Skip to content

Don’t Do This Ever: “Giant piece of human garbage” edition

Posted in Uncategorized

When a rape survivor confronted E.L. James on Twitter, this was how the author responded:

trash ass bitch
Screen shot added in case she tries to delete her bullshit.

The link she sent?

read the book

Because clearly the best way to respond to someone who has experience violence is by sending them a .gif of violence.

E.L. James is the pinnacle of the Badly Behaving Author. Was the original tweet scolding in tone? Yes. Was her response warranted? Hell. No. When someone comes at you about your book, you know what you do? NOTHING BECAUSE THAT’S HOW IT WORKS. This shouldn’t be news to a “professional.”

I don’t care if you like it. I don’t care if Anne Rice likes it. You just ignore and move on. I’m sorry that your piece of rape and abuse apologist, plagiarized trash isn’t as universally loved as you believe it should be. I really am. It must suck for an author who’s been spoiled by her faithful legion of fawning idiot sycophants to hear an outside opinion that doesn’t directly kiss your ass. I bet that’s really hard for you. But you’re the person who tried to write a love story and turned it into a horror story. You’re the “author” who can’t write well enough to make your “LOVE story” (as she has aggressively asserted in her bio) come across as romantic to millions of abuse and rape survivors. That’s your fault. Nobody is interrogating this text from the wrong perspective.

So let me say once again:

  • 50 Shades of Grey promotes abuse and rape through the actions of its “romantic” hero.
  • 50 Shades of Grey was ripped off from Twilight, the author of which is too classy to run over to E.L. James’s house, take her earrings off, and throw down the way she is totally entitled to.
  • E.L. James is now and forever shall be a badly behaving author.

angry dome

 

91 Comments

  1. Why does she assume this person hasn’t read the book? And the person who brought up the contract … I have noticed in many people’s reviews that they entirely miss the part where ANA NEVER SIGNS THE CONTRACT!!!!!! Ugh.

    When children are very small and their parents have complete control over their lives, they often assert control over the only thing they can — food. It’s one reason a lot of small children become picky eaters. It’s a defense mechanism. Ana is like a small child in these books. Christian takes over her entire life. She can’t even have a freaking drink with her best friend without him flipping out on her, so she starts limiting food because he wants her to eat it and she can actually say no to that.

    It’s almost scary how James didn’t even do this on purpose.

    But, you know, she could either not respond or she could respond in a compassionate way, even if she disagrees. Her character shines through in everything she says. She is a horrible human being.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Not to mention, contract or no, as a human being you have the right to withdraw consent at any time, even mid-act you can say “Stop. Got off me. I can’t do this,” and the other person has to stop.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
      • JennyTrout
        JennyTrout

        Yes! It’s not like it was a legally enforceable document.

        February 17, 2015
        |Reply
    • You know, I was just thinking this morning that I couldn’t recall her ever signing the contract. She really never does, does she? BRB have to call someone out on Facebook 😉

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
    • Chrysoula
      Chrysoula

      Yeah, I’m bothered deeply by how many people talk about the contract as if Ana signed it.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
      • Tracy
        Tracy

        No, she doe. sn’t, because the “romance” gets in the way of all that.

        I don’t think anyone has mentioned this before, on Jenny’s site or in the reviews/criticisms I’ve read on the web, but contracts are a common element of BDSM fantasy fiction. That is, porn and erotica written to get people off, not to represent real life in any way, or reflect real practices, whatever they are. E.L. James admits she’s read Pat Califia, who is probably the most well-respected BDSM erotica writer, in a literary sense, but methinks she also trolled the harder-core BDSM fics available on the internet in cornucopia-like abundance abundance (and won’t admit it).

        February 17, 2015
        |Reply
    • Tracy
      Tracy

      My ex-husband was controlling and abusive, and when he was at his worst, I didn’t eat either… couldn’t because of the stress. Food was actually abhorant to me. I see the books as the protagonist dealing with a man who is severely personality disordered (basically, psycho but able to hide it — mentally ill) and the fantasy of a woman curing him by her love and devotion. Which, of course, can never happen in real life, because of the nature of PDs. They are extremely self-absorbed. I can’t say the book triggers me, because it’s a silly, badly written fantasy. But it’s a lie that’s being pushed by the publisher, the media, and the author as a love story.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
      • The reason it I guess triggered me (I’m not sure that’s the right word, exactly) is that I felt trapped and imprisoned in my relationship. If we were in public and another man happened to walk in front of me, I would get screamed at for hours because I was “staring” at the man and obviously wanted him. I got to a point where I stared at the ground all the time to avoid accidentally even glancing in the wrong direction.

        So when she gets berated for something so small as having drinks with her friend, it brought that stuff back. Ana would do something perfectly normal and innocent and it would end up in a fight and Christian making her feel like she’d just murdered his sister or something.

