"Here's the deal," states Jenny Rae Armstrong in her post about E. L. James's publishing phenomenon. "Women you know are reading this stuff. Women in yourchurchare reading this stuff. They’re just not talking about it. They’re ashamed, and flying under the radar to avoid detection.
"Also. Yourdaughtersare reading this stuff. Or their friends are at least telling them about it. Bella Swan was bad enough--do you really want your babies to grow up wishing they could be just like Anastasia Steele?"
Jenny's written a very important post here, asking some questions that badly needed to be asked. Though I took issue in the comments section with some of her remarks of classic literature (had to uphold the Unwritten Code of the English Major, after all), I think she's exactly on point with her interpretation of this particular series. After all, there may be several ways to interpret "Beauty and the Beast," but there are distressingly few ways to interpret a novel whose heroine "willingly and excitedly agrees to spanking, whipping and gagging."
Jenny's treatment of the books and what they signify is pretty frank, but as she convincingly argues, when "the three best-selling books in the nation right now are about a 21-year-old girl who has sold herself into sexual subjugation," frankness is exactly what we need.