The snarky ragefest that is #askeljames
exists, because very few are willing to admit the truth about the success of Fifty Shades.
It's so much better to blame it all on her: It's her fault that it's poorly written. It's her fault that it's a terrible example. It's her fault that it upholds an abusive relationship.
It's her fault it's her fault it's all her fault.
It is not, in the slightest degree, her fault.
There are hundreds of thousands of pages of slashfic and abusive erotica on the internet. Much of it written by women, and much of it enthusiastically, if mostly secretly, read by women.
Fifty Shades just happened to be the one that randomly bubbled out of that environment, at the moment when technology made it possible.
If it had not been her as the author, it would have been someone else very much like her.
If it had not been Anastasia, it would have been a character very much like her.
If it had not been Christian, it would have been another character very much like him.
There was no conspiracy of publishers that plotted together and plucked this work from obscurity.
Fifty Shades of Grey was made possible because e-books made it possible to have an overnight runaway bestseller without having an acquisitions editor having to admit to liking it.
Fifty Shades of Grey was made possible because e-readers made it possible to have an overnight runaway bestseller without having to schedule very expensive presses months in advance.
Fifty Shades of Grey happened because it appeals. It appeals to a lot of people, and it appeals deeply to them
It appeals in a way that is incorrect. It appeals in a away that is deemed unhealthy. It appeals in a way that is deemed immoral.
The judges of what should be correct, of what should be healthy, and of what should be moral, may very well be correct.
In this particular case, I'm inclined to agree with the judgements of incorrect, unhealthy, and immoral.
But still, it appeals.
It appeals to the readers. Tens of millions of readers, who willingly and intentionally and mostly by word of mouth bought a copy of these books, and read them, and enjoyed reading them.
Anastasia Steele appeals to readers, who see themselves as her, and wish and dream of having her adventure.
Christian Grey appeals to readers, who wish and dream of the attention of someone like him.
Fifty Shades happened because individual people found it, read a little bit of it, enjoyed how reading it made them feel, read it all, and told their friends, who read a little bit of it.
And that truth, is what is enraging people.
Me, I think it's hilarious.