        Ana’s ridiculous insecurity and jealousy compounded it. They were so wrapped up in each other and their drama that it felt like they couldn’t even exist properly outside of the dysfunction, which was how I felt with that guy. Even though it was badly written, it still made me feel all those things.

        February 17, 2015
        |Reply
      • Matthew
        Matthew

        Not all personality disorders = “self-absorbed” people or “psychos”.

        February 17, 2015
        |Reply
    • Liz
      Liz

      I’m curious about that whole parent having control over kids’ food and the kids becoming picky eaters. What do you mean by control over the food?

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
      • The fact that he wasn’t just insistent she eat, but that he would threaten to spank her if she didn’t. And I think he also told her WHAT to eat, too.

        February 17, 2015
        |Reply
    • Basically, small children have control over what goes into their bodies and, to a lesser extent, what comes out. So they will often use those things to exercise what little freedom they have.

      Obviously, parents must teach and protect small children, so this lack of control over their lives is necessary. But it’s frustrating.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
      • xebi
        xebi

        That’s struck a chord. I had really controlling parents and I went through a phase aged 5 or 6 where I refused to shit. I’d just hold it in and end up with filthy underwear. My mum got so angry with me but couldn’t do much about it like she could with everything else I did. I’ve never thought of it as a control thing before but it really makes sense now.

        February 18, 2015
        |Reply
        • Oh wow!

          It’s a pretty basic child psychology tenet. It isn’t always the result of uber-controlling parents or abuse, just the way life is when you’re little. I imagine the harder your parents, the worse the behavior, though.

          There’s so much about Ana that’s childlike in these books. This is just one more to add to the list.

          February 18, 2015
          |Reply
      • Tammy
        Tammy

        “Obviously, parents must teach and protect small children, so this lack of control over their lives is necessary. But it’s frustrating.”

        Amen to that. I babysit two kids and after a while I got tired of them either talking instead of eating (not saying we don’t talk at the dinner table, but when you’ve been holding that gyoza for the better part of twenty minutes we got a problem) or suddenly not liking food they liked yesterday or leaving half their food in the bowl, so I bought Weird Al’s “Eat It” and start playing it on repeat when I’ve reached my breaking point. They think this is hilarious and magically start eating normally.

        February 18, 2015
        |Reply
        • LMAO

          Maybe Christian should have tried that. Might have made the books worth reading. Or maybe it’s a good idea for a parody …

          February 18, 2015
          |Reply
    • Daniela
      Daniela

      Very true. Also, every food scene in Fifty Shades of Grey sound like the infamous humiliating “eat the cake Ana Mae” from the Ike & Tina Turner movie. E. L. James can’t deny this. Whether it was intentional or not, those scenes clearly show that Christian & Ana’s relationship is abusive and that he’s a controlling women beater, not a BDSM dom.

      February 18, 2015
      |Reply
  2. Dario
    Dario

    This is one of the comments I’ve left on Rosie Waterland’s review on Mamamia:

    What ELJ should’ve said:

    – This is awful! You can’t possibly enjoy this!
    Yes I do. It’s a fantasy, and one that I enjoy. You don’t, that’s fine.
    – This book is unrealistic.
    Again, it’s fiction. I admit that it pushes away reality in favor of kinkiness, which is why I enjoy it so much. That’s why escapism fiction exists – to escape reality.
    – This would be dangerous in the real world. People end up in the hospital or dead.
    Yes it is. This book is an escapist fiction, not a how-to guide for BDSM. It can spark interest in it, but if you want to engage in it in real life I suggest you to do some serious research, possibly contacting people who have been on the scene for a long time.
    – […]I’m a survivor of Domestic Violence[…]
    I’m really sorry to hear that. As I’ve said, my series is just fiction, and there’s no harm in enjoying it; however, DV is a very serious problem. I do NOT want to silence discussions about abuse just because this is my book. I think that it’s very important that we discuss what’s acceptable in relationships in reality and fiction, why there’s such a difference, and what this says about society’s view of women, love and relationships.
    (That last phrase was taken directly from the Final Thoughts about 50SoG, on Das Sporking.)

    What ELJ did actually say:

    – This is awful! You can’t possibly enjoy this!
    I wrote it for myself, for fun. *block*
    – This book is unrealistic.
    The majority of people who read it love it – and quite a lot of people have read it. *block*
    – This would be dangerous in the real world. People end up in the hospital or dead.
    Nothing freaks me out more than people who say this is about domestic abuse […] It also demonizes loads of women who enjoy this lifestyle, and ignores the many, many women who tell me they’ve found the books sexually empowering. *block*
    – […]I’m a survivor of Domestic Violence[…]
    Bringing up my book in this context [of Domestic Abuse] trivializes the issues, doing women who actually go through it a huge disservice. *block*

    (Yes, this is what E.L. James actually said in 2012.)

