A couple deaths and some emergencies came up. I’ll resume posting toward the end of this week.
Did you all know I’m homeschooling? Well, I am. On top of running a business and writing (well, trying o find the time to edit) and running a household and all else, I’m now homeschooling full-time. So time to do anything is harder to come by now. 🙂
Show. Road. Get on onto the other. Someone, anyone, hold my hand and help me get started….
Last section ended when he called his Ros to have her order him breakfast since he’s too lazy and high and mighty to talk to the plebes who prepare his food.
So we’ve got this guy…
You know, the king who touches his glasses as little as possible because servants touched them? Yeah. This is the Christian Grey we are dealing with, although Leo’s version of Louis XVI might have been willing to occasionally call his own servants.
(Man in the Iron Mask is a wonderful movie that was overshadowed by the popularity of Titanic. If you haven’t seen it, do watch. Just ignore the inconsistent accents. Prepare to be stunned as Leo pulls off dual roles so well that you cant ell which twin he is in promo pics.)
The pseudo-business talk is brief this time, only notable because it’s obvious that James tossed in whatever she thought would sound impressive. And oh, joy, an email from Ana comes in. When the title is “Assault and Battery: The After-Effects,” you should know it’s not fun and games to her.
Dear Mr. Grey,
You wanted to know why I felt confused after you—which euphemism should we apply—spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me.
Do you want to know Grey’s response? Get a pillow. Seriously. If you don’t get a pillow to scream into, then wait until you are somewhere where you can scream. I mean it.
So she started by stating that he wanted to know why she felt confused after he hit her. That’s all. Well…
A tad overdramatic, Miss Steele. You could have said no.
“But, your honor! She didn’t say no!” Except that she did with her body language, and she’s said it verbally.
Well, during the whole alarming process, I felt demeaned, debased, and abused.
If you felt that way, why didn’t you stop me? You have safe words.
Because she’s SCARED, you ASSHOLE! Also a REAL Dom knows to watch out for a sub getting too overwhelmed to use a safe word. She also shouldn’t need safe words since she hasn’t consented to being a sub! She can’t make it clearer that she doesn’t want this!
And much to my mortification, you’re right, I was aroused, and that was unexpected.
I know. Good. You’ve finally acknowledged it.
So I guess shame on the rape survivors whose physiological systems work well enough that they lubricate and orgasm. As if survivors aren’t conflicted and feeling guilty enough, let’s hold this crap up as wonderful. This book is one huge rape-apology.
In the rest of her email, she goes on to tell him she was orgasmically satisfied, which confuses her since she felt demeaned. She doesn’t want what’s happening, though the orgasm felt good. This doesn’t mean she consented after the fact, though that’s what she’s feeling she did. How can she not have wanted what ultimately ended with something that felt good?
Oh, that’s right, Grey’s in a business meeting! Nice of him to remember that for a paragraph, before returning to emails and telling us he hoped the other people thin he’s just taking notes. He can’t possibly be ignoring them any more than he is.
His reply is full of the usual rapemansplaining we’d expect, complete with openly blaming her.
So you felt demeaned, debased, abused, and assaulted—how very Tess Durbeyfield of you. I believe it was you who decided on the debasement, if I remember correctly.
So if I tell you, dear reader, that I’m going to hurt you, and you have a few options, and you know there’s no escaping, and you pick one, does that make it your fault when you feel harmed later? That’s what he’s doing there. Ana doesn’t have a way out right now. She’s playing the game because she’s forced, and now he’s blaming her.
Don’t waste your energy on guilt, feelings of wrongdoing, etc. We are consenting adults and what we do behind closed doors is between ourselves. You need to free your mind and listen to your body.
“If the orgasms feel good, ignore not wanting the rest. And since your no’s really mean YES!, it’s consent in my twisted world.”
Ana replied (by the way, if you haven’t seen the movie, these emails are shown, at last in part, on the screen) that, if she’d listen to her body, she’d be in Alaska by now. I’d joke that that’s so Edward Cullen of her, but I know it means that she wants to run away from him. She wants out. But look what happened when she joked about it before and he thought she meant it.
His breakfast arrives, and either Kate’s dad is onto a different part of business, or James is tossing more random stuff together. Earlier, he was interested in laying fiber optic internet line (not as easy as just paying for it, since cable is a physical thing that needs to go under already-owed and public property), and now he’s asking if it’ll help him in the stock futures market. Unless he’s talking about committing the crime of trading in stock in various internet companies based on inside knowledge of new line, then…this just doesn’t make sense.
