I’m writing this post in 2 parts, the first part was me, before – before reading this article by a Fordham student and before catching some of Kate’s great wisdom. And the after, which is further down.
The other day I was perusing the internet for 50 Shades of Grey stuff and found a Yahoo questionabout whether an 18 year old should read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. The question has been taken down, but it’s still an interesting question. Though more interesting might be why the question was removed?
If I had an 18 year old daughter I wouldn’t be happy about her reading this series, but following the non-interference lead of my own mother, I would not stop her. But I would want to have an open enough relationship with her that she would feel comfortable coming to me about the content.
Having said all that, I’m not sure the books are appropriate for an 18 year old woman, of course each person is different and results may vary. The first book focuses a lot on the sex, the relationship stuff comes in the 2nd and 3rd books, which might be a long wait for an 18 year old who grew up with twitter, text messages and Facebook.
The primary reason is that I do not think most 18 year olds have enough life experience to understand the complexities of the relationship between Christian and Ana. Christian has a lot of deep seeded issues, they make him complex and in real life, would not magically be cured after a few months with a woman, no matter how wonderful. And much of the journey is a bit subtle in the exchanges between Christian and Ana.
I’m in my 30′s and I struggled with some of this, I think an 18 year old could easily get very confused and conflicted about some of the themes in this book. When might controlling be ok or fun? How do you explore your sexuality in a safe way and how do you set your boundaries? When does stalking go from sweet to dangerous? The hardest part is that the answers to these questions will vary by person and by relationship. The one thing they all have in common though, you need to trust someone in order to delve into any of this with them.
Wow, I feel like one of those feminists that I complain about. Maybe I’ve known too many ditzy 20 year old woman who can’t manage their sex life (don’t ask), but I guess it’s made me question whether an 18 year old can handle all this. I still stand by the fact that it depends on the individual.
But I liked Kate’s comment about her first time to Ana after Ana slept with Christian – “Yes, Steve Paton. High school, dickless jock.” She shudders. “He was rough. I wasn’t ready. We were both drunk. You know – they typical teenage post-prom disaster. Ugh – it took me months before I decided to have another go. And not with him, the gutless wonder. I was too young. You were right to wait.”
It’s not just the motherly instinct in me that likes this. I like that Kate says to wait, to wait until you’re ready. In this day and age of woman being liberated it’s too easy to have sex for the wrong reasons.
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