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Ange
      Ange

      Woo a fellow fighter on that thread. Thankfully there was a lot more against the book than I thought but I still ended up carrying the ‘it’s abuse!’ baton quite a bit.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
  3. Mitzy247
    Mitzy247

    E.L. James is a spoiled brat.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  4. It will never cease to amaze me how many people are against rape survivors getting to speak out. On Reddit a few weeks back, in a rape discussion thread, I mentioned going to see “Showgirls” in the theater years and years ago (tipsy hate watching, don’t judge :)) and bam – unexpected rape scene was unexpected – and my dear best friend, who had been raped, had a panic attack. I mentioned on the Reddit thread that it would have been good if the film had had a warning about that scene.

    But one person – a woman, by the username – said that my friend was “too sensitive” and that she, the commentor, had had bad credit and lots of debt but didn’t get offended by commercials that talk about poor financial decisions.

    Because, totes the same thing.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Lieke
      Lieke

      JESUS.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
      • Lieke
        Lieke

        My laptop is not cooperating today. So, I’ll just reply to myself and say what I wanted to say: Jesus, comparing bad credit/debt to rape: ignorant lady is ignorant.

        February 17, 2015
        |Reply
    • Totes, indeed!

      Because my body and my sexuality are EXACTLY LIKE financial currency, and if I let them lose their value in the marketplace due to rape, that’s just because I make poor sexual decisions!

      To paraphrase Lieke: JEEZUS.

      Ignorant lady gives ignorant ladies a bad name.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
  5. Also, it puts S. Meyer in a bad light to be associated because of the fan fic angle and comparing Edward to Christian. Edward is a pussy cat compared to the crap Christian pulls on Ana. Edward never said to Bella he wanted to beat the shit out of her for disobeying him like Christian says to Ana in Fifty Shades Freed.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Det
      Det

      You know, before this Fifty Shades nonsense, I couldn’t fathom why Stephanie Meyer thought Edward was such a perfect gentleman or wonderful romantic hero, but now, in comparison, he seems like a sweetheart. There are scenes where he’s still pretty terrible — the one in Eclipse where he sabotages Bella’s car comes to mind — but on the whole? At least he has an in-story reason for being such a weirdo. At least he’s got some manners, and he completely and totally outclasses Christian in the self control department. And most importantly, at least Bella actually likes him, is into the vampire thing, and doesn’t spend most of their scenes together worrying that he’s going to hurt her. So, brava, EL James, you may have done the impossible. Your shitty shitty books have made me see Twilight somewhat favorably.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
  6. Katelyn
    Katelyn

    Holy shit. I can’t tell what’s worse; E.L. James being as fucked up as she is or all her ignorant fans getting behind her for it. How do you even argue with these people? They aren’t even willing to accept that another opinion exists! Maybe in some way I could expect this sort of behavior from a much younger author, but this woman is – what – in her fifties? How can she be this obtuse?

    I understand mistakes. Everyone makes them. Being the writer of a bestselling series doesn’t change that. But to plug your ears and stomp your feet because you don’t like what nasty things people are saying about your books is offensive, disgusting, and downright childish. All she needs to do is recognize the other side; she could look at some of the quotes taken from the book as evidence and think, for a second, that it’s understandable that her work came off the wrong way. Then she could – gasp – take responsibility! Come out and say (in better words) “These books don’t depict a healthy relationship. Please don’t try to emulate them!”

    I don’t understand what it is at this point. The only answer I can come up with is that E.L. James is a fucked up person. I suppose this means I haven’t read the book, huh?

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • I remember reading recently that she’s now saying the relationship in the book is based on her own real-life experience. So with that in mind, I wonder if maybe she’s in some kind of denial. Maybe she thinks it’s weak to be involved in an abusive relationship and she was and she doesn’t want to admit it.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
      • I’ve wondered about that too. Doesn’t excuse her comments or behavior, but does add to how we think about the transmission and perpetuation of rape culture mythology.

        February 17, 2015
        |Reply
        • Definitely wasn’t trying to excuse it. Mostly, just trying to understand it because it makes no sense at all.

          When I was 19, I dated an emotionally (and probably eventually would have been physically) abusive man and if you take away the money and BDSM stuff, Christian Grey is a perfect depiction of that man I dated. Classic, down to the letter. There is no denying James wrote an emotionally abusive character and an emotionally abusive, incredibly dysfunctional relationship. Denying it doesn’t make it not true.

          I get so annoyed when I criticize this book and people just assume I mean the BDSM (such as it is). Nothing about the sex in this book shocked me and I have no problem with people enjoying that kind of literature or just plain porn. Of all the things wrong with this book, kinky sex isn’t even on the list. But to the defenders, if you don’t like it, it’s only because you’re a prude.

