Christian Grey versus Edward Cullen: who is more redeemable?-II

so in my previous article, i talked about how christian grey was delineated from the ashes of Edward Cullen, an in many ways more humanely better constructed to be called the staple romantic genre’s “damaged” hero. i want to put ‘hero’ in quotes too.      he is not a  romantic hero, he is just a man and that to a disturbed one. if anyone wants to tag romance in this , they should attach it it with it’s old definition with “Transformation” as the central theme, for example,original Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw as opposed to My Fair Lady.  

Gathering her in my arms, I lower us to the floor with Ana on top of me, both of us facing the ceiling. She’s utterly relaxed, exhausted no doubt; her weight a welcome comfort. I stare up at the karabiners, wondering if she’ll ever let me suspend her.

Probably not.
And I don’t care.- E l James, Grey
this is the crux of the matter. the actual text evidence i use when i look for clues that christian grey , in essence , can be redeemed or more practically taught better if given a chance ( and plenty of therapy and counselling). the concern that readers should get bad impression of BDSM and how relationship should be from this book is rested on the argument that they put christian on a pedestal of ideal romance . this could be a concern if weren’t for the fact that astute readers are aware that christian’s behavior is a taught on and it mirrors on how a an abuser would operate his relation: in control and discrete.
but here is the catch word: taught. the one who actually taught BDSM to a young teenager christian was, obviously, looking forward to not getting caught. what more could she ask for when the one she wants is in ripe condition mentally to believe whatever you lies she feeds him?
it is already known christian always felt grateful that Elena took control of his life and “saved him” from making bad decision. if that is true then, offering harsh sex in exchange for control will also entail in such situation that he must not question her motives. Elena Lincoln effectively feeds him lies. to convince him that it is he who is making choice, she never verbally states her desires but gives him breadcrumbs to follow.

She slapped me so hard.” Unconsciously, his hand moves to his face and he caresses his cheek, his eyes clouding at the memory. Holy shit!

“But then she kissed me. And when she finished, she slapped me again.” He blinks, seemingly still confounded even after all this time. “

this gives her an effective and permanent opening. she feeds him her lies which includes isolating him from his family, preying on his self-loathing to sexually and corporeally punish him for her sadistic pleasure, and convincing him that this what working for him and will work for him in the future while in reality giving him no real opening to test this theory( she volunteers as his first submissive and procures future submissives for him as well-we all know hat will that entail) .  in return, christian believes her and adores her advice, after all she stopped him from following a path ostensibly similar to that of his biological mother. in the same process, she effectively blames him and erodes his self-worth: she repeatedly tells him he was a slave to his rage and lust and hence was destined for self-destruction and ONLY her intervention saved him and hence , he should always be grateful-a classic technique by which abusers prey and brainwash on their victim.
years later and still in friendship with Elena, Christian meets anastasia and this arrangement of theirs start to unravel
  • Christian , for the first time, goes out of Elena’s influence to find his partner
  • Anastasia’s inexperience both sexually and relationship wise, ensures that each and every knowledge and intention Christian has about his lifestyle is questioned and challenged by someone. i mean an experienced BDSM submissive influenced and vetoed by elena would be having fun with the BDSM “punishments” christian makes up but only an inexperienced in this lifestyle or who is not into time negotiated slave arrangement will notice, christian does punishment with intents other than that of sexual gratification. the belt-hitting scene is the ultimate climax of this discovery.
  • nothing much happens in fifty shades freed except for we get this important scene in this series which is the pen-ultimate climax moment of this trilogy.
    “I would offer you my heartfelt congratulations, but I think that would be inappropriate .” Her piercing cold blue eyes stare frostily into mine, filled with loathing.
    “I neither need nor want your congratulations, Elena. I’m surprised and disappointed to see you here.” She arches an eyebrow. I think she’s impressed.
    “I wouldn’t have thought of you as a worthy adversary, Anastasia. But you surprise me at every turn.” “I haven’t thought of you at all,” I lie, coolly. Christian would be proud. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have much better things to do than waste my time with you.”
    “Not so fast, missy,” she hisses, leaning against the door, effectively blocking it. “What on earth do you think you’re doing, consenting to marry Christian? If you think for one minute you can make him happy, you’re very much mistaken.”
    “What I’m consenting to do with Christian is none of your concern.” I smile with sarcastic sweetness.she ignores me.

 

but the fact that christian broke their ties is enough that an teenage turned adult will magically stop all those things he learned about his sexuality and his coping mechanism? realistically it is not possible and even in this book, however magically short lived it was, the struggle period of the after effects still lingers over the course of time . the idea of controlling the safety of people he loves, his anger at his birth mother and his sexual choices are tied in a knotty ball in this trilogy. but the main antagonist to the romance at the moment here, is the influence of Elena.

Christian uses BDSM as a means to be abusive or “to take control” of a situation when he feels they are unraveling. he feels that if only he controls, then he and the ones he loves will be safe.  fifty shades freed   chapter 11 is the best example when  Elena’s influence and sexual brainwash collides head-on with Christian’s own desires and inclination when it comes to relationships and coping with people outside he could influence, mainly his sexual partners-Ana here.[ i am going to give as much quote as possible without altering the context , however, i would prefer if chapter 11 as a whole will be read instead]

“Playroom,” he murmurs. Oh—I don’t know if that’s a good idea. “You up for the challenge?” he asks. And because he’s used the word challenge, I can’t say no. “Bring it on,” I murmur, desire and something that I don’t want to name thrum through my body.

