Women are far more misogynistic than men could ever be - the way women portray and treat each other is far more troubling and pervasive than the overt and easily identifiable attitudes of men.
Case in point - this piece of literary bullshit guising as erotic fiction (the reviews on Amazon are priceless and on point) - Fifty Shades of Grey. Bestseller, by the way, indicates Quantity, not Quality and any of you who have recently pursued the NYT Bestseller's list would concur. Quantity equates to 'lowest common denominator', so to assume there is any quality in a book that has become a best seller means lowering your tastes to the bottom rung, not elevating your self and raising your ideals.
Since I used to think that Dan Brownand Dean Koontz were some of the worst writers, with even worse editors, to sully the shelves of bookstores, I'm almost delighted to find that gender is no indicator for horrendous prose! To wit, Dan Brown is notorious for his over-garbled and grammatically challenged writing, especially in his first sentences, I was almost happy to read the first line of prose in 50SoG, and find it short, terse and on point. For me, however, that pointedness reflected directly upon me, the reader: "I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror." Exactly how I felt as endeavored to read this tripe.
I won't belabor the points, just give a few examples. "Oh my" is apparently the mantra of 22-year-old college grads. The main character does not go four pages without an internal "Oh my." And, when she finally becomes sexually-active, because she is of course a virgin who has never even given or received head, she has orgasms like most people blink. From stimulation of her nipples alone - in a world where many women self-admittedly struggle to achieve orgasms through penetration, I find it absurd how come-able this woman is, and a poor message.
Also, one of her other preferred orgasm expression is "Aargh!" - I kid you not, no less than five times, she has an "Aarghasm", which everyone I've talked to interprets singularly as the cry of a Pirate, not ecstasy. The author spends over 300 pages of lead-character denigration - clumsiness, social awkwardness, insecurity, self-loathing, poor social skills, timidity, etc - before somewhere around page 350, we're told by the stunning antagonist that she is the most 'charming, beautiful and witty woman he has ever met'; talk about cognitive dissonance. Really, check some Amazon reviews, they are priceless...
I'm concerned the author, even though it's written that she has two children, herself might be a virgin, because her handling of prose indicates no knowledge or insights into sexual acts or intercourse. In fact, for over 300 of the 500+ pages, the lead character's vulva and vagina are continuously referred to as 'down there', 'that place' or some other withering euphemism. Then, we are graced with the phrase 'my sex' which is used cautiously throughout the remainder.
Same for the male character. I believe 'erection' is the most specific word used; and, upon their first liaison, she herself removes his pants and it is a full three pages later that there is any mention of anything in his boxers. Certainly, if it's a 'magnificent erection' it might've caught her eye when she was kneeling in front of him stripping him down. For an "adult erotic" novel, there is such a puritanical prudence throughout - to quote a good friend of mine, 'where's the pussy, cunt, cock, dick, hole, pole' or any other actual word that describes the 'naughty bits'??
Further, I suspect the author may be familiar with email, but perhaps never used it?? There are pages and page of 'dialog' that are in the form of emails. They are tediously relayed in their entirety (from, to, date, time, subject, content). I would simply ask you, when is the last time you sent a four word reply to an email, erotic or non, where you stopped to change the subject line?? I can't find anyone who has, and that's what RE: is for!! However, our gentle author has an exchange that goes through 22 replies, every subject line is different, even when the subject line stretches to twice the length of the reply content. I cry "Bullshit".
And, if you live in London or England, set your novel there, not the PNW... I'm not sure anyone 22 years of age from the US, in the PNW would be calling someone else a 'cheeky cad' or carrying a 'rucksack'... author, do as you will. Editor, for shame!!!
Finally, quite near the end of the book comes the true payoff, the most pathetic and eternal meme of girls and boys - really, 500+ pages for this?? "Embarrassment and shame wash over me. I'm a complete failure. i had hoped to drag my Fifty Shades into the light, but it's proved a task beyond my meager abilities." Really?? C'mon, that "I'll change this bad boy" shit is so played out. Reminds me in T3 when Claire Danes looks at Nick Stahl and says "look at you sitting there like that bad boy thing still works!". Exactly.
This is straight up dysfunction, a continuation of some shit that everyone has watched create ridiculous codependent and destructive relationships, but some housewives sitting on their spin-cycling washing machines are sopping it up!
So much to be learned from this book - how to identify shitty prose and avoid it; how to see poor editing and avoid it; how to discern when you are being feed a line of misogynistic shit and not be surprised that it comes from one of your own.
I put it to rest - and while I'm not happy I wasted 500 pages of time, I at least know what is speaking to the lowest common denominator and how to avoid it!
Like I said before, erotica is great and we are way past the days when you have to assume that porn is some poor, crack-addicted exploitative process. If you want to get off, get off - that's fine. Just do it with something worthy of your time and your self-esteem.
Done, on to the Kinder-Killers of Collins; I'm told it will be quite refreshing. Why wouldn't Young Adult fiction be better than this twaddle called Adult Erotica. The only reason to have a book club on this one is to drink a lot of red wine and engage in the once only reserved for fundamentalistic-freaks joy of BURNING BOOKS!
GIve thanks and praise... especially if you've never read a word of it.