          February 17, 2015
          |Reply
          • I’ve wondered about this, because I was amazed that she so perfectly hit the red flags and hallmarks and thought—surely this must be modeled after a real-life abuser, because otherwise how is he such a perfect model of it?

            February 17, 2015
          • Didn’t mean to imply I thought you were! 🙂 The “doesn’t excuse it” remark stems from a sometimes-challenging balance I always try to maintain: On the one hand, I believe that every survivor has the absolute right to decide for herself/himself what their own experience means, and how they’re going to carry it forward. Which can sometimes mean biting my tongue (hard!) when people say what I think of as profoundly ignorant things about rape/abuse/DV, when I recognize they’re working out their own survival.

            At the same time, I’m not about to stay silent when people like EL James and her fans — survivors or not — start publicly criticizing and policing others about “right” or “wrong” ways to survive.

            My ex-husband had more than a faint whiff of the Christian Grey about him too — which turned into an interest in “BDSM” about 3 years into our relationship, precisely because he could deflect any objections about his treatment of me onto “you’re judging me for my sexuality!” Uh…No, dude. Wasn’t judging him for his sexuality any more than I am judging 50 Shades fans for their fantasies. And I’m quite prepared to assert that I am more knowledgeable about and accepting of actual BDSM practices than 99.9% of James and all her proponents.

            Sorry for your experience, btw. Glad you got out before it got even worse!

            February 17, 2015
          • Oh wow! So sorry that happened.

            It was a crappy seven months, but it was almost 20 years ago now and I’ve moved on (except when crap like this book reminds me of how it felt). I prefer to look on it as a learning experience. I won’t put up with jealousy anymore. At the first sign, I’m out. Lucky for me, I was an only child in a family (parents and extended) that encouraged learning and independence, so I don’t take well to someone trying to control me without my consent. I’m not an easy target. lol

            I was young and dumb, though. But like I said, I learned and haven’t repeated that mistake. I’ve made others, but new ones! Yay! Ha ha. 🙂

            I suspect that the vast majority of women in love with these books and this character have either never been in an abusive relationship (or anything close) or they are so messed up they really believe that’s how people express love. I have some empathy for the latter, but not the former.

            February 17, 2015
          • I share your suspicion — and your allocation of empathy!

            February 17, 2015
          • EVERY discussion I’ve tried to have about this has been people assuming I mean the BDSM. I’m like, girl, it’s 90% not even particularly kinky. Here let me describe several scenes that have nothing to do with sex but are abusive.

            Oh … they left. Again.

            February 17, 2015
          • Manybells — I just laugh at that assertion. I mean, they talk about a lot of stuff they never actually do that I have actually done, and enjoyed TYVM.

            I’m not even into BDSM and I’m kinkier than the stuff in these books. Geesh.

            February 17, 2015
          • Tracy
            Tracy

            I feel sorry for E.L. James if she’s actually been through a relationship with a Christian Grey-type person, but that doesn’t excuse publishing a crappy, romanticized fanfic of it.

            February 17, 2015
          • @Renee – yeah I don’t consider myself particularly kinky, but I’ve done most of that stuff so …? I mean, when I was 20 and just started having sex, being tied up and spanked was suuuuper kinky in my mind, sure.

            February 17, 2015
      • Beth
        Beth

        She said when she was writing the fic that the email exchanges were very much like what she and her husband would send one another; it’s how they communicate, or did.

        THAT is what she is talking about. The BDSM aspects of the story … fully and completely yanked from other Twific (and some wikipedia).

        February 17, 2015
        |Reply
    • Dani
      Dani

      Lowest common denominator. Haven’t you noticed that the most die hard fans are the ones who can’t spell or put a coherent sentence together? They’re hopeless. It’s like trying to teach logic to a creationist. Not going to happen.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
  7. Cam
    Cam

    I’m currently in an argument (as well as other 10 people) with someone who says that there is no rape in the books because Anastasia always wanted to have sex with Christian and, whenever someone says something he/she says “Did you read what you just said? Because there is no rape, not there and not in the books.” And it’s always the same thing over and over, it’s like talking to a rock and it’s so frustrating because so many people are doing this and it just keeps going.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  8. EL James, renowned author of “50 Shades of SHUT UP YOU LOUSY RAPE SURVIVOR AND GOT THE F&%$ OFF MY LAWN”

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Dani
      Dani

      You win the internet.