-note that anastasia is not made aware that she is being proceeded for punishment.

“Ah,” I groan while Christian’s fingers continue to move inside me. I’m close . . . all this stimulation . . . Tilting my head back, I moan loudly and Christian stills his fingers. All sensation stops. “No! Christian,” I plead, trying to thrust my hips forward for some friction. “Still, baby,” he says while my impending orgasm melts away. He leans for- ward once more and kisses me. “Frustrating, isn’t it?” he murmurs

Oh no! Suddenly I understand his game. “Christian, please.” “Hush,” he says and kisses me.
….
“Each time I stop, it feels more intense when I start again. Right?”
“Please,” I whimper. My nerve endings are screaming for release. The buzzing stops and Christian kisses me. He runs his nose down mine.
“You are the most frustrating woman I have ever met.” No, No, No.
“Christian, I never promised to obey you. Please, please—”
He moves in front of me, grabs my behind and pushes his hips against me, making me gasp—his groin rubbing into mine, the buttons of his jeans pressing into me, barely containing his erection. With one hand he pulls off the blindfold and grasps my chin, and I blink up into his scorching eyes.
“You drive me crazy,” he whispers,
–a classic abusive technique. taking your frustration on someone else. and guess who taught this to christian by using it in a BDSM scene? of course!my theory is that Elena used to punish Christian by “his preferred”method of harsh caning to stop his bouts of sliding back to drinking and rage habits back then. if it was effective for him then, why won’t it will be the same for his wife?, christian might think.–
“Why did you do that?” My voice is barely audible as I try to process my scrambled thoughts and feelings. He shakes his head sadly and closes his eyes. “I got lost in the moment,” he says unconvincingly. I frown at him, and he sighs. “Ana, orgasm denial is a standard tool in—You never—” He stops.

“So you are punishing me?” He swallows, then closes his eyes. He doesn’t have to answer, and I know that punishing me was his exact intention. “You have to stop doing this,” I murmur. His brow furrows. “For a start, you only end up feeling shittier about yourself.” He snorts. “That’s true,” he mutters. “I don’t like to see you like this.” “And I don’t like feeling like this. You said on the Fair Lady that you hadn’t married

a submissive.” “I know. I know.” His voice is soft and raw. page 241

so, there its is. christian’s abusive behavior in a nut-shell. he believes in one thing and does something else entirely because there is someone who is there to question him and challenge him to do so.this contradictory behavior can be be used to justify even that it is also done by many abusers of domestic, sexual and mental variety to ensnare their victim and they are correct but there lies a difference of intent: an abuser knows he is wrong and justifies it anyway but this character christian grey is just a newly disillusioned victim who is just discovering the extent of the damage done to his sexual and psychological trauma.
in conclusion we only have one small hope that there is a better conclusion for this story other than the condensed version of breaking-dawn  E L James wrote.

“Mrs. Robinson could touch you.” I murmur the words before my brain registers what I’ve said. Shit. Why did I mention her?
He stills. His eyes widen with his oh-no-where’s-she-going-with-this expression. “That was different,” he whispers.
Suddenly I want to know. “Good different or bad different?” He gazes at me. Doubt and possibly pain flit across his face, and fleetingly he looks like a man drowning. “Bad, I think.”
His words are barely audible. Holy shit!
“I thought you liked it.”
“I did. At the time.”

“Not now?” He gazes at me, eyes wide, then slowly shakes his head. Oh my . . .

therefore my opinion is, christian is too brainwashed to be considered a an abuser and too adult to be considered an innocent perpetrator.he is an in-between.
{ my last two rupee though: really e l james?? your abused hero has such a tremendous breakthrough and all you could write “Oh my”??????? aghhhh!}

 

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Christian Grey versus Edward Cullen: who is more redeemable?

i am concluding my fifty shades commentary articles from today and i am extremely happy about it. in this process i realized that i may be not the most hilarious writer on the block-there are plenty of those around -but i do loved discovering new websites to see what kind of things they found funny. i laughed so hard, especially redlemonade and badbooksgoodtimes and there are many more( seriously just google “fifty shades of grey blog” and by page 4 on-wards you will find awesome funnies! my dream to reach there at least.sigh!)

SO TODAY I AM TALKING ABOUT..

i decide to tackle the most controversial and most debated aspect of this series in itself-Christian Grey. doing my bit of research psychologists, blog writers, general review writers and many more are divided into faction of either they hate him , is a harmful character to romantically idolize him or they idolize him anyway, usually into something which he is not. this was more prominent when e l James released her fourth in the series Grey ( fifty shades re-imagined from christian’s POV) when most of the reviewers were perplexed. they could not find the “controlling’, “alluring”, “domineering” personality they were looking for.many who hate the series and despise christian grey are satisfied to see that they have plenty of material to justify christian is “psychopath”, “sociopath”, “self-centered”, “domineering”(in a bad way, not the sexy time one) and so on and so forth. seriously, i am still baffled on how did they reached the”psycho” conclusion 😛 , the rest i can still understand.

it is true, christian grey is a domineering, sexist, hermit, disturbed , abusive, self-loathing and misguided fella, a very misguided fella. i will explain why. reading and re-reading this book, i feel the reasons of his behavior are much more articulate and relatable than the ones from whom this character  took root from: Edward Cullen.

to understand christian grey, we have to understand the basic underline of Edward Cullen created by Stephanie Meyer. fifty shades series, after all started off as a fan-fiction of twilight. knowing what i know of midnight sun and twilight series, Edward Cullen is equally domineering and even more abusive if you could believe it. and if the creation of Katherine Kavanaugh could be relied upon, e l James is completely aware of these traits.

