My last Fifty Shades related post was destroying all the stupid reasons as to why woman love the pond scum that is Christian Grey. This post is dedicated to the women that appear in the series and how they seem to highlight all the negative stereotypes of women in literature. Even the ones that are cardboard cut outs still have issues to be discussed. I will never understand how authors like Meyer and James resort to 1950s stereotypes while screeching to those who will listen that they write empowered feminist icons. Yeah………… No. Let’s crack on then, shall we dear readers!
Let’s start with our resident Mary Sue, I mean protagonist. I do not care how many times James tries to beat me to death with her own warped vision of cannon, I will never accept that Ana is intelligent, deep, nice and perceptive. She is so stupid it honestly hurts me, and so immensely shallow. The shallow aspect just pisses me off so much as she bleats on and on about how women stop and stare at Grey like morons but does the exact same thing. She is bitchy to anyone blonde (Oh hai Meyer!) and thinks because she studies English Literature that she is oh so much better than anyone else. However, she is exactly what James derides her blonde stereotypes for. She is a nasty piece of work who thinks she is so much better than other women, she is a shallow bint that only thinks with her vagina and puts down others. Literally the only thing that makes her different from these horrible stereotypes is that she is a brunette.
When it comes to her career she is nothing but a lazy bitch who spends her working days emailing Christian on the work email (seriously woman, they monitor those!). She even gets a promotion after a week of what I can imagine is her sitting there staring at the wall with dribble going down her designer gear. It’s infuriating as this is meant to be her dream job in publishing and was lucky enough to get the job one week after graduating. I’m sure many people out there sympathise with me when I say this just infuriates me. I can only dream of getting into my dream job so we work bloody hard to get there. This is just James throwing everything at Ana as God forbid she has to work hard for something. So even though Ana has her dream career, she does nothing with it and just sits there drooling. She has no interests outside of Grey, which is painfully obvious on their honeymoon. Her dream was to see London due to her literary interests but the only scene we see of her there is shaving her junk because ZOMG!! GASP Christian is in a meeting and she is by herself. So instead of seeing some London sites, she just sits and shaves her pubes. Ergh, she is so dull that I die a little inside every time.
It must be noted that Ana is James’ self-insert and Mary Sue fantasy. She is pixie thin, stunning, has lots of men lusting after her, ensnares Christian Grey (TEH HAWTTEST MAN EVA) and just falls into her dream job. We are supposed to think she is just oh so perfect and love her but this is just James telling us but no showing us. The text doesn’t convey that, which leaves Ana being at best an empty and stupid character to at the worst a detestable human being.
We don’t see much of the Grey matriarch but what we do see is either pointless or stupid. She is a renowned paediatrician which instantly makes her more useful than her Twilight doppleganger Esme. I’m not slamming women who stay at home rather than work but Esme was useless! This is the woman who hummed tunelessly in another room while Bella was slowly dying from demon baby. However, as much as I commend James for giving Grace a reputable and hardworking career as well as a loving mother, I still find it a bit annoying that it still has to be a stereotypically feminine field of medicine. It just seems a shame to still conform to the stereotype that women specialise in children and female medicine while men specialise in surgery and trauma.
However, her career barely effects the story at all. Her sole purpose in this rag is to promote the Twu Luv of Ana and Christian. Yet, her most annoying quality is like Esme, fuelled by the obsession that her little prince is ZOMG!! GAY!! Thunder Clap!! Seriously what is it with James and her obsession with people thinking Christian is gay. I have a suspicion it is to make Ana look oh so much more special as only Ana can capture the heart and penis of the mighty Christian Grey. Her reaction to Ana, who has clearly just been shagging her son, is to go hysterically happy because “Oh! I’ve just walked in on my son who is clearly sexing this girl up, this could be awkward but oh squee my son isn’t a homosexual! Let’s do a victory dance!” I thought the Greys were meant to be awesome and better than everyone, would they care if Christian was gay? Well clearly yes, as they immediately invite Ana over as living proof. Grace’s sole purpose is to wave her poms poms for Christian’s heterosexuality. It’s insulting and pathetic in all honesty.
I’m just going to say this now. I hate Mia, I really hate her as she is a carbon copy of Alice Cullen. She is twee, short, short black hair and a faux fashionista just like Alice but also a petulant little shit who stamps her foot and gets her way. Oh hang on, Alice is that too, my bad. I’m meant to think she is cute, well I find rotting foot diseases cuter than that twat. Once again, she is there to wave the flag for the greatest couple ever and be so happy that Christian doesn’t dig men (Oh the horror!). I immediately hated her when she is bitching about how a chef she was training under in Paris was just oh so mean to her. Suck it up you little twerp!! Many aspiring chefs would give their right arm to work under and be yelled at by a renowned chef in Paris but this little bitch has to piss and moan about it but sounds like an ungrateful brat. She pisses me off when she keeps draping herself over Ethan because she is Mia Grey, goddammit! Worship her!! She encompasses all the horrible traits of a shallow, selfish bint but I am meant to like her and think she is cute. I think I just vomited in my mouth.
Leila is one of our designated villains in the second book. However, villain is a very strong word for Leila. She was a submissive of Grey’s but after the three months she wanted more but as she isn’t our designated Mary Sue, she got the boot. She went on to marry someone else (heavily implied he was a rebound), she leaves him for someone else who then dies violently in a car accident. This sequence of events causes Leila to have a mental breakdown where she self-harms and attempts to take her own life. Her focus seems to be not understanding why Christian wants to be with Ana when she isn’t classic sub material (I don’t know why either to be honest) and thus stalks the couple.
