NOTE: I posted this on my Tumblr last week, but I felt it bore repeating.
As an erotic romance author, I’ve tried to be quiet about my opinions of 50 Shades. Respect your fellow author, and all that. Plus when I have said anything about 50 Shades, I’ve been shouted down with “Don’t judge if you haven’t read the books.”
My TEENAGE DAUGHTERS are savvy enough to know that the relationship portrayed in 50 Shades is abuse veiled as “BDSM”. The sad thing is, a lot of teenage girls–and adult women, and probably men and boys–are not that savvy. I worry for the people who think that what Christian does to Anna is “love” and “romance.” Especially the teens and young women who haven’t yet experienced a positive, healthy relationship to which they can compare what they’re reading/seeing.
I’ve read more than one blog post in which the blogger described a strong, visceral reaction against the books/movie depicting seeming abuse as “romance.” Even ones in which the blogger was triggered into memories and flashbacks of their own abuse at the hands of a partner. And I will say right now that, as a survivor of extreme emotional abuse, I will not read these books or see these movies. I write romances about survivors. More than once, I’ve triggered myself while writing or editing one of my books. I won’t knowingly read something by another author that I know will trigger me.
Don’t get me wrong. 50 Shades is not *responsible* for domestic/relationship abuse. Abuse has existed for a long frigging time. But in a time when 12-year-olds are online posting things like “My boyfriend hit me because I was talking to another boy, so I know he loves me” (something my 19-year-old actually saw on social media), and when teenage girls are being murdered by boyfriends or exes (as happened just this week in Springfield, Massachusetts)… ANYTHING that glorifies abuse is part of the problem.