  • “I think that is one huge coincidence, Ana. You don’t think he was there to see you?”
  •  “Ana, there’s something about him.” Her tone is full of warning. “He’s gorgeous, I agree, but I think he’s dangerous. Especially to someone like you.”
  • “I’m glad you’re back in one piece. There’s something about Christian,” [kate] adds quietly, apologetically. I give her a small, reassuring smile – all the while thinking… How the hell does she know?”
  • “This is next-generation tech.” She raises her eyebrows at me. “Most women get flowers or maybe jewelry,”[ referring to christian sending computer for ana’s BDSM research.
  • . “Are you going to come and help Ana with the move?” Her eyes flash. She’s challenging me[christian that is.]
  • “Ana, if he’s a jerk with commitment issues, dump him. Though I don’t really understand his commitment issues
  • “Grey – your cards are marked,”
e l James is completely aware that her fan-fic creation is a nut-case and nothing to be emulative about but i suspect that her clumsy editing did not make that clear and hence, when she feels people would understand, they don’t because she is herself is unaware that the tone of her novel oscillates between comedy and sarcasm to outright isolated instances of serious reflection on issues of consent and love. so you can never be sure that Anastasia is being sarcastic or exaggerating or serious or comic.keeping both factors in mind, lets us delve on what is Christian and why is he in a way much better character written than Edward Cullen.
there can be no debate that Edward Cullen looks to be swoon-worthy to half the population of teenagers in the world. i mean a girl like Bella whose parental attention for love is being prioritized according to their needs, would no wonder fall for a guy who seems to lavish his every attention and energy on her and so does his family. looking at the crux summary, it does not sound as romantic as we like to is it? even at the of 15 i was aware while reading it that feeling addicted to so much attention from her boyfriend and her family is preferable to Bella because Charlie and Renee certainly do not pay as much as attention as she deserves.
then comes Edward whose is full of angst that he was turned into a an immortal against his consent and still unable to assimilate his troubles even after having 100 years at his disposal. i have to say i don’t understand his problem. he is in peace with Carlisle but not his immortality? he feels rudderless but he was present during some revolutionary women empowerment movement, so handling Bella as if she is a porcelain, dumb, baby like object gets him off? and to top it off, surrounded by ostensibly exemplary example of equal partnership of Renee and Carlisle, so why is he so distressed?
knowing all this, his obsessive and isolating behavior with Bella looks nothing short of a disaster going to happen. and he really has no excuse or background to even explain.
e l James must have released this problem because she does some things right of the bat
  • made sure christian has human reasons to be distressed and his obsessive behavior. his parasomnia and night-terrors as well his deep-rooted self-loathing were effectively used for..
  • a pedophile Elena to pounce on a 15 year old christian. the united states law being so ambiguous  on BDSM , it makes more sense that christian is effectively isolated by Elena from his family, peers, any guiding figure( especially when he paid to get trained in BDSM clubs)
  •  his sexual interaction after that even was carefully controlled by Elena( she used to introduce new submissives to christian) so that nobody  can really understand and question him on their clinical relationship.
  • anastasia being a virgin , though sound very outdated and  sexist, does make sense so that we as an uninformed readers and Anastasia will be more willing to explore on why christian is so disturbing.

hence, in my next part, i will explain on how these factors make christian far more redeemable and understandable than his original outline.

mercifully absent from fifty shades movie…yet.

those who watched the movie of the same title fifty shades of grey , must be in a state of “ignorance is bliss” because they are missing such wonderfully, idiotic phrases and pitfall ideas from the internal monologue from anastasia.

without much further ado …

“hangs from his hips”

what does that even suppose to mean?? my best guess was at first that they are supposed to highlight how hot christian looks with his chiseled hip!? i am confused.   then i looked at it some more and then it looked even more absurd. keep repeating-HANG, FROM, HIS, HIPS. she does not not notice our hunky hero’s bicep or tri-cep or broad shoulders-leading me to believe he does have any- but hip! this is the most absurd thing anyone has ever noticed and that it was before their coffee date. then mercifully she notices those but only after he take off his shirt after sleeping with her-proving what a slow synapse, dullard she is. which Dakota does not need to add in her notes, whew!

 

 

despite the abs, if someone comes in front of me wearing pants there! i don’t think anybody will be impressed. what were we all thinking finding this sexy?