She never does anything remotely threatening until she gets a gun permit (highly implausible. Research is your friend James). Yet, even with the gun when she confronts Ana, she isn’t some unstoppable force hell bent on destroying their love. She is in fact a poor woman suffering from mental health issues. I personally think Stockholm syndrome from her time with Grey judging by Ana’s narration. However, Ana is appalling in her treatment towards Leila. The woman is going through serious mental health issues and all that stupid bitch can think about is how ZOMG!! CHRISTIAN WANTS HER OVER ME!! WAAAHHH!!! All because he takes care of Leila and tells Ana to leave. I personally think he destroys the women he is with judging by his controlling behaviour, Leila thought it was love and therefore broke. She is not a villain, she is to be pitied as she was never a bad person before her breakdown and isn’t particularly bad during her breakdown. Therefore, I direct this to James. FUCK YOU!!! You do not use serious mental health issues such as breakdowns to create a lazy villain. Yes, many authors use mental health as part of the reason their villains are what they are but Leila hardly counts. She is not Hannibal who saw his sister eaten and became the cold and calculating cannibal he became as the books heavily imply his sociopathic tendencies before. Leila is simply a broken girl who needs help.
Blergh, I hate Elena. Seducing a fifteen year old boy who is the son of your best friend is illegal, rape and skanky. I cannot stand her as a character but at first at least she seemed like she just wanted to be Christian’s friend and his only one at that. For her section though it’s more important to talk about how she is treated by other characters rather her own characterisation as well there isn’t one. She is flat character who only exists to prove Ana right in her view that Christian’s involvement with BDSM is sick. Elena introduced BDSM to Christian at fifteen years old which instantly slaps BDSM with a bad sticker as James makes it sound paedophilic and abusive. Yes, it is those things but not because of the lifestyle but because he was fucking fifteen!!! She is there to represent why the lifestyle is bad because she is the blonde (of course she is blonde) whore that led Christian to a life of sexual debauchery that only Ana’s golden vagina can cure. Elena’s character is a total slap in the face to those in the lifestyle.
Throughout the years Christian and Elena stayed friends and became business partners. Ana hates it and constantly thinks he is going to go off with her. She may use the fact that she is a paedophile as the reasons for hating her but I seriously doubt that is the reason for her hatred. I believe it’s Ana’s rampant jealousy for any woman that has been near Christian as she is so paranoid he will leave her. Elena is a constant source of conflict where Grey insists she is just a friend, sadly (I mean by that I hate it when she is right as she is so sanctimonious about it) Ana is proven right as Elena wants him back. Can’t let Ana be wrong can we? She represents the hypocrisy of Grey as he can be friends with his ex but God forbid Ana stays friends with males.
All in all, she is a flat and boring character who just pops up to cause some cheap conflict. However, she is one of the two characters into BDSM and is shown as a nasty, abusive paedophile and as far as we know stays in the lifestyle whereas Grey is cured of the lifestyle by Ana. That is so deeply insulting to a community that faces enough prejudice without this tripe making it worse.
Kate is presented as a highly ambitious and sexually free woman (once again a blonde. GASP I know) and is Ana’s best friend. I never understand the point of this character, it seems like James loves to have Ana and Grey shit on her just to make Ana look better. While Ana has no spine, Kate has plenty to spare. Kate is one of the only characters I tolerate. She is actually ambitious but James has to shit on this and say it’s because her family are rich so buy their way in but she is in charge of the student paper so has more hobbies than Ana. She genuinely cares about Ana and looks out for her as she knows Grey is bad news. Once again she is shat upon for being interfering and bossy. In Grey, Christian declares immediately that Kate is a terrible friend. I think it’s just because he is terrified that she would kick his arse.
Even her relationship with Elliot Grey is far better than our designated romance. It feels easy going and sweet. They actually have chemistry!! Yet James via Ana is continually shitting on their romance for being rushed as they hooked up for a night after dancing but stayed together and for showing too much PDA. Well, that fails as Ana went purposefully over to Grey’s for sex so no difference there, got married to Grey after a month and Ana has no fucking right to talk about PDA after he fingers her in a lift full of people. At least Kate and Elliot seem to have a proper relationship where they love, respect and do things together that isn’t just sex.
James tries and fails to paint Kate as a harpy. I would honestly rather read about the romance of Kate and Elliot than those two arseholes.
I won’t touch upon this subject much as I went into it with my first review of Grey. Ella is a sympathetic character, she had a difficult life and clearly loved her son (before the Grey retcon). She is meant to be presented as nothing more than a dirty crack whore who is only there to give Christian wangst and an excuse for being an abusive prick. His life was barely affected by Ella, he was four when she died and he went on to be spoiled by the Greys. She is nothing more than a plot device to garner sympathy. Oh not sympathy for her, purely for Grey. This could have had great potential and an arc where Christian learnt to forgive his mother for what her life had become, dying and leaving him. Nope, don’t have time for that nonsense. She starts as the crack whore and stays the crack whore.
Pointless and there to prove that only lesbians are able to resist the temptation of Christian. Utterly offensive as not all women would find that worm attractive. I get the impression that his right hand woman had to be a lesbian as if she was straight nothing would get done because of all the gawping like morons.
I noticed I didn’t throw as many tantrums this time as I think this post is about women rather than the scum that is Christian Grey. If anything I just find it sad that in the 21st century women authors are still writing the same lazy stereotypes and not presenting rounded characters. The women are either stupid, virginal and helpless with no hobbies apart from obsessing over their man or ambitious women that are continually shat on by the head Sue. I have covered many others in this piece but hardly any of the characters that are praised come off well in the text. None of them come close to Hermione Granger or Jane Eyre. Yes, I know it’s Fifty Shades and what should I expect but I just find it very sad that women are writing this crap and women are praising it. Don’t praise it, burn it!