      February 17, 2015
      |Reply
  9. Dani
    Dani

    Man, I had zero respect for this woman before, but now it’s like -50.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  10. Laura
    Laura

    If only E. L. James would plagiarize S. Meyer’s class and ability to respond to criticism appropriately along with her intellectual property.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  11. Beverley Jansen
    Beverley Jansen

    The author of these books has behaved atrociously…Fact…The worries over the inaccurate portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle could have been lessened, if she had put a simple disclaimer that this was not an accurate portrayal…and included a few reputable organisations for people who really were interested in the kink…

    The fact that she represents a male being emotionally and physically dominant over a female, regardless of consent in many situations…highly dubious…The fact that she represents the only way for a young girl to be happily fulfilled, is to marry said dominant male and produce several offspring…archaic and an insult to all the women who have fought so long for equality! I did read the books…I will not be seeing the films.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  12. Kate
    Kate

    James gave an interview to a Brazilian TV show, and here is what she said about the book depicting domestic violence:
    “On criticism about violence against women: “The books are not about domestic abuse. Why would they be popular with so many women if they were about domestic abuse? Domestic abuse is an incredibly serious subject, it’s not entertaining and these books were written for entertainment, you know? People who go from that, they’re seeing the whole thing through a prism of their own experience and bringing in whatever baggage they have. And that’s their issue.”

    So there you have it. People who have experienced abuse are simply bringing their baggage into an otherwise fluffy, entertaining book and therefore they are the ones making it dark and abusive. Fuck her.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • ElBandito
      ElBandito

      People who rightfully give feedback on book based on personal experience= people with BAGGAGE.

      Like, what the fuck. I remember Stephen King wrote about some of the hate mail he got during the middle of his writing career (which included human waste and toilet paper inside an envelope), but he stayed fucking classy about it and simply used his experience by writing about it (by having his character going through the same ‘WTF’ moment) in his Dead Zone book. It makes me really wish that ELJ would pull up her big girl panties and accept that some messages can be so much worse. A simple commentary which isn’t ‘made up’ against a book is NOT a terrible, no good thing.

      Plus, ELJ’s just acting like the worst kind of a fanfiction author. A critique isn’t outweighed by mountains of praise.
      Like, I could write a May/December romance (it’s my guilty pleasure), but if several people fawn about it, and then ONE person comes in saying, “Um, you know, in Chapter 3 the main guy acts terribly predatory to the girl.”, that doesn’t mean he/she’s wrong because everyone else didn’t consider it before. Even some movies can be praised for 40 years until *one* voice tears the hype down by discussing some of its problematic elements.

      February 26, 2015
      |Reply
  13. Quinn
    Quinn

    I feel sick.

    Does this woman even have a publicist? Because if I was her publicist I would be standing by to flog her every time she reached for Twitter to respond to a critic.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Benjamin W
      Benjamin W

      If she’s actually genuinely into kink then her publicist should only flog her when she doesn’t say something completely fucked up.

      February 18, 2015
      |Reply
  14. I love you, and I love that you named the image “trash-ass-bitch.png”.

    Seriously, EL, how hard is it to look down from your mountain of money with kindness and compassion instead of defensiveness and scorn?

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  15. Artemis
    Artemis

    Hi! I’m a real person who has signed a real life D/s contract. My Dominant and I signed a six-month contract about a year and a half into our established D/s relationship and six months after I’d been collared.

    It in no way resembled the contract in Fifty Shades, mostly because we had already negotiated all our various limits way before then, and even once the contract was signed, we continued to have ongoing conversations about consent and was was or wasn’t okay during any given play session.

    Of course, that contract has technically since “expired” because we are real people and sometimes we’re lazy-ass procrastinators. But someday we will probably sit down and talk about where the D/s aspect of our relationship stands and sign a new contract to reflect that, and then we will continue to have ongoing conversations about consent and to use and respect our safe words/signals. Because consent needs to be clear, and established, and not coerced. And it can be withdrawn at any time.

    Also the scene where Ana says “no” and Christian continues to push her to have sex with him reads a lot like rape to me.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Tracy
      Tracy

      Out of curiosity, was the contract (which has no legal meaning obviously) meant to give structure and trust to the relationship, to serve as a turn-on, or just for fun? Or all three?

      February 18, 2015
      |Reply
      • Artemis
        Artemis

        Definitely all three!

        For me, it’s an outward sign of commitment similar to my collar or an engagement ring. It means that my Sir and I have agreed to work on structure and protocol together, and that they will help me achieve the stuff I want to work on and I will do the service-y things we’ve decided on together to the best of my ability (service is a big component of our relationship).

        And when we do eventually reevaluate it, it will be a really good opportunity to sit down and talk about, like, I’ve improved a ton at tea service, but I still kind of suck at catching typos before sending texts, and what we should do to help correct that.

        It’s also a huuuuge turn-on. Like, obviously it’s not actually legally binding, but the idea of my being “owned” (which I definitely just almost typed as “pwned”) and in their service is really hot for both of us.

        Hope that helps answer your questions!

