was at the Target toy sale last week wandering up and down the numerous aisles showcasing every type of barbie known to little girls, fluffy pillow pets, pretty Crayola crayon gift packs and boxes of Lego and smack bang in the middle of all this kiddie cuteness was a bookshelf. The bookshelf was well stocked with all three titles of 50 Shades. Does anyone else have a problem with this? How is it not sealed in plastic or better yet locked with a padlock that requires you to get the key from the front desk? I am giggling as I imagine the microphone blaring through Target “ can someone please help the Mum at Counter 1 with the keys for her 50 Shades book”. This however is not the case, our children can pick up the book, flick through and be confronted with all kinds of things that they most certainly are not allowed to view at the movies or on TV.

We are talking porn here people. I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination BUT this ruffles my feathers.

It had me thinking what constitutes pornography these days. Perhaps it is not printed matter. Maybe my definition is way off the real definition so Google came to the rescue and this is what I got, Pornography(noun)- Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity. Was I surprised? Not at all, this aligns with my understanding of porn. Wikipedia goes on to say Pornography may use a variety of media, including books (check) and hardcore pornography explicitly showcases penetrative intercourse (check) .

So there in the middle of Target in the middle of Geelong, at the front door of my newsagency and proudly displayed at the Airport bookshop with an accompanying poster is not only porn but hardcore porn. Is anyone blushing yet?

Do the sales people unpacking these books even know what it is they are so readily handling? I know we have become more liberal in our thinking as each decade whizzes by but surely this is overstepping the mark.

If the book was visual rather than in print would more people object? I believe so, there is good reason to why the Playboys and Penthouses are not sold at everyday convenience stores advertised front and center.

I am not about to go waving my banner down the street but I am disappointed and shocked that our children already exposed to so much at such a young age have this to deal with too. Would a vulnerable teenage girl have a flick through and think this is normal behavior and what is expected of her in a sexual relationship? What about a teenage boy thinking this is what he needs to do to keep his new girlfriend happy?

Back to the book, I don’t see what the fuss is all about. In the risk of offending this is not a “readers” book.  I am 63% through now (that’s more than half way for non Kindle readers) and am bored, bored, bored. I don’t need to be told in every chapter how devastatingly good looking he is (25 times), I got that at Go.  There is a wonderful search option in Kindle that has enabled me to find out the following, there are 40 references to lip biting,  58 references to Ana’s inner goddess, 80 mentions of her boring subconscious and a whopping 93 uses of the word ‘crap’ . Do we really need to know that she “blushes” and “flushes” 125 times?

 It’s also terribly unbelievable however trying hard to disguise itself as believable.  An awkward 23 year old College Virgin meets 27 y.o multi millionaire with his own helicopter who buys her a car after a few weeks of meeting. Really?!?  I am an avid reader and this is not the best written word, far from it and I am pulling teeth to get through the last 37%.

The last thing turning me a shade of pink is that this book is being called “Mummy Porn”, can anyone say condescending? Do we call adult content that men enjoy “Daddy porn”? Eww!!! and downright offensive in my humble opinion.

Apparently they are making a movie. I am keen to see who will allow their teenagers go see that one.

 Would love to hear your thoughts so don't be shy.

P.S I have finished the book since writing this column and am it got no better.


moppysgirl said...

Ha! I agree with you about the believability. She's just been through 3 (or more) years of college with no mobile phone or computer. I don't think so!

There has been a lot of talk on blogs and facebook about how sexy and desirable Christian Grey is. Really? He came off as a creepy control freak stalker to me. Who gets off by hurting someone vulnerable. I could not be less interested in seeing the movie.

Piccadilly Market said...

I know seriously who doesn't have a laptop as a student in this day and age and My Grey is a total creep. Looks are not everything..

Anonymous said...

Worst book I have ever read. Im now reading the Hunger games and loving it.

bruna capodanno said...

It's so true that today our teens are much more exposed to sexual references than we were , and the tendancy is escalating. Just look at the ads on tv about male inadequacy -it's all so bluntly out there. Maybe we will see uninhibited objects showcased at Tarjé in a few years/months at this rate!

In any case thanks for putting me off this book I was actually considering buying it the other day, I'll just re-read the modern version of Jane Austin again.

Bravo Janina for making this info available to all...

Nicole Hammett said...