Back to emails! His next one if titled, “You Didn’t Call the Cops.”
I am in a meeting discussing the futures market, if you’re really interested.
For the record, you stood beside me knowing what I was going to do.
You didn’t at any time ask me to stop—you didn’t use either safe word.
You are an adult—you have choices.
Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the next time my palm is ringing with pain.
You’re obviously not listening to the right part of your body.
Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you.
I can track your cell phone—remember?
Go to work.
FUCK NO. FUUUUUCKKK NOO!!!! To EJ James: FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING BITCH! How the HELL is this guy romantic? What the hell is wrong with you that you are pushing THIS FUCKING BASTARD off as the romantic ideal?! Fans of this shit, explain. NOW. Explain HOW that is romantic!!
Have you sought therapy for your stalker tendencies?
I smother my laugh. She’s funny.
No. It’s not funny. You just told her you can track her cell phone and will find her. STALKER! It’s NOT FUNNY. Women DIE because of shit like this. In really real life, real actual breathing women are KILLED by people like this! And he, and James, and all their stupid, STUPID fans, think this is okay and even FUNNY. The fans think this book makes him SWEETER. What the hell is wrong with all of you fan?! I’m making this personal now. Something is WRONG with you when you think that THAT is the sign of a sweet man.
Grey tells her he has Flynn, and Ana sensibly suggests a second opinion. Grey tells her that Flynn IS the second opinion, and it’s none of her business anyway. Maybe if the first therapist suggested Grey work on making changes, and so he fired Flynn to go with someone who’d tell him he’s perfect.
Oh, goody. Another paragraph to remind us Grey should be working, but is not.
Ana tells him, rightly, that Grey’s stalker tendencies ARE her business. Damned straight, it’s her business! She’s the one who can’t do jack without being watched, and it’s putting her in a position where she knows she can’t escape Go along with what he wants, or he’ll hunt her down!! Like a psychopath, he is amused.
The business meeting ends, and Ros stares at him in shock. Since I am doing these posts as I read, I don’t know why yet. He tells Ros he’ll get back to her in a minute.
Ana’s next email makes his last one relevant, and hers before that. Let me go back…
Her: I haven’t signed yet. So rules, schmules.
Him: Schmules”? Not sure where that appears in Webster’s dictionary.
It’s between control freak and stalker. And descriptive linguistics is a hard limit for me.
Will you stop bothering me now?
And do you think he will?
Of course not! Who do you think he is, Farkle?
Here’s what these two fictional guys supposedly have in common:
Hard-working (I did say supposedly have in common).
A measure of conceit.
Think they rule the world to some degree.
Are possessive of women.
Here is how Farkle, a 12-year-old on Girl Meets World, is different:
When faced with his main crush, Riley, crushing on someone else, rather than try to ruin her life, he helps her. Their friend, Maya, asks if he’s not in love with her, to which he replied yes, and that’s why he wants Riley to be happy. And in another episode, when Riley and Maya were fighting over who got to go to an event with him (at first, he was tickled they were fighting over him, until it threatened to damage their friendship), he told them he was picking neither since he didn’t want to be the one to come between them. Unlike Grey, Minkus is willing to put those he loves ahead of himself. He doesn’t think so highly of myself that he’ll hurt anyone, especially those he loves, since he knows how to love.
I want to beat the tar out of Christian Grey, but would be thrilled if my daughter ended up with someone like Farkle, conceit and all.
Yet Farkle isn’t painted as the romantic ideal. The abusive Grey, on the other hand, is.
Grey types a last email to Ana about being eager to hit her. What she wants doesn’t matter.
So he finally gets back to Ros who rips him a new one for holding a meeting he clearly wasn’t interested, especially for such a huge contract, and it was very noticeable. Ah. That’s why she was shocked by his behavior. He smiles at her, and she becomes an amuse little air-headed wimminz. Lovely.
On what we’re supposed to believe is impulse, he wants Ros to look for publishing houses in Seattle that he could buy. He tries to assure her it’s just looking, but I can tell you now it’s because he wants to buy anywhere Ana might work. We can all see the problems that poses, right? And that meeting ends.