        February 19, 2015
        |Reply
  16. Rape and abuse fantasy in erotic novels are nothing new. The bodice ripper genre’s been a thing forever. Some people do have an abuse kink. But most people who have an abuse kink don’t pretend it’s a beautiful love story. E.L. James is not only supremely fucked up to do just that, but a horrible person for attacking someone who was legitimately triggered by the books.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  17. EL James and her tsunami of stupid seems to know no bounds….. What a repugnant human being.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  18. Amber Rose
    Amber Rose

    I fucking hate her so much. I hope she gets what she deserves, in the end.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  19. ErghNo
    ErghNo

    I hate EL James. But more than her, I hate every last asshole who purchased this and defends it. ‘Cool girls’ who are absolutely spineless when it comes to men but merciless wolves when it comes to women. Absolutely abhorrent women. They are the worst and they are holding the rest of us back.

    /rant

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Melicious
      Melicious

      this. so much this.

      i have known far too many women like this in my life. it’s the reason why i’ve had so much trouble holding on to friendships with women. no i just have one BFF, and he’s male and gay. i wish it didn’t have to be like that, but i just couldn’t deal with the games anymore and decided my life was better without it.

      February 18, 2015
      |Reply
  20. Henry Plantagenet
    Henry Plantagenet

    When a writer blurs the line between love and control, between sex and violence, between consent and rape….she is a living offense to all women. And she compounds this outrage by (a) having the abuser and victim live “happily ever after” at the end of the triology and (b) pocketing millions of dollars while denying there’s any problem with her work.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  21. Jess
    Jess

    I’m surprised the exchange lasted that long! One mention of abuse by me on twitter got me the banhammer immediately! EL is a cuntnugget, simple as. Just

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
  22. Petra Newman
    Petra Newman

    Ok so I’ve thought a bit before posting my response to this here. Let me start by saying I’m a big believer in “Death of the Author” (lit theory that basically argues for the reader’s right to engage with a text however they interprete it as long as the case can be made from said text, the author’s interpretation being secondary once the book is out there) and I’ve always felt that if I believed in my freedom as a reader to evaluate and draw meaning from the text unhindered by the author’s viewpoint, then I shouildnt necessarily draw conclusion about the author from the books they write. The upshot of this is that I’ve actively refrained from trying to draw conclusions on E L James character based on 50 Shades. That stops today. This woman is truly appalling. It’s not enough that she’s made all the money in the world, no we all have to bow down a la Wayne’s World (“we’re not worthy”) at the feet of her awful books and their awful message. And when people refuse to do this? When they point out that, hey, you know there maybe some questionable stuff in these books that worth thinking about given their almost total saturation coverage, what do those people get? Patronized and with a potentially triggering gif thrown in (without warning) for good measure. The thought of this women actively hunting up a violent gif to post to someone who has clearly experienced abuse makes me want to react like the Hulk taking down Loki.

    So the days of my attempting not to draw conclusions about E L James are over; I’m going to draw ALL the conclusions I want and base them on this type of behaviour. As someone who lived through a physically abusive childhood at the hands of my mother I can honestly say that gif turned my stomach (essentially because it was something I experienced) and I’m not someone who is generally affected by stuff like that, or who worries about triggers. I can only imagine the reaction of the poster when she clicked that link. Add to that E L James determined followers and you’ve gotten a sanctioned shit storm coming down on the head of that poster. In this interaction James holds the owner (which she undoubtedly knows) and how she chose to exercise that power shows the level at which she functions as a human being. She’s already won the book world equivalent of the lottery with this piece of crap but is that enough? Apparently not. I’m left assuming that her empathy bypass was a complete success and now believes herself to operate outside the realms of accountability and human decency. I’d call her a bag of shit but honestly, I didn’t know they could pile it that high.

    February 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • Hydracorn
      Hydracorn

      Out of all of the amazing comments here, yours is the absolute best and reflects my sentiments exactly (as I’m someone who refrained from judgement of James until I saw this post today). You are a wonderful human being.

      Oddly enough, I’m reading this and all the comments as I try to calm down from being triggered myself; I’m a survivor of 18 years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of two male family members, several male friends, and one particularly nasty ex. ..and I’m 21.

      50 Shades of Horror has made me more and more nauseous with each passing day since it became such a hit.

      February 18, 2015
      |Reply
  23. Daniela
    Daniela

    Jenny, I can’t believe no one has thought to respond to E. L. James with a simple “Ever heard of a couple named IKE AND TINA TURNER?? Your dream man Christian Grey sure sounds like him about half the time in your novels. Refresh your memory of the infamous “eat your cake Ana Mae” scene from the movie of Tina Turner’s life story, What’s Love Got To Do With It and tell me that’s not reminiscent of Christian Grey and Ana Steele’s relationship:

    “Tina Turner, real name Anna Mae Bullock, has just released her own music single and two kids come up to her at a diner asking for her autograph. Not her husband Ike’s. Ike is jealous. He tells her to “eat the cake” so they can celebrate her new and independent success. She doesn’t want any. He says “Eat the cake, Anna Mae” and when she refuses, he stands up, shoves it in her mouth and across her face. Her friend and backing vocalist tries to stop him. Ike threatens her, beats her and she runs away shouting to Tina Turner, “You are dead if you stay with him.” It’s one of the most humiliating scenes in a film that charts the continuous rape and beating by a jealous and violent husband of his wife”

    Jenny, I don’t have a Twitter account nor your quick wit so if anyone can pull this off it’s you. Please show E. L. James the parallel between Ike & Tina Turner’s relationship and Christian & Ana’s twisted unhealthy “love” story with abuse disguised as bad BDSM.

