Kayleejoooo asked:

Why judge the book!? I liked it!

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Hannah This book is about abuse. Plain and simply. The fact that people are getting off to the same nightmares that abuse victims have to deal with every day is disgusting and shameful. This story masquerades abuse as BDSM. This is not about BDSM. There is nothing wrong with BDSM, but there is everything wrong with abuse.

In BDSM (Bondage/discipline, Dominance/ submission, Sadism/Masochism), safety is the #1 concern. SSC- Safe, Sane, Consensual- is a pillar of the practice. Christian has no regard what so ever for Ana's well-being, and repeatedly does not get her consent. He takes her to a motel for sex when she is too drunk to consent (chapter 5) and point-blank rapes her after she says no (chapter 12). As a general rule in BDSM, the Sub sets the limits. The person being acted upon decides what they will and won't accept. The "Sex contract" he makes her sign in chapter 11 is not a real thing. Real people in a healthy relationship would never have that, I fail to see how that contract would have any legal standing, and that's not how consent works. Consent must be continual, freely given, enthusiastic, and informed.

This book is extraordinarily damaging. It demonizes something harmless and romanticizes abuse. In case you're not familiar, here are some warning signs of abusive relationships:
Constant belittling
Extreme jealousy and insecurity
Coercion into sexual acts
Controlling your actions
Physically hurting you
Attempts to isolate you from family and friends
Victim Blaming
Strong belief in and enforcement of traditional gender roles
Refusal to let you end the relationship
Going through your phone or computer without permission
Too serious about the relationship too quickly

ALL of these appear at least once in the 50 shades books. There is no denying this book is about abuse. And there is nothing sexy about abuse. Can we take a moment to address the immediate power imbalance in the relationship? Christian is a substantially older wealthy executive and Ana is a student. Christian then solidifies this power imbalance by demanding to be called "Sir" while Ana is just "Ana".

Another thing about this book that is particularly distressing is that Christian explains he's into BDSM because he was abused as a child. Rather, this explains why he is abusive. Abuse victims are less likely to be into BDSM because they associate bondage, discipline, pain, or violence with traumatic experiences.

Michigan State University did a study on the effects of this book. They surveyed 650 women between the ages of 16 and 24 and found that women who read the first book were more likely to have a partner that yell or swore at them, 34% more likely to have a partner that exhibits stalking behaviors, 75% more likely to misuse diet aids, and 65% more likely to binge drink. All of these things are associated with being in an abusive relationship. I'm not saying this means reading 50 Shades made them want an abusive relationship, I'm saying reading 50 Shades made them more likely to tolerate abuse. The popularity of 50 Shades has made abusive behaviors seem normal, and that is very dangerous.

Please. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of intimate partner violence this year. Can we please, for their sake, stop romanticizing the abuse, trauma, and suffering they have to endure? This kind of book invalidates their pain. Speaking as someone who escaped and abusive relationship, it makes me physically ill to know that people are getting off to the things I used to endure.

BDSM is perfectly alright. Abuse will never be alright.

Please. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please know that there is help, and there are so many people that want to help you. Here are some sites Loveisrespect.org, Breakthecycle.org, Datingabusestopshere.org, Newhopeforwomen.org.

It's one thing to have a book about abuse, it's another thing entirely to sell a book about abuse as though it is sexy in any manner. I hope that I have convinced you that this book is utterly unacceptable. Please, do not buy this book. Do not in any way support this book.
Jennifer The writing sucked.the heroine is an insipid idiot and it incorrectly portrays a submissive/master relationship as one of abuse rather than consent.oh and it furthers the lie that you can change someone this abusive,messed up excetera with love rather than therapy
Angel Shaw
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by E.L. James (Goodreads Author)
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