 

 

“inner goddess”

we first meet this absurd, dance master psyche of anastasia  when christian kisses her.not her! this inner goddess but Anastasia! i know you are confused how they are related but i assure the only way to her location is not so very helpful- “my very small…” so she is smaller than her and our first schizophreniac imaginary friend-like foster’s home for imaginary friends  but weirder and with more sex. basically she likes anything and everything with sex, thinking be damn! she is very boring in respect to her schizo sister……

“subconscious”

oh man but she is snarky! and so awesome she always harps exactly what a fool anastasia is, ironically being a product of that stupid brain herself. maybe that is why ana does not bother to name her beyond subconscious , like, snarky mistress or harpy maniac or -keeping with Ana’s love for old British literature- Lady Pompadour!.even anastasia admits such a wonderful part is so underused- not keeping with warnings about potential rapists and gun attacks.”try to be cool, Ana”- see ! what wonderful ideas she has! like that is even possible for ana.     assure you in all seriousness s.he is the gold mine of comedy, with once in a while ore in it.

“orange juice”

thirst quenching, refreshing, and the most holy as well, considering it is called divine over and over.enough said! Bad Books Good Times, you get all the credit for this.

“wine”

this is a personal peeve of mine on how this svelte characters, as they progress the novel become more svelte to my bewilderment.why you ask? i mean how the hell they manage to loose weight and make abs drinking 2-3 cups/ glasses of wine at minimum? it escalates to 5-10 glasses of one form of wine or cock-tail or other. from a student who never got drunk to a women who is on the verge of being drunk everyday this is a lot of constitution progress. i might as well mention they don’t eat much chicken as well, instead they opt for fish all the time.which i hate.i hate fish!

damn you!

my commentary series on fifty shades series!

do keep coming for my soon to be published series of commentaries( hilarious and otherwise 😛 ) on chapters of the first book of the world-famous fifty shades series!

i cannot do it right away since i will be away for a week since i have exams on sociology. therefore, i am posting it so you could be assured that i am not running away anywhere 😀

 

see ya soon…

the “jacobs and pauls” phenomenon.

let me tell you the truth. i came across the popular “romance” novel through  newspaper article on a Sunday morning, ages ago, extolling about the sudden rage in sales of books with explicit content. what was different this time was that the conventional media was not afraid to talk about it without any moral preaching and even discussed some more future projects in which classics like “pride and prejudice” and “Jane Eyre” will get those similar make-over to attract the readers and increase the sales. that was how i came across these three- TWILIGHT, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and GABRIEL’S INFERNO.

 

the most curious observation is the prominent fixture of a male-figure( they are not much of  a character) who is there for our plain as a day heroine( brown-haired, petite and pale!) for anything and everything. no really! they are her best friend and are willing to slide into the role of boyfriend in a snap of a finger, and are willing to be perfectly friendly even if ( inevitably ) our Mary sue-z will reject his romantic attention for someone else. i mean, we noticed the whole debate of “team Edward” versus “team Jacob” t-shirts and opinion polls everywhere. and Stephanie Meyer kick started this phenomenon in Y A literature , as well as many more genre which touches romance. i cannot even say that she might be the first one but she unwittingly repeated what has already happened in the first known novel in the history of English literature PAMELA by Samuel Richardson. here, Richardson has more of stick figure of a Jacob in 1740 called Mr. Williams( like a cave painting. very crude. get it? no? oh well 😛 ). Mr. Williams is trying to find someone to save our eponymous heroine from her captivity ( yes, you read correctly and not to mention the author is clear that this is a women whose virtue will be rewarded by her kidnapper. happy ending!)

 

MILD TO RUTHLESS SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO STILL HAVE NOT READ THESE “GEMS”.

i guess i should start with the most baffling, condescending and idiotic of the trio of “Jacobs” – i present you Paul Norris. a notorious rabbit lover and cow enthusiast ( but not a PETA enthusiastic mind you) ; who promptly categorizes  women in petting zoo animal- he nicknamed our mary sue “rabbit” after his first day of college seminar.the guys is fast!.he is also, what i have observed in Pamela, is a victim of instant-noodle style affection:

[…] I should think myself but too happy, if I might be accepted. […] Don’t think this a sudden resolution. […] the moment I saw you, [I] wished to serve so much excellence.”-Pamela.

“…, [Paul] knew, without doubt, that he would do anything to keep someone from hurting her. Even if it meant his academic career. Even if it meant dragging Emerson out behind the Department of Italian Studies and giving him the serious ass kicking that he and his pretentious posterior so richly deserved.” -Gabriel’s Inferno Sylvain Reynolds. do note that he is apparently ready to railroad his life after meeting our heroine and knowing her for about  five days. woah! clingy much?

he is just ready to take brunt of anger on our heroine-Julianne’s, behalf from his irate thesis doctorate supervisor but also keeps calling her “little rabbit” just because he feels that or heroine is frail and spooks easily like an animal( he might be right considering , how many times she judges people on casual sexual assignations and feels “ill” and “disgusted”…but full discussion on Julianne Mitchell in future 😉 ). he is also into respecting Julia’s boundaries of relationship unless it is with men he considers beneath his standards.he feels BDSM is disgusting since his personal motto is “lovers should be gentle with each other” and ” ..should care enough to respect them and not treat them as objects” ( that is a great piece of advice really. yay!) and also be “..careful and never , ever hurt them. even if they’re fucked up enough to beg you to”-wait! whaa..at?. yes you read this right, he ( and probably the author as well) feels those who enjoy pain in their sex life are not right in their mental capacity or else why would they ask for it? there no other text reference to say that Reynolds is being objective here but he is not because everyone agrees with him :-/  .in the text.  all this is not even in a casual conversation , in a relaxed, candid environment but whispering right next to Julia while making puppy face and promptly making me and Julia uncomfortable.the one and only redeeming quality our writer seems to have infused in Paul is that like a self-respecting gentleman, he realizes he could be a potential nuisance in the life of julia after she dangles with his romantic aspirations by kissing him( knowing all the while she is still pining after her lost lover), so he drops contacts to mere acquaintance-level when she leaves and marries away and asks him to be friend( the dreaded friend-zone, not once but twice.)

