Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

So Much More Than “50 Shades”

Even if you haven’t read the book, chances are you’ve heard about the well-known “mommy-porn” hitting the NY Times Best Seller’s list every week this past summer. And with the buzz of a new movie coming out based on E.L James’ 50 Shades of Grey, it’s not surprising that it has become a pretty common topic of conversation. So what is the hype all about, and how are female readers reacting to it?

The Good: Robyn Cohen is an independent consultant for Passion Parties, whose mission is to bring sexual education into women’s homes in a “fun, tasteful and relaxed way.” She has had various clients from TCNJ and currently offers 50 Shades-themed parties. According to Robyn “a healthy relationship shares control.” She believes that Ana and Christian have achieved that balance of control and that the book is really a love story, “It is a struggle of two people learning how to compromise to make each other happy.”

Robyn believes the trilogy is a great resource and outlet for women today. “As women, we multitask in everything we do. We generally put ourselves last in many things. 50 Shades of Grey reopened the door for women to explore. For women to say ‘hey…it’s okay…to have fun with my sexuality.’ It brought back passion and put things back on the front burner.” 

The Bad: Clare Phillipson is head of Wearside Women in Need, an organization fighting sexual abuse. According to NY Daily News, she believes that the 50 Shades trilogy is dangerous for women. Clare told BBC “I do not think I can put into words how vile I think this book is and how dangerous I think the idea is that you get a sophisticated but naive, young women and a much richer, abusive older man who beats her 

up and does some dreadful things to her sexually.” In protest of the “power dynamic” portrayed between Ana and Christian, NY Daily News reveals that she is organizing a book burning to take place this November.

The Gray Area: Sara von Bartheld, a sophomore women’s and gender 
studies & sociology major here at the College, stands somewhere in between. Sara claims that there were times that she was frustrated with the “imbalance of power.” I could not understand why Ana let Christian control her the way he did.” But Sara also believes the trilogy can be positive books for women. “The books encourage female sexuality…This series made it okay for girls to admit that they like having sex. Women are usually criticized for enjoying sex and can be called whores or sluts. But this series showed women that liking sex and reading about sex is perfectly acceptable.”

Where do you stand on this issue?

Similar Reads👯‍♀️