Her View of 50 Shades
24 May, 2012 at 7:26 am | Written by: Jen Sill
Disclaimer: This post may include quotes and thoughts not all members would be comfortable reading. We want to open discussion about this book to everyone. If you do not want to read passages from this book, please see Heather’s post about why she would NOT read 50 Shades of Grey. It is first. You don’t have to read further. If you’d like to read about whether Jen or Leslie liked the book you can read past Heather’s post.
By now everyone is talking about it, either they are for it (most are it seems) or they are against it.
To me, 50 Shades of Grey is just a book. Is it harmless? NOPE—I think not. Reading changes our lives, quite literally. Words woven together in a novel story impact our hearts, our minds, and causes a ripple effect. Even researchers and psychologists say that reading has a sizable impact on our hearts and minds.
So why won’t I read the book 50 Shades of Grey? It starts with the genre itself, Erotic Literature: (hang on ladies, this may make some of you blush—if it doesn’t, I know a good therapist): Wikipeida says:
it comprises fictional and factual stories and accounts of human sexual relationships which have the power to or are intended to arouse the reader sexually. Such erotica takes the form of novels, short stories, poetry, true-life memoirs, and sex manuals. A common feature of the genre are transgressive sexual fantasies on such themes as prostitution, orgies,homosexuality, sado-masochism, cross-dressing, incest and many other taboo subjects and fetishes, which may or may not be expressed in explicit language.
So what’s the big deal? Why am I being a killjoy?
Because words have the power to speak life or death into any and every situation (I’m a christian author for crying out loud). And because we, as women, are wired to forge relationships beginning with our minds and emotions. Meaning, if it’s okay for me to read this book, then its okay for my husband to read a porn magazine. Neither of which are acceptable in our home, I’m raising a teenage daughter at the moment—need I say more?
Just because it’s the latest craze doesn’t mean I should hop on the band wagon.
And now I’m getting on my soapbox, stay with me.
I won’t read the book just because curiosity has gotten the best of me (Ever heard the catch phrase “Curiosity killed the cat–just saying?).
I won’t read it because everyone else is.
It doesn’t mean I’m a goodie two-shoes. To be honest and open, I love the lord God very deeply and this type of material is offensive in his eyes… It cheapens our sexuality, our intimacy and trashes our minds. Besides keeping my mind and marriage bed pure, another thought: These are not the values I want to set for my children. Ephesians: 5:3-7 says,
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater —has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.” (The Message Bible). If you are really curious check out this song that sums up our choices:
As a new Christian who hates rules and boundaries, I understand that our minds are the battlefield; and boundaries are necessary in keeping my life from being cheapened or jaded for all that God has intended for me. Then there is those who say I need to read the book to draw my own conclusions and understand the plot behind the story—I can draw my own conclusions without trying it. The scripture above makes it clear of the reasons why I should not read the book, as well as God’s reasons behind it.
Besides, wouldn’t you rather read something that is encouraging, uplifting and makes you want to cheer on the victor in the stories? I’d rather be watching Fireproof, reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Vosscamp, or making my own memories with my husband (I bet my family is cringing now). I’d rather be passing on a legacy of family values that are wholesome.
Ted Baehr, the publisher of MovieGuide says,
“Those who have been born again see God’s providence at work. Those who do not have eyes to see are subjected to the influences of the world—a world where the mass media of entertainment spins reality to conform to its preconceptions, values and desires.” My goal is to raise children who are godly and it begins with the example I set for them at home. So if you understand and don’t judge me AWESOME! If you don’t have the same views, that’s okay too. We are all on different paths and right now, this is where God has me—without that book in my hands.
So with that I leave you with my favorite prose of words:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9.
Final Disclaimer: It gets graphic from here. Scroll to the bottom for the contest rules.
The hype got me. I have to admit I don’t read many books. I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m usually running kids somewhere, changing diapers, fighting for nap time or picking up the latest general mess in my house. BUT, my husband whisked me away on our first-ever childless vacation last week. Leslie had just posted something about the book on “Her View From Home’s” Facebook page and an argument exploded over whether the book SHOULD even be read. Then, some friends messaged me that I’d be missing out if I didn’t read it. Other friends e-mailed me saying it might heat things up in the bedroom. So, I thought I’d give it a shot. I tried the library and was, like 125th on the reserve list. I tried a couple stores that were sold out. All the time my interest was piquing. A friend offered me hers — before she would even read it — and I was set to drive to another town to pick it up. Finally, a day before my vacation, my local Target received a shipment. Yipee!! I ran to the store to buy it and safely packed it in my carry-on.
This book started out as ‘fan fiction’ from the Twilight series. I don’t know too much about fan fiction. However, the last books I had read were the Twilight trilogy (loved them.) And right away I saw the similarities. The first quarter of the book could have been ripped straight from the pages of Twilight. Anastasia Steele and Isabella Swan could be the same character in many ways. Both think of themselves as mousy young girls hiding out in the shadows. They are unaware that they actually turn the heads of almost every man in their lives. But they’ve never even thought of any man until they meet a greek-god of a guy who is just wrong for them. In Twilight it is Edward – a centuries old vampire. In 50 Shades, it is Christian, a young, extremely wealthy, but totally messed up business tycoon. The men fall for each heroin for reasons they can’t explain, but try to stay away. The men even warn both girls that they should run. Of course, they don’t.
5o Shades of Grey takes a major turn away from Twilight at the end of Chapter Six. (I can almost turn to the page one quarter of the way through the book.) With this quote (just know I warned you before you read on. This is your last chance to get off the train if you’re uncomfortable with the f-word or sexual stuff.):
“Does that mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy s***. Did I just say that? His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly.