He calls his secretary and tells her to have a gynecologist go to his apartment on Saturday. He tells her to get the best. Too bad the best, or any ethical gyno at all, would have a problem with a man ordering in a doc to do something to someone who hasn’t consented to any medical appointment.
He can’t focus on much else except how much fun those emails were.
I can’t recall any exchange of e-mails being that fun, ever.
I was going to say I never read such horrible emails, but then I remembered a real email I got from an ex’s dad. It’s so bad I never forgot it.
Went to bed horny. Woke up horny. Am horny and in need.
My ex thought it was funny. I didn’t. My single email is worse only because it happened. Aside from that, that “fun” exchange he had with Ana is the worst I can recall ever reading.
Aw, poor little asshole is momentarily worried that his lack of interest in the contract was apparent. Not for long! He gets in the shower and starts having sex thoughts about Ana bouncing up and down on is penis, and then hitting her. He has no other reason for wanting to see her.
Ah, he is amused now thinking about her being upset with him.
Her e-mails make me laugh. They’re entertaining. She’s funny. I never knew I liked that in a woman. I’ll need to think about what we’ll do on Sunday in my playroom…something fun, something new for her.
She wasn’t trying to be funny. She’s upset, and that entertains him. His response to her not wanting to be hit is to think about how else he can hit her, and then he gets online to order more stuff to hit her with.
I’m chopping out a bit. Stuff with Ana’s laundry and a text exchange with Elliott. Those American women James had check this book for Britishisms still should be fired.
“The courier has been dispatched with the BlackBerry.” (Taylor said that.)
Even if you speak very formally in America, no one talks like that here.
Grey finally decides to let Ana know he’s forcing a phone on her. Charming. And then he gets on the phone about charitable giving. Since he gets his rocks off on how he can take it all back and hurt people, it really doesn’t make up for how much of an ass he is.
Since no one in the Shadesverse actually works aside from poor people (and Ana is really rich because of reasons), Ana has time to write him…again.
Your stalker tendencies are running wild.
Why do you do this?
What’s the most internet-trolliest of internet-troll responses?
I do this because I can.
And I do this because I can.
That’s all. Just because. For the lolz.
He gets a call from Secretary Andrea that his doctor highly recommends a gyno named Dr. Greene. His doctor should be fired for not immediately wondering why a man is wanting a gyno for a house-call to his own home. But no, his doc gave a name, and apparently she’s an expensive doctor, and apparently Andrea doesn’t realize her boss is rich, and apparently James doesn’t realize medical care in America is expensive because America is the only industrialized nation in the world that still sees health care as a privilege that the typical American can pay $8,000 in one year for so that any medical costs over another $6,000 will be half covered. And this, my dear non-Americans, is an improvement.
So a shady doctor making a house-call on a SUNDAY is expensive? Boo…hoo….
He briefly thinks about calling his mom, who he’s referring to by her first name, to check on Dr Greene’s credentials since they work at the same hospital, but Gracie-poo might question. Uh, you think? For the first time, her son has a woman over that she knows about, and now a gyno is dropping by?
If you want to check the credentials of a doctor in Washington, there’s a website for that.
He sends Ana an email telling her she’s seeing the doctor on Sunday, gets in his car, and passes “the exit for Vancouver.” I think I addressed that…. Yes, in this post. There thirteen exits for Vancouver.
He breaks the law by picking up his phone and using it to call Andrea. We’ve had hands-free laws for a while, and now they extend to not even looking at cell phones, even when at red lights. Not feasible for those of us who use GPS on them.
I don’t understand why he calls her to specify the wine and a balloon he wants sent to Ana and Kate for their move instead of just calling and placing an order himself. He actually says “thank you” to Andrea, and he tells is she sounds surprised when she says “you’re welcome.” That’s a good sign you’re not showing gratitude often enough. My five-year-old understands that.
By the time he’s home and getting dressed, he’s called Ana a couple times, and is mad at her. She had no excuse to not call him, you know! He calls again and leaves a message ordering her to call him. It’s 6:30, and no one is EVER late getting off work. Nope. And traffic doesn’t happen around here…. NEWS FLASH: Getting over the Interstate Bridge is HELL during rush hour. When my daughter was in typical school last year, I did it FIVE days a week, and I only came from exist 307 (the next exist is 308, then the bridge). That pretty short drive still took an hour on some days, occasionally more. The area that best describes where Ana works would be over on Sandy, and would include a drive along a dull road to get to the interstate.
