Conversations is a new meme that was created and hosted by my buddy Joan and her buddy Geraldine. I rarely post discussions on the blog due to time constraints and lack of creativity, so when I came across this I thought it would be the perfect way to introduce more topics and start up some more conversations on my site.
I’m a little behind so I’ll be playing catch-up, but this week’s topic was too good to pass up:
Is 15 years too young to read Fifty Shades of Grey?
In a word: Yes. But my thoughts and feelings go a bit deeper than a simple yes or no.
One of the most popular posts on my blog (and the one that caused the post controversy) is my post on Why I Refuse to Read Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s been four years since I posted that, and I still haven’t picked up the bestselling trilogy because I find it disturbing and disgusting, and overall something that’s not fit to be read by anyone.
In my opinion, Christian Grey is an abusive tosspot veiled as the perfect love interest. He’s rich, handsome, and charismatic – everything you could want if you’re into men. But alongside that, he’s manipulative, verbally and emotionally abusive, controlling, and an all round awful person. He takes control of the main character’s life.
Fifty Shades of Grey is an awful portrayal of BDSM and that lifestyle in general. Many people who practise that lifestyle have come out and said that FSOG doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath.
I’m a firm believer of allowing children and teenagers to read whatever they like. I was reading paranormal romance and urban fantasy by the age of twelve, and I’m pretty sure I had my hands on Jilly Cooper’s books even earlier than that. However, since Fifty Shades of Grey features an abusive relationship masked as an epic romance, I wouldn’t say it’s appropriate for teenagers. I don’t think it’s appropriate for anyone.
I don’t think teenagers should be reading these books if they are going to be impressionable and believe that BDSM and its associated lifestyles are like they are in these books. I don’t want teenagers to think that Christian Grey is the perfect man that they should strive for. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone who reads these books will think that way. Teenagers are clever and are likely to question things.
So my feelings on this topic might be a little biased because I hate this trilogy and the Grey spin-off with a burning passion, but at the same time I stand by my thoughts. I would never stop a teenager from reading the books, but I would hope that they would be able to see why the books, the characters, and the relationship are so problematic.