the next in line is our eponymous Jacob black!. a normal teenager , who was perfectly nice and was a sweet friend to our heroine Isabella swan. things take for a dive when he develops feelings for her and our depressed heroine( numbed after her forced separation with Edward) does nothing much to dissuade him from his futile torch bearing except for a token warning once on how she will be never be good enough for him( poor you, idiot) instead of saying that i might never like you. sheesh  :-/  .to top off all the pain on this guy, meyer steps up and makes him a werewolf who hates his “ancient enemy” aka vampires who is also the chosen one of our virtuous Bella.

Jacob_Black2

the face of spare-love-interest of this decade people.

so what does our Jacob do? will he leave Bella alone? will he respect her choices? will he stop being an ass to Bella and just tussle with Edward alone??…………no! of course not silly you!. i think very few people notice that however problematic and an icon of domestic abuser Edward Cullen is, Jacob Black is also an emblem of those guys we fall for during our teenage years. he is into bikes, uses his good credentials to take us away on adventures and is sometimes a surrogate brother but he also can be a bully, a condescending menace and just plain assaulter- do remember he forces to kiss Bella not once but twice in ECLIPSE and the disturbing thing is no one on text names it anything more than being “forward”. he also hangs around our Bella until someone from Edward’s side does something to make him punch them and finally(!) Meyer throws a mutant-baby at him to make a Mormon ending of it.

i am saving the last and the least( no, really he has the least of all figure making material compared to even stick-figure Mr. William!)  Jose Rodriguez, who has frankly the most unoriginal Hispanic name  and also takes after his literary inspiration Jacob black in terms of sexual assault.sometimes, i feel e l James is being intentionally sarcastic towards Meyer and twilight. take our (jacob-3) Jose for example, where Meyer just stops caring about sexual assault by Jacob and makes Bella confess love to him( which is “less than Edward”.phew!), James on the other hand makes sure anastasia does not give a dime about his intentions lest we gullible readers find a way to stick up to Jose ( you know a “team Jose!” mania won’t help 😛 ) .he is there just so we could see how naive and low self-esteemed our Ana is , and what an idiotic, jealous, teenager-adult christian is and makes sure by the conclusion of the series , christian is nothing but gentleman to him by talking about manly sports such as fishing.he really has no purpose of himself except for serving as a token diverse friend in the book along with Ana’s best friend Katherine Kavanagh-my favorite, she is.

so the conclusion is………watch out for william-jacob-jose-paul because they end up in the plot just to decrease the grey matter in the heroine’s brain, so they can waffle with their torch (which “jacobs” burn for them) and create a lame tension in the love affair.they have a penchant for insta-luv and seems to have no idea of boundaries when their place is finally relegated in the friend zone.they also hammer in the fact that a guy and girl can never be great friends with each other unless he turns out to be gay or bisexual(offensive? YES!) they serve sometimes as a punching bag for our hero and a crying shoulder when our heroine is alone and sometimes, exceptionally , manage to become the central of attention( Peeta from HUNGER GAMES anyone? but only after he managed to become condescending and manipulative in comparison to the good ol’ Gale .of course Katniss will dump Gale  :-/ ). beware!

fifty shades of ..issues (and need to tackle)

many of the readers believe that fifty shades trilogy by E L James is a step back in the progress women are making( a book alone can do that?yes, maybe.but a draft-like manuscript like that?hyperbole.)so many of the writers on the net world write that it is a classic text for reference for domestic abuse and how a man behaves in it.on one hand i am glad people are talking more about the need to identify and recognizing abusers in the vicinity of personal space , but on the other hand i am not sure i am alright with putting the label on a character who is a complex tangle of abused, traumatized, manipulating and manipulated.i am no expert, just a reader and a student, so it is always possible i might say things people disagree with or i might say things which i should have known better but i still try to say it with my utmost sincerity and respect.
some of the points i mention are to be taken within the context of the trilogy with the present release of alternate perspective book( Grey)

Erotic_001-990x675

ISOLATION

it is usually the first indicators of a relationship which is turning it’s road in a unhealthy direction.the abuser usually tries to manipulate the victim to cut off ties from their peers and emotional support base, usually in gradual manner.they tend to lash out with verbal abuse, then physical abuse if they do not comply.
in fifty shades people see christian giving Anastasia an NDA to sign which legally stops her from talking.but then is it stopping her from talking about their relationship? i don’t think so.christian (and his lawyer) are obviously trying to contain the fact the relationship he had until Ana are not relationship per se but an arrangement of highly unconventional and definitely unorthodox sexual relationships.what would happen if anyone leaked this out?to the delight of gossip mongering and 19th century backward mentality media? people do not respond to unconventional well in first glance and especially a business man with a history with an older women.this is the arrangement Christian first tried Ana to mold herself into but it evolved into something more intimate.that is why when Ana asks what to do with the NDA in book 2 , christian straight up says “tear it up”.
Anastasia indeed talks with her friends and family about her relationship.she talks with her mom and a little with her step-father Ray and even her bestie Kate too(which Christian objects to because she is dating his nose-butting brother Eliot. convoluted, ugh!).she even told her the exact nature of her relationship off page in book 3!

