Is it mommy porn? Is sex in 50 Shades (and all romance novels) gratuitous? Is 50 Shades bad writing? Is the writing (bad or good) a problem? Is 50 Shades bad for women?
Before telling you what we at BwB think about the novel, today we offer you the learned and not-so-learned opinions about the best-selling phenomenon.
1. Molly Ringwald. The 80′s brat-pack actress came back into our lives with TV’s the Secret Life of the American Teenager and now she is releasing her novel-in-stories “When It Happens To You,” which you can sample for free. Molly says, “I found myself getting angry as I was reading it. Because of how much she [50 Shades Anastasia] wants to be taken care of by a man. Having two daughters myself, I think about this a lot. I’ve always considered myself a feminist. Even though my mom was a stay-at-home mom, you know, I was always told you will always work, for yourself.”
2. Khloe Kardashian: “I would rather watch porn — than read a different version of porn. But I don’t know what it’s about.”
3. Ryan Seacrest: ”I’m obsessed. I’m past the bathtub scene, so I’m making progress. It’s fascinating to see something like that capture the zeitgeist and also it’s really interesting to read. . . And I’m using it as a manual. I think it can be a study book for a lot of people.”
4. Amanda de Cadenet: ”Whatever it is that gets women to talk openly about what’s going on for them is a good thing. So whatever that catalyst is, I’m for it. . . But I also know in real life being blinded by desire to such a degree can only get you into trouble. It’s a fantasy, and fantasies are awesome as long as you don’t start living them in real life.”
5. Victoria Beckham: She enjoyed the book so much she gave her mother a copy of the novel.
6. A panel of literary sexperts. A panel of literary writers who have also taken on the sex issue in their own work had much to say about the work during a recent event designed to talk about whether the novel was sexually progressive. The panel’s comments: ”I couldn’t find anything that turned me on, other than the fact that he gives her a rare copy of Tess of the D’Urbervilles;” ”I do think it functions as an erotic stimulant, and on this level I think it’s great;” “It’s a travesty … But a fun travesty. I’ve never laughed harder. Every day I would just fall off the treadmill laughing.” Though much of the panel did not appreciate the novel, numerous panelists admitted they had not read the trilogy! One claimed her reason for not finishing the book was due to her trying to finish her own novel and not wanting to be influenced by James.
Hmmmmm…. Are you wondering what the benefactresses will say? Well, we’ll see you tomorrow for our review of 50 Shades!