Fifty Shades of 'Huh?'


The other day, I found myself in the bizarre position of having some sweet, decorous Christian ladies trying to explain to me why it was okay to read Fifty Shades of Grey. It was especially bizarre because, in my previous experience, the sweet, decorous Christian ladies are so often the ones arguing that it's unsafe to read anything more daring than Grace Livingston Hill. One said that she skips the dirty parts and reads it for the characters' mental anguish and how they work through it. Isn't that like reading Playboy for the articles?

I'm not quite sure why this particular series seems to have convinced so many upstanding women -- Christian women included -- that reading porn is okay, or that a sadistic "hero" is worthy of their adoration and sympathy. But Karen Allen Campbell offers some theories that I think have a lot of merit. (Note that her critique of conservative evangelicalism is an insider's critique, as she's a conservative evangelical herself.)

Also, check out this screamingly funny takedown of the book by my friend (and new BreakPoint feature writer) Rachel McMillan. As I've always said, sometimes the best way to fight a disturbing trend like this is simply to laugh at it. As Thomas More wrote (and C. S. Lewis quoted in The Screwtape Letters), "The devil . . . the prowde spirite . . . cannot endure to be mocked."

Comments:

Mike D. Would you provide a link to your work?
I think Christians are often too quick to condemn without exploring the social significance of works of popular culture. Often it's sex=bad=stay away. I'm all for laughing and mocking when it's appropriate, but maybe something that has, I've heard, the three top spots in the NY Times best seller list is something we need to take seriously.

I've argued elsewhere, that books like these show how modern feminism has utterly failed to give any real meaning to young women. Human nature cannot be mocked: women are different than men, and feminism has denied God ordained complementarity. So since these young women, and maybe the millions reading these books, don't have any example of real Godly manhood, they search for it in cheap and harmful substitutes.

Way too much here to unpack in a comment, but I think it short sighted to dismiss these books as morally threatening without analyzing their cultural significance.
That's about the size of it, Jason. "Fifty Shades" and its sequels are written expressly to titillate.
Ok, I get the point. WoW is about "Really cool apple pie American family kills lots of nazis". FSAG is about "boring people discover human reproduction."
What if someone is actually telling the truth when they say that that is the reason? There are books with dirty parts that are still worth reading. I've read Winds of War/War and Remembrance which has several sex scenes(I suppose when you think about it the Holocaust scenes are "dirtier" but no one really considers that to be fun).




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