“No, Anastasia, it doesn’t. First, I don’t make love. I f***… hard…”
Yup. My face was flush in the airport as I read the line. I lowered the cover of the book in case anyone around me was judging. Gulp. “Here we go,” I thought. And here we went. We went graphic. We went pornographic. And we went far beyond my comfort zone.
Christian proposes that Anastasia becomes his submissive. He shows her his ‘playroom’ with a vast collection of floggers, canes, paddles, and other S&M sexual toys. After the tour he asks for her signature to show consent. She reveals that she’s a virgin. He decides to introduce her to “vanilla sex” before she signs any contracts. The book does go in to great detail about the couple’s sexual exploits. Here’s another uncomfortable (but not the most uncomfortable) passage:
“He moves his finger in a wide circle, stretching me, pulling at me, his tongue mirroring his actions, around and around. I groan. It is too much… my body begs for relief and I can no longer deny it.” I let go, losing all cogent thought as my o**** seizes me, wringing my insides again and again…”
Hmmm…. I never thought I’d type anything like that. . . That’s about a 7 on the scale — 10 being the most explicit passage in the book.
I haven’t read ANY books describing sex, not even a ‘heaving bosoms’ kind of book. This one goes in to EXTREME detail. I’d say pornography could be used to describe the pictures she paints. Some call it “Mommy Porn.” Only a couple of the ‘adventures’ are BDSM. After the first shock, I think I was desensitized by the book’s descriptions. If you cut that all out, you just have a simple story about a nice girl falling for the wrong man. There really isn’t much else to it.
I can’t say that I couldn’t put it down. I am happy that I read it so that I could draw my own conclusions. I would like to discuss it with some of my good girlfriends. The sex is selling. SEVERAL of my friends have said they don’t usually read, but they’re on their second 50 Shades book.
Some have said that it may glamorize abusive relationships. Christian does like to ‘spank’ Anastasia for such things as rolling her eyes. I can see the point there. However, the psychology is VERY different for an actual abusive relationship. There is a lot more cold, hard fear in an actual abusive relationship. The feelings of needing to help the abuser are there. However, Ana has a lot more control in the story than an actual abused woman would have.
The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger. I hate that in television shows, movies and in books. BUT, I think I’ll read the second book (when I find the time between potty training and toddler fits.) I understand that it raises the question of nature vs nurture. That’s an argument that fascinates me.
The bottom line is aside from the S&M, it is kind of a boring, slow moving book. But I’m glad I read it. And I’ll probably see the movie.
Um, how do I keep this appropriate? I’m getting red just thinking about what I’m going to say. So, um, yea, right… so, “50 Shades of Grey” is making me blush.
I’m blushing! Are you? You should be. I mean, unless you have the same type of “room” and mind like Christian Grey. If that’s the case you’re probably saying..
“Pssh…that’s nothing. Guess what I do in my room?” And if you’re saying that, well, I’ve never met you before. Or maybe I have and you keep your crazy sexual ‘stuff’ to yourself. Please do keep it to yourself – I don’t want to know.
You see, I’m only on chapter 12. CHAPTER 12!! It doesn’t even get graphic until chapter 7. (Frankly, the first 7 chapters were boring and I found myself wondering when the good parts would happen.)
Um – they happen. QUICKLY! I’m not sure they could even be qualified as good parts. Educational? You bet. (Let’s just say this isn’t something mom and dad would teach during the ‘birds and bees’ chat.)
But good – eh?
Pornographic? Yes. I think that would suit just fine.
I’m pretty naïve. Honestly, I don’t even know how the author could create such words in her mind. In comparison, my sex life is relatively calm (yes mom, dad and husband of mine – you can cringe now) and frankly, I’m pretty happy about that. Just reading the words make me tired. I’ve often found myself thinking…
“Geez – they’re doing it…again?!” Take a break. Go play Scrabble.
Eat a hot dog. Scratch that. Eat a pretzel. Yikes – scratch that too. OK – don’t eat, but take a break already.”
I’m not one that takes life too seriously. I don’t think you’re a ‘crazy sex addict’ if you read this book and I don’t think you’re a prude if you stay away from it. To me – it’s just a book. Period. A book with naughty words, a few crazy unidentifiable objects and a very sad man, sprinkled amongst a relatively slow story line.
Will I forge through to read the other two books in the series? Of course I will. It’s what I do. If the world is talking about something, I want to be in the conversation; I want to come up with my own conclusions. Plus, I’ve had a good friend of mine tell me the 2nd book is better. And, it’s pretty hot – in the “what the heck did they just do” kind of hot. Although, I prefer romance – thank.you.very.much.
Will it take me a while to finish? Probably. When I have free time, I would rather watch an episode of “The Wonder Years” or “Mad Men” on Netflix with my guy; yes – that sums up our wild and crazy nights.
Should you read this book? It depends. If you’re the type of person who is easily offended, I’m going to go ahead and say STAY AWAY!!!! If you want something unique to chat about with your girlfriends during wine night, then yes, forge through. For me, well, these words won’t shake my faith, won’t make me think of other men/women/or inanimate objects, it simply won’t change me one way or the other. To me – it’s just words; words that have now made one author really, really rich. If it’s more than words to you, you should put the book down and walk away slowly.
If you do pick it up, be prepared to find yourself blushing – even if no one else is in the room with you.
Trust me – it’s a wild ride. (Pun intended.)