I have been reading the book and think it is quite an easy read, I dont think it is the best book ever written (far from it). But it is amazing at how teenagers could just go and buy the book from their local BigW or Target. I saw a huge stand of the books on the weekend.

It really should be an 18+ book, it is porn and definitely shouldn't be readily available. Particularly as the book was originally inspired by Twilight. So the young Twilight fans are going to want to read this book. They really need to be careful.

I read the other day they are going to make the movie of the book and I am wondering how they are going to do it also without it being too graphic. I dont see how they can and the movie is going to have to be R rated.

Peggy Knowles said...

Dealing with this issue really puts you in a precarious position. every core of my being wants to picket in front of the stores telling every parent and teen to beware... but then i become the freak!
target and the big chain stores have a lot to answer for and should be using their position in the community to take a stand. instead they take the almighty $$$$.
i have gained a new appreciation for those that do take their feelings to the streets and the picket lines. that takes some serious commitment and personal strength.
well done janina! keep coming out with the controversial stuff.. the world needs it!

a. said...

I agree with this completely. You simply can't work into a shop now without seeing the book or hearing a conversation about the book.

I love that this made it into the GT! I still haven't read my copy but I might just have to now.

JuicyFig said...

I just can't believe the power this book seams to have - and that no-one seams to have spoken out against it in a big way. If it had been released only 20 years ago there would have been outrage! I have made it my mission not to read it - but have thoroughly enjoyed reading the reviews on Amazon - someone even gave it 5 stars for being the best worst book ever written, and do take a look at the drinking game someone has created around repetative phrases used.

bridiek said...

Porn aside, I cannot understand why women are obsessing over a story that idealises a male dominated and dictated sexual relationship. It's disgusting that women are fantasizing about this psychologically and sexually f$@ked up excuse for a man!

Piccadilly Market said...

Loving all your comments. Drinking games around repetitive words and phrases is hilarious. I know I am not the first to look into that. I am still amazed no one has spoken up about it either. Its like the world has gone mad. Like I said in the article, I am not a prude or conservative but some things are just too much. If I hadn't decided to write about it, there was no way I would have finished it.

Anonymous said...

As an adult male I am often shocked at how society views porn, given it is now "acceptable" to most people and generally glorified. Avid fans of any pornography should check the effects before passing this off as a bit of fun. Make no mistake, this is having a profound effect on relationships and society. Check the statistics on serial killers and their addiction to porn...

This is just another effort to mainstream something to a new demographic. sad that anyone who oposes this garbage is labelled a prude. Stand up for what you believe and be buggered what the world thinks.

Great article!

Piccadilly Market said...

So great to hear from an adult male. I think its skating on very thin ice. Its way too mainstream for my liking. There was an interesting response in the Addy today and somehow I think they may have missed the point. There may be some intelligent teens out there who can deal with a book like this with a healthy view but sadly that is not the majority of the society we live in. It is the portrayal of women that is nuts. I have no idea why some body would be falling in love with such a control freak, puts women back a fair few decades.

Librarian Lee said...

Can't wait to read last weekend's GT (congrats on the column, you go girl...)

Am I the only 40+ year old woman alive NOT reading the Grey books? I make no apologies; there are so many great books, so many well-written books, out there that I just don't have time for crap.

Unlike movies, books have no M, MA etc ratings. Hence, as a librarian, I have to be very careful about what I purchase for my students to read. I would like them to be empowered by Katniss Everdeen (and Tris Prior in Veronoica Roth's "Divergent" series) rather having role models like whatshername and icky Mr Grey.

Piccadilly Market said...

Couldn't agree more Librarian Lee. I think the written word can get away with a lot more than a visual one which should not be allowed.

Anonymous said...

I too am a mature male and I have my own take on why this is being swooped up by many women as a must read. I believe that our ancestorial genetics had man the domanearing gender in such a way that the woman was extremely submissive. Fortunately we live in the 21st century and equality if not complete, is far more so that ever before, and rightfully so. However, gentics no matter how time and social exceptance advances, our distant beginnings comes to the fore, and more often via our thoughts than our actions. We see it with young males in the form of agression to be top-dog, and young women via issolating a peer from the excepted group. This erotic tale is another example of where our genetic beginnings are brought to life, this time via thoughts of fanticiful submission and in a strange sort of way, security.

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