    Feel free to just copy and paste what I wrote, you have my written permission! Thank you for showing the world that Fifty Shades of Grey is NOT a sexy, healthy, kinky relationship: it’s straight up abuse.

    February 18, 2015
    |Reply
  24. Antoinette
    Antoinette

    Ok I’ve been reading stuff here for sometime, and this is my first comment. I don’t think people are going to like it unfortunately. I was abused by my father, and then later was in an abusive relationship with my first husband. I understand the anger about the way the author has handled the criticism of her work. However, it is ink on paper. It is celluloid. Nothing more. A lot of my friends like this book. Strong, and educated women. I’ve been through so much abuse in my life, and I’m sorry I just can’t be angry over a book. There is a woman in England that has to write letters to her ex husband. He’s in jail be cause he tried to kill her. That we should be outraged about. I want to fight abuse, but ink on a page is just ink on a page. I’m sorry if this makes anyone angry, but that’s my opinion.

    February 18, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      With respect, your friends may like this book, and you might not have a problem with this book. But many people who have survived abuse, as you have, do have a problem with the book. Dismissing a book that has triggered and harm millions of women is an important step. If we don’t change our culture, we’ll never end abuse.

      February 19, 2015
      |Reply
  25. Liz
    Liz

    In my experience teaching any kind of literature, I find that people can be very poor readers. They skim over parts they find less interesting, miss important clues, impose their own fantasies and meaning on the text. They read quickly and sloppily and feel uncomfortable criticizing a text they like. They find it hard to distance themselves from the pleasure and exam where the pleasure lies. These aren’t necessarily stupid people. Often, they are smart, but they read in a particular way for particular reasons and don’t engage with the text.

    So, I think lots of people who like 50SoG are like that.

    I remember reading too about the Twilight series that women who enjoyed that might actually be experiencing a sort of catharsis, that the Western culture fostered various violences and rape culture that women experienced daily, so Twilight helped women work through issues. I don’t know if that’s true. I didn’t read it and I only read snark blogs about 50SoG.

    February 18, 2015
    |Reply
  26. Alyssa Mallozzi
    Alyssa Mallozzi

    It gives me hope there are so many women who HATE these books and the movies. I’ve been reliving flashbacks of my own assault for at least a month and a half . My ex was strikingly similar in the emotional and mental control he had over me. I was a clueless young woman, never been in love, never dated or anything. He’d been scoping me out, finding out I was a virgin, learning I’d never been in a relationship. I was perfect material for him to dominate and manipulate. I think maybe 2 months in, he forced me into sex and I didn’t want to. I was terrified to disobey him. He told me he’d get sick if he couldn’t get his member inside me, and when he couldn’t do it from the front, he tried the other end. I never realized it was rape. I thought sex always was rough and painful, that I did whatever my boyfriend told me to do.
    He controlled who I saw outside of him, he chased all my friends away, he told me to dress in a particular way, tight, revealing clothes all the time, he was constantly fondling me, even in public. He’d make me feel guilty when I wouldn’t give him what he wanted, sexually, and would humiliate me.
    It took me four years to finally break free of him and he went on to stalk me online for some years after. I suffer from PTSD because of all this.
    It’ll be 20 years since that happened come this March. I have finally come to terms with this thanks to therapy. I just get so sickened by people who are so willfully stupid and think sexual abuse is perfectly fine in romance. They need their heads examined. Probably with a stay in the psych ward.

    February 18, 2015
    |Reply
  27. Candy Apple
    Candy Apple

    This might have been a truly interesting book, if James had intended to portray the slow psychological grooming that is the precursor to a fully abusive relationship.

    Instead, her intention was to show a love story, one that she couldn’t pull off without it being a textbook of abuse. And she’s in denial of that, for reasons I can only guess at. E.L. James’ own psychology probably ends up being the most interesting thing about this whole phenomenon.

    February 18, 2015
    |Reply
  28. Dario
    Dario

    Oh look at that, SHE DELETED IT. I can’t find that message on her Twitter page. I WONDER WHY.

