Not a day goes by without a newspaper or magazine carrying an article about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. For the amount of publicity this book has received I have only seen one woman reading it but, apparently, women are reading it off their Kindles for fear of being rumbled over reading porn.
It feels as if I must be the only woman who hasn’t read it though I am familiar with the protagonists names, thanks to the endless reviews, and feel that I almost know what Anastasia and Christian get up to in the ‘Red Room’.
I haven’t read it because I have misgivings about sexual pleasure being derived through the act of being a submissive sexual plaything. Also, the fact that the book has been called ‘Mummy Porn’ is rather disturbing because of the vagueness of the implications of the label. Is there porn specially reserved for Mummies or does the label imply that mothers are sexually repressed creatures who have to rely on furtive reading to satisfy a sexual need? Does the book fit in with feminist mothering? Can anyone answer this question?
The only feminist thought on the book that I have come across is from a male journalist (Dan Jones) writing for the London Evening Standard who says that the feminist agenda of having a work life balance will go unrealised “so long as the popular fantasy of 10 million smart and literate women worldwide is the tale of a girl who likes being spanked with a paddle by a big rich bloke’. Ouch!