CONTROL

so this is where the minefield lies.control is something Christian Grey uses a means to assure himself that he had left his past behind.his detailed contract is written in such a way that the women adhering to it within the time limit ( three day weekend for three months minimum) will never do anything which remotely triggers his  childhood trauma.his food lists to stop him from worrying they are not hungry and his mode of transport for them so they are not dead on road( oh god! talk about overreaction)
when Anastasia refuses to comply with food rules and sleep rules, what does christian do?he grumbles but accepts.he puts his foot down on the car part but eventually he has to accept it back when Ana returns it.
his uses of his BDSM contract to cope with his trauma of childhood.which is not a healthy outlook to his relationships he had but on the letter of it ,all his relationship were sane, safe and consensual.including the one with Anastasia. he lapses a handful of times during the course of the story in his controlling behavior of Ana which comes in the category of “power over”(Patricia Evans ) i,e:when he gave her hickeys(she was unaware) and cuff-marks(aware) for disobeying his wishes to not go topless on beach on her honeymoon.he did had a sound logic for his wishes(paparazzi) and Anastasia understood but he still goes ahead and does it to feel “in control” ,for which  he then promptly feels guilty and remorse within 24 hours( because he knows he was wrong and feels confused because if he had done it in past with other submissive they would not have questioned ).oh! and Anastasia was angry with him for it, just to inform  those who will find this situation for blaming Ana(again :-/ )

INTIMIDATION

this is something Anastasia feels quite often, especially in book 1, around christian.this feeling has sometimes stopped her saying what she wanted at that time but not at a later time though 😛
joking aside, intimidation is one way abusers maintain control in the relationship.
however, i never read her musing on feeling vulnerable by Christian’s strength. there is one time i.e: when christian cave-man carries her to his boathouse after he is mad. that Ana did not inform him about her trip to Georgia. so he carries her off so she does not trip.on.her.high heels.yes, the banal of all banal reasons, to prevent her fall on unpaved grassy lands. lol! oh, and one another when he calls Ana’s bluff when she does not go to his apartment( a lunatic is gunning after her but she does not know and idiot christian just expect her to follow him apparently.) that one is an example of man-handling not physical intimidation.
also, christian also gets “mad” when Ana clamps her legs under the dinner table at his parents’s but what is his reaction?

[christian]“You said no.”
[Ana]“What?” No to what?
“At the dinner table, with your legs.” Oh… that’s what this is all about.
“But we were at your parents’ dining table.” I stare up at him, completely bewildered.
“No one’s ever said no to me before.  And it’s so – hot.”

“You’re mad and turned on because I said no?” I breathe, astonished.
“I’m mad because you never mentioned Georgia to me.  I’m mad because you went drinking with that guy who tried to seduce you when you were drunk and who left you when you were ill with an almost complete stranger.  What kind of friend does that?  And I’m mad and aroused because you closed your legs on me”……..

 

.. “All mine.  Do you understand?” He eases his finger in and out as he gazes down at me, gauging my reaction, his eyes burning. “Yes, yours,” I breathe as my desire, hot and heavy, surges through my bloodstream

apparently Ana finds this sexual dominance arousing.however sexist the idea of “mine” being is, being turned on by it is the character’s prerogative and nobody’s business but nobody will debate about the sexism of it now, will they?oh no! women have to be the victim!*rolls eyes*

POSSESSIVENESS

true love offers freedom.it does not cage you.does not constrain you. it might sound flattering in some exceptional context but it does just sound controlling and is a sexist idea rooted in patriarchy.
people say that christian tries to keep Anastasia all to himself and does not allow her much freedom during courtship and marriage.he feels jealous of any male attention she gets.you know, while i am doing this blog i have a copy of Robert Browning’s dramatic monologue My Last Duchess ( do check it out, it is like silence of the lamb but in a short poetic form)

christian has so many negative self image of himself that when for the first time he has feelings for someone, he immediately sees any male attention as a threat to his affections for Ana. i am not excusing jealousy as an acceptable behavior.it  is natural to feel jealous now and then when you are in a relationship.but they way you react is a different matter whatsoever.christian just keeps pointing to Ana that there are plenty of guys who want to his place(which she does not believe) but he is not angry at her or blaming her for it.far from it, he just uses this to point out that Anastasia is a desirable women(which she does not pay attention to)

“You have no idea how attractive you are, do you?”
I flush. Why’s he going on about this?
“All those boys pursuing you—that isn’t enough of a clue?”
“Boys? What boys?”
“You want the list?” Christian frowns. “The photographer, he’s crazy about you, that boy in the hardware store, your roommate’s older brother. Your boss,” he adds bitterly.
“Oh, Christian, that’s just not true.”
“Trust me. They want you. They want what’s mine.” He pulls me against him, and I lift my arms to his shoulders, my hands in his hair, regarding him with amusement. “Mine,” he repeats, his eyes glowing possessively. “Yes, yours.” I reassure him, smiling. He looks mollified,

when he asserts that she is “his” he basically wants her to assert that she desires him and wants to be with him just as much he does.if it would have been otherwise then he couldn’t have given a damn about anyone in “competition”.this is an authorial choice which shows how cripplingly insecure and self-hating he is behind the self-assured and intimidating facade he presents to the world.

NARCISSIST

“Narcissists live within the confines of their egocentric world; other humans function as props for the narcissist’s performance.”-Dorothy McCoy
christian is a person who cannot stand the idea anyone suffering hunger.he cannot stand the idea even his one-arm-distanced submissive to be unsafe.but he is not a text book definition narcissist  when you look at him.he avoids intimacy with his previous submissive as means to prevent them from physical intimacy which will involve touching him.now you would say, that is narcissistic, but he has a phobia.A PHOBIA!. he cannot abide it before and further discouraged it by making them avoid eye contact and giving separate sleeping space because of his NIGHT TERRORS( again a not healthy idea especially if you obfuscate truth about these issues by the name of rules) .every  critic i came across just blots these humongous health issues and takes them out of context, which is quite sad.
when he meets and negotiates his relationship with Ana, he does stipulate these measures too, but thanks to authoritarian inventions, christian finds he does find sharing bed space for sleep soothing and even loves it when she maintains eye contact.however, phobia is not going away like magic now will it? it takes almost the whole trilogy to overcome this issue .

LACK OF CONSENT

let me clear.the book is advocating consent. the relationship on the whole is consensual too. Anastasia is aware every step of the way in what she wants even if she has reservations about the BDSM aspect :

“I want us to work, but I am terrified of the depth of feeling I have for you and the dark path you’re leading me down.  What you are offering is erotic and sexy, and I’m curious, but I’m also scared you’ll hurt me– physically and emotionally”-ANASTASIA fifty shades of grey

he replies:

“I am annoyed that as soon as you put some distance between us, you communicate openly and honestly with me.  Why can’t you do that when we’re together?”

“As your Dom, I would expect you to accept whatever I spend on you with no argument.  Incidentally, tell your mother too.”

“I apologize for frightening you.  I find the thought of instilling fear in you abhorrent.  Do you really think I’d let you travel in the hold?  I offered you my private jet for heaven’s sake.”  “you are the one with all the power.  Not I.  In the boathouse you said no.  I can’t touch you if you say no – that’s why we have an agreement – what you will and won’t do.  If we try things and you don’t like them, we can revise the agreement.  It’s up to you – not me. “

this is the crux of the struggle Anastasia has from within.she likes what christian is offering but as she is new to anything related to sexuality( hence, insecure) and was not into BDSM , she has reservation about the confusing line those rules imply and where does it apply sexually and otherwise.by the time book 3 rolls around even that issue is resolved.she trusts him and knows he won’t hurt her in any way.
there are certain places where lack of consent is disturbing though,
a) when christian sleeps beside Ana when she was stupefied after getting drunk in book 1.
b) removing her old car without asking her.not cool.not cool at all.
c) applying moratorium on spending at her  company so she cannot go with her sleazy boss jack out of town for symposium( although it is a sound decision money-wise and safety wise.it should have rang an alarm bell when Ana got the history that jack’s previous PA don’t retain jobs for more than three months max.!)
d) oh! buying the company she works for.oh my god! his reasoning “to keep you safe”!!(personal issues gone haywire!!!!!although he never interferes with her career intentionally but still it never goes away that he has a lot of control of her career)
i mean he could just hire extra guards and body guards.oh wait! he did that too*rolls yes*
e) and he kept photographic evidence of his previous submissives as an insurance against exposure( they knew he is taking their photos , just not the fact that he is using it for other than leisure purpose)

STALKER
he is a stalker through and through.he even stalks her after she broke up with him to check if she is okay and also contemplated suicide by suffocation in the same chapter(which just makes me sad and question his mental state.)
the only consolation is that this trope is not just ignored in the narrative and Anastasia straight up tells him to check out more shrinks for his “stalker tendencies”.she  has this to say for it.no helping it but at least she knows it is not right:

“One minute he rebuffs me, the next he sends me fourteen-thousand-dollar books, then he tracks me like a stalker.  And for all that, I have spent the night in his hotel suite, and I feel safe.  Protected.  He cares enough to come and rescue me from some mistakenly perceived danger”

“[christian]“I tracked your cell phone Anastasia.”
Oh, of course he did.  How is that possible?  Is it legal?  Stalker, my subconscious whispers at me through the cloud of tequila that’s still floating in my brain, but somehow, because it’s him, I don’t mind. “

all in all i would suggest that christian is complicated but he is not a full blown abuser.he is secretive, condescending, sexist even but abusive? i am not sold on that idea.the idea that Anastasia is with him because she thinks her “love will change him” trope  is really not paying attention to  the text.she left him when he could not agree with her, when his and her interests diverged and was willing to do so again .it is only when christian agrees to open up, try it differently, a new approach to their lifestyle and relationship that she comes back and sticks with him with patience because he tries and succeeds for most part to his promises.he is genuinely sorry and feels abhorrence when he faces a real distressed Anastasia who does not like extreme aspects of BDSM. it is imperative that people talk more about what is a healthy relationship and what is not and i am so glad people are talking more about it however, i am not okay with people judging a whole slew of readers who enjoy these books for their own reason or using it’s out of context texts to condemn the author or the fans.