    February 18, 2015
    |Reply
  29. Flo
    Flo

    So many things about this woman annoy me. Not just her, but the fact that the company making the movie managed to shove this crap down the throats of the hosts of the Today Show, who were gushing and fangirling about it on air. (they are both owned by the same parent company) Several of them admitted they had never read the books, I’m sure that they were all told to push it or they’d be in trouble. Funny part is that after they did that special pre-screening of it, it was barely mentioned again. I think what stunned me most is that Tamron Hall, who is a spokesperson against domestic violence due to her sister being killed by a partner, was going along with it, which is what makes me think it was a “do it or else” kind of thing. Made me want to throw up. I changed the channel for a week, especially when I saw that Bitch James was going to be on. There was no way in the world I was going to watch her.

    Has this thought crossed anyone else’s mind: if this story were about a couple who were Hispanic, African American, etc–chances are it would have been likely to have been considered a domestic abuse story? But since he’s rich and they are both white, it’s considered romance?

    February 18, 2015
    |Reply
    • Tracy
      Tracy

      The media’s fawning and attention bother me too, way more than the author does, because the media have enabled and legitimized her.

      And for sure the characters’ whiteness excuses them from the domestic abuse angle.

      February 18, 2015
      |Reply
  30. Allyson55
    Allyson55

    I agree with all your sentiments reviling James and her pathetic, trashy book. I certainly won’t be seeing the film and instead donating to a local women’s centre.

    I’m Australian and our version of the Today Show had the host, Lisa Wilkinson, review the film. Have a look, nobody told Lisa what to say!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMh-ou0TKXk

    I’m truly sorry to read about you ladies who’ve been abused/assaulted, my heart goes out to you. I hope you can take comfort from the support of other commenters who have expressed their disgust at what was done to you and the cavalier way in which James treats this despicable crime.

    Romance novels need to have a serious look at what they’re passing off as romance, maybe drag themselves into the 21st century.

    Thanks Jenny for reading this truly vile book so I didn’t have to. Your chapter by chapter review was insightful and entertaining.

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  31. Kate
    Kate

    I had been going through some relationship stuff at the same time a friend and I were discussing whether or not FSoG was abusive, he’d read parts of the first one and found it harmless. I sent him one of the “consensual” sex scenes from the 2nd book, and the way the message loaded, he got it out of context and was momentarily terrified I was telling him my husband had raped me.

    What more needs to be said?

    February 19, 2015
    |Reply
  32. AndiNZ
    AndiNZ

    After reading the cr@p that is FSoG, it was hard not to wonder about the author’s romantic relationships, as the book’s core relationship bears all the classic hallmarks of an abusive one – too accurate to be coincidence.

    (I have to believe that rabid defenders of the series are not critical readers, and also have not experienced domestic abuse first hand. I do envy their ignorance in that respect, and sincerely hope none of them ever find ‘their’ Christian Grey. )

    But the continuing shutting down of attempts to engage her in reasonable discourse about the problematic elements of this “love” story – and that gif! OMFG! – is beyond the pale. She may or may not have a massive case of denial going on, insisting that her story and/or life represent twue wuv, but that’s the worst case of an Author Behaving Badly yet.

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  33. lissadoll
    lissadoll

    May every person that panders to E.L. James’ pitiful and degrading attempt at romance be an eternal reminder of her mediocrity and pierce what’s left of her heart like a knife.

    March 6, 2015
    |Reply
  34. […] I do think there are some serious discussions to be had about the content of those books (and the actions of the author). Though the chat may have been a failure from a publicity standpoint, I do think its important […]

    June 29, 2015
    |Reply
  35. […] the line between being a critic and a ‘hater’? In the end I thought about this response EL James gave a rape survivor and this one to a polite request. I also loved some of the tweets she got in […]

    September 2, 2015
    |Reply
  36. Anon
    Anon

    It is ironic that you criticise James for plagiarising when Halfblood is a carbon copy of vampire Academy By Richelle Mead .

    September 20, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I’m not the author of Half-Blood. That’s Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’m Jenny Trout, former Jennifer Armintrout. Different person entirely.

      September 20, 2015
      |Reply
      • This is pure, unadulterated gold.

        September 21, 2015
        |Reply
  37. Kitty
    Kitty

    I think E.L James loves her abuser possible husband ex boyfriend idk. I think she was raped and beaten and she wrote this book because she wanted to feel like she was in control of the horrible situations that happened in her life, she is obviously portraying herself in Ana’s character she’s beautiful naieve and stupid and she wants to feel like a victor not a victim wearing her badge of honor suffering abuse that she supposibly loved (didn’t hate). Stockholm syndrome maybe. Yes this is all assumption but abusers don’t change they will lead you on to believe they will but they won’t she’s a scared little girl drawing pictures of the monsters under her bed with crayola crayons that’s all this book is.

    January 22, 2017
    |Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *