50 SHADES OF MISSING THE POINT
Everyone in the whole world has missed exactly why 50 Shades is bad for women.
By Nicole Buckler
As 50 Shades hits Ireland, I am genuinely surprised about how little Irish people have given a flying fig. The British press says it’s awful, and that it promotes domestic violence (rubbish). There are reams of column inches dedicated to it. But the Irish press are pretty much flying the flag of WHO THE HELL CARES.
What we DO care about though is that Jamie Dornan did good. He’s a man from Northern Ireland… how could we not support him.
But here’s where I think these kinds of books let women down. Women are told via these books that they don’t have to do anything to attract men except just turn up. For example, Anastasia Steele is no catch. She’s totally povo, boring, plain, naive, and her only other offer for a relationship is the soft-on guy who works at the hardware store. She doesn’t even really understand how wi-fi works. All she has to do is be there.
The same goes for Bella Swan in Twilight. She doesn’t do anything in particular to attract such intense love and romance from two different guys who show bravery, loyalty, skill, and work well under stress. She just has to turn up. She is boring, socially clumsy, introverted, dresses badly, is plain, and subtly leads two guys on, never entirely telling one or the other that she has made her final choice. She also doesn’t do anything worthy of this admiration. Nothing…she doesn’t have a special skill, she isn’t accomplished in any way, she doesn’t even try to set her Dad up on a date so he can end his neverending single life.
The list goes on for these women in mainstream media. What girls are learning is that men will do everything to be with them, including risking their own lives, risk getting exposed, risk their successful empires, and all the girl has to do is show up…in bad clothes. The Twilight generation will be entering into sexual life, expecting that their men of choice will say intensely romatic things to them all day long, risk their lives for them, will die for them. The poor men, they will feel like performing monkeys. They will have to do all this weird stuff to keep their women, like go on date nights to see 50 Shades at the Omniplex. Women will go into marriages only thinking about what lengths these men will go to to be with them. This sounds pretty exhausting for the men, it’s not an attractive long-term proposition.
I want to say to young women of the world, if you want a man who is accomplished, and handsome, and looks after himself, and is a good guy, and who is financially sound, then you have to offer the same. It’s not enough to turn up. You have to pull your goddamn sexual weight.
Women have to get an education, get a good job, start their own business, dress well if you want the same from your guy, and for feck’s sake BE INTERESTING. You need to do more than just be there.
All through the Mills and Boon books, all through the Twilight series, all through 50 Shades, it’s all the same…man is overtaken by desire and changes his life and will die for a boring drip-woman. To the Twilight and 50 Shades generation…you can’t just turn up. You must be a woman who makes men want to go to war for you. Because in real life some men have to. Give me a bit of Game of Thrones any day. Daenerys Targaryen is a single mother to three dragons. She is worthy of a battle for her affections.
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