this is my first time serious attempt at blogging and i know i am not an expert in many things but i will try to listen and improve if there are scope for change .whether it is in the idea or theme or just basic premise or a definition of the article i am writing about.

fifty shades of …victimization.

browsing across the world of internet and my favorite pass time of checking out what trolls are saying, i came across this idea, floating swiftly among the mainstream, that Anastasia steel in fifty shades series is a victim, is a passive player, is a pushover and god knows what not.i was like, what!?people are really combining gone by tropes with the text and result is not pretty.
let us recapitulate shall we?
Anastasia Rose Steele is a character who was inspired by Isabella Marie Swan of the extremely popular twilight series.written as a fan-fiction, she later got her own name when e l James copy of the fan-fiction was picked up by the writer’s coffee shop  publishing house to print it as an independent manuscript.the publishers clearly wanted to separate it’s origins as titillating unoriginal story from it’s current well liked status.

Ana starts off being quite similar to Bella. described as clumsy, awkward, not much of a fashion connoisseur with no sexual interest till now with similar physical looks except for striking blue eyes.however that is where the similarities end.unlike Bella, Ana though might not be comfortable in her physique is quite self-aware of her expectations and wants in her life.she does not just drifts along the state of affairs as she likes us to believe.she has plans and goals just beyond graduation and has multiple career goals.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me.  Perhaps I’ve spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high.  But in reality, nobody’s ever made me feel like that. Until very recently,

 

[Ana]“Hey, I have interviews! The week after next, in Seattle, for intern placements!” [Kate]“For which publishing house?”
[Ana]“For both of them!”
[Kate]“I told you your GPA would open doors, Ana.”
Kate, of course, already has an internship set up at the Seattle Times.  Her father knows someone, who knows someone.

her expectations from christian was conventional but it was started to appease her own curiosity about him, to fulfill her desire for sexual intimacy after finally feeling ready.it was all  all ABOUT HER.what she desires , her initiative, her decision

Please, let’s do this… otherwise we’ll end up alone with lots of cats and your classic novels to keep you company

…The only man I’ve ever been attracted to, and he comes with a bloody contract, a flogger, and a whole world of issues
..  Well, at least I got my way this weekend.  My inner goddess stops jumping and smiles serenely.

Am I submissive?  Maybe I come across that way.  Maybe I misled him in the interview.  I’m shy, yes… but submissive?  I let Kate bully me – is that the same?  And those soft limits, jeez.  My mind boggles, but I’m reassured that they are up for discussion.

as for people who are thinking this is a romance, you only need to read this quote to to see that: Anastasia is completely aware that what christian wants is not conventional and he HAS ISSUES which needs to be resolved and needs consideration while thinking about his offer, she needs to decide whether after the no strings first night, does she really want to take up more immersion in his BDSM sexual lifestyle?
clearly she is reassured that she can and will decide after discussion and will have time to think about it.this is why even after witnessing some distressing things  (playroom “red room of pain”)for the first time in her history, she does not balk that much because christian has always reassured her as well as her own curiosity and open mind.

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You know that don’t you?” [christian]
“I’d never do anything I didn’t want to do, Christian.” [Ana]

just before opening his playroom

[christian]“You can leave anytime.  The helicopter is on stand-by to take you whenever you want to go, you can stay the night and go home in the morning.  It’s fine whatever you decide.”
[Ana]“Just open the damn door, Christian.”

like many people out there the idea of so much submission horrifies and repulse her at some point.

My mouth presses in a hard line.  This is what I cannot reconcile.  Kind, caring Christian, who rescues me from inebriation and holds me gently while I’m throwing up into the azaleas, and the monster who possesses whips and chains in a special room.

My head is buzzing.  How can I possibly agree to all this?  And apparently it’s for my benefit, to explore my sensuality, my limits – safely – oh please!  I scoff angrily.  Serve and obey in all things.  All Things!  I shake my head in disbelief.  Actually, doesn’t the marriage ceremony use those words… obey?

but she still has desire and curiosity to know more about it and she does find it desirable(at least on paper)

Do I really want this stuff in my head?  Jeez – is this what he gets up to in the Red Room of Pain?  I sit staring at the screen, and part of me, a very moist and integral part of me – that I’ve only become acquainted with very recently, is seriously turned on.  Oh my, some of this stuff is HOT.  But is it for me?

Anastasia’s desire and intents are just as important and worth mentioning.she has her doubts and misgivings given what she knows of his history with sex and some inkling into his childhood trauma.when christian tells he that being a submissive in his control is a kind of therapy which she tries to assimilate to what she knows. isn’t what every normal girlfriend does?get to know her boyfriend?
lots of time James/ Ana surprisingly dwell little on the growing desire for the BDSM lifestyle Anastasia has and her struggle to assimilate the idea within her.instead she becomes more of a lens to see christian when we should have dwell on her.

“Maybe.  Perhaps I should be stricter with you.” He cocks his head to one side and gives me an artful smile. I swallow.  Jeez, no.  But at the same time, my muscles clench deliciously deep inside.  It is his way of showing that he cares….

and this is one of the reasons readers fail to pick up on the hints that maybe Anastasia started  in this arrangement because of her desire to be with christian but she comes to desire some aspects of it for herself too.