If you read through the negative reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey you will find that there are more then a few Feminists who hate Fifty Shades of Grey. There are some exceptions, but for the most part Feminists think that Fifty Shades of Grey is a step back for woman.
I think anyone who thinks the book is a step back has missed a lot of the details in the series and probably never finished all 3 books. Yes, Anastasia in Fifty Shades of Grey makes some poor choices for all the wrong reasons. If she were a man we would say she was thinking with her other head. But as many fans know, as you go through the series Anastasia develops into her own and becomes a strong woman.
Warning – Spoilers below
The best example of this is in the last paragraphs of Fifty Shades Freed when Ana has initiated a visit to the playroom. Before they enter the playroom he says to Ana, “You know, you’re topping from the bottom.” When she’s confused he responds, “Don’t worry. I’ll live with it.” For those of you unfamiliar with the BDSM term “topping from the bottom,” it’s a term to describe when a submissive is trying to take the role of the Dominant. Ana may have started out as an innocent college student afraid to speak up against Christian, but she does develop the ability to assert herself and Christian learns to accept that.
But there is so much more that the Feminists are missing about woman in the whole series.
Katherine Kavanagh, Ana’s best friend. Often described as tenacious, she wants to be a reporter and on several occasions tries to warn Ana about Christian. Although she doesn’t know what’s not right about Christian, she picks up on the signals quickly. She’s a strong woman throughout the book and anytime she acts a little weaker Ana picks up on it instantly. The girl doesn’t do weak! She has no problem standing up to Christian throughout the series. Maybe because Kate is away for a good portion of Fifty Shades of Grey and Darker she’s missed, but she is absolutely a strong character that this missed if one wants to say the books are a step backward for woman.
Grace, Christian’s mother is another strong character. She’s a warm and nurturing mother of three, all three are adopted and it was well known that Christian was going to have issues when she adopted him. But she’s also a successful pediatrician and does charity work. How the heck does she have time for it all? Ok, she doesn’t have to do housework, but she still has a lot on her plate. She also doesn’t take crap from Elena when she finds out she molested Christian.
Ros, Christian’s right hand woman. We don’t see too much of her, but I can’t imagine a weak woman would make it into Christian’s inner circle at work. He wants smart people around him, he only wanted submissives in his playroom.
We get to meet several doctors in the book. Dr. Greene, Ana’s OB who Ana’s remarks, “I know she’s one of those women who doesn’t tolerate fools gladly. Like Kate.” Of the doctors who care for Ray and Ana in Fifty Shades Freed, Dr. Sluder, Dr. Bartley and Dr. Singh are all woman, more then half of the doctors in the series are woman. I think a book that was trying to push woman back would have gone with the more traditional idea of men being the doctors.
Yes, if you’re looking at Ana in Fifty Shades of Grey you could get the impression that this series pushes the womans movement back. But, once you read the whole series and look at the subtleties of the book, you can see that this book does champion the stronger woman. Ana’s strength and ability to challenge Christian is what he likes about her, it’s the thing he can’t resist even when he thinks he’s the wrong person for her.
Find us on Twitter: @50Latersbaby