So like many of you but perhaps not so secretly, because apparently I’m vulgar and graphic. I’ve recently read the 50 Shades of Grey books. Why did I read them? Well, I’ve just graduated from college, I have a whole lot of free time and my social life leaves little to be desired lol. So alas I downloaded them on my Kindle and read all three books in about five days. Let me be real, the books are not the best books ever written and the storyline can be predictable and repetitive, but whatevs it was hot and steamy and provided me excellent entertainment on warm Chicago & New York nights while I sipped my evening tea. One of my besties ridiculed me for the books are first but he was still intrigued and I got my cousins and some of my aunts to read it also.
I guess what has shocked me, and what has always shocked me about things like this is the backlash from “feminist critics”. Now obviously I believe that woman are equal to men, that we can do anything that men can do that we should have ALL rights to do what we want to our bodies and so forth. We are the MASTERS of our destinies.( I’m just gonna be the master of mine is heels and lipstick). I was disturbed by the fact that some people feel that the book is sexist and that the author E. L. James (who is a woman) is trying to say that ALL women want to be dominated, remain submissive to their men so on and so forth. Essentially, this entire discussion brings up some of the ambivalence that I have surrounding “feminism” itself. Firstly I would just suggest that as a Black woman, feminism for me is very different from “mainstream feminism” because the culture that I grew up in is very particular and the history of Blacks in this country is also very particular especially in the way that men and women relate to one another going back to slavery. But I’m not gonna get into that now. What I tend to get frustrated with is the fact that SOME feminists (NOT ALL), seem to always position women as victims. I don’t know about you but at 21, chocolate skinned, 5 ft 3 inches and one hundred fifty some odd pounds I am no one’s victim. I don’t think E. L. James was trying to suggest any of those things to her readers, I think she just wrote a kinky book, based off of Twilight fan fiction for people to read on vacation. So called feminists kill me sometimes, maybe I just wanted to read a dirty book for my own personal entertainment. Maybe suburban mothers who sometimes get bored with routine want to spice things up. Maybe I just want to read what I want to read when I want to read it. I’m more concerned with the fact that this country is still banning books at libraries *side eye * Obviously we can read sexism, racialism, hetro-normativism into so many things in pop culture. (Look at Game of Throne, Mad Men, Girls, Think Like A Man, New Girl, etc). But at the end of the day all we can hope is that people will constantly educate themselves to recognize some of the issues while enjoying themselves, maybe even laughing at some of the foolery.
Nobody said shit when people were laughing at Friends (the whitest show on earth) for ten years.
I would just say to feminists, yes women have a long road ahead of them in this world, especially women who are in much more oppressed conditions that those in Western countries. Those of us who have the education, means and resources should be doing all we can to help others in ways that are CONSTRUCTIVE. Other than that please keep your bitterness and anger to yourself, I’m not here for that, so please stop speaking for me. Its like our lovely ball of Caribbean trash Rihanna said, “At the end of the day I’m still gonna do what I want to do”, as a grown woman I think that that’s as liberating as anything.
Until then I will be patiently waiting for the film to come out, Focus Features just brought the rights 🙂
xoxoxo Chocolate Girl in the City xoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxo
PS. The biggest thing we can all do for women in this country is keep that fool Mitt out of the office SMH