If she got off at 5 on the dot, it is believable that she wouldn’t get home until 7pm on a Friday night. And when she gets home, maybe she’d want to eat, or take a shower, or just relax for a few minutes since she IS moving, you know. And not everyone lives with their phones attached to them! I personally make liberal use of Find My iPhone because I don’t care to be leashed. Ana has reasons for not calling yet, but Grey doesn’t care that she has a life of her own. He wants it. He wants to take her life. In more ways that one, I’m afraid.
Oh goody goody gumdrops.
Oh. I swear I didn’t realize that existed until looking for a “goody goody gumdrops” sarcastic meme. It’s an ice cream treat in New Zealand. Also appropriate that it’s food because…
Grey’s at a charity event to raise awareness of global poverty. We aren’t aware it exists! Goody goody gumdrops on him!
He’s there with his banker, Whelan, but since Grey is a magnet, Whelan’s wife’s silicone boobs are gravitating toward him. I’m not making that up, folks.
Five pages left…I can make it through fine more….
He’s praised for the check he wrote, and he even says he’s patronizing in his “it’s for a good cause” response. Yeah, it’s a tax write-off and a chance to make business connections. The check was basically admission to the rich people’s party. Money from people like you, my readers, and me isn’t welcome since we’re too poor to pay to play in the playground of the rich. The good cause is them patting themselves on their backs. No, ordering their servants to pat.
Ooh! Second Leonardo Dicaprio pic today! Even though only the back of his head is visible here. I replicated that gown Rose is wearing for $8k. Welcome to my day job.
He calls, and calls, and calls Ana, and gets pissed.
Oh! OH!!! Grey is like Cal! YES!! In the next installment of this mess, I might call Grey by Cal’s name. They’re twins in behavior and everything!
Okay, under normal circumstances, like people who are genuinely friends or in a genuine relationship, this is reason to get pissed or worried. But Ana told him via email to back the hell off. When I was in the dating scene, this is known as a brush-off. You lick your wounds and get over it, and fire up the computer to find another date. Grey ditches the party and goes home and starts his computer. A part of me dies every time James references a Mac product in this book.
He sends her an email to call him or else he’ll call Elliott. And what? Tell Elliott to beat her? Just call Elliott right now, make sure everything’s okay, and call it a night.
He laments having volunteered to pick his sister up from the airport. He could have been helping Ana move. Didn’t he said earlier on that he doesn’t do stuff like that, and then Mia coming home came up? I think so. Anyone want to check for me? Please? My brain is hurting from typing this up. I can’t go look. I’d cry. I’m two pages from finished now.
I wander around my apartment, my footsteps echoing through the living room, and it seems achingly empty since I was last here. I undo my bow tie. Perhaps it’s me that’s empty.
I would call that the most self-aware he’s ever been, but it’s just borrowed angst.
Ana calls, and he has to “rein in [his] temper.” Guess what. She was having dinner! She’s strangely clingy on him. It reminds me uncomfortably about clinging to my own abuser. If I knew what he was up to, there was less time for him to plan to hurt me.
The conversation is pointless. It was that, followed by a page and a half of “you have up first,” “no, YOU hang up first!” Literally. Good Goddess, this is record-breaking-sales writing. After Ana finally hangs up because she was ordered to, Grey downs some brandy, and heads to bed.
YAY! I’m going to go nom something in a moment, but just have to point out that it’s bad writing to end so many chapters with people going to get. Chapters-endings should make us want to turn the page and keep reading, not make us want to go to bed.
And now I’m finished with this day, and the following day is just nine pages. I can do that. I can, I CAN!
I may be the last person to find out that Kermit had a potential new girlfriend. Frankly, I never cared much for The Muppet Show, so only pay attention now when someone brings it up. Tonight, my husband did, via text.
Sweet Jesus. People are mad about Kermit’s new girlfriend because she is “thinner and younger”. They are talking about how a strong woman Miss Piggy is, completely ignoring the fact that she was egotistical and abusive.
We had a bit of a chat, and really, not much bothers him. He’s rather mild and mellow. But this is something he couldn’t let go of. So I felt compelled to look into it, and I’m pretty shocked.
Kermit’s potential girlfriend is Denise, and she’s a career-pig who is an advertising executive.
No, Denise actually is not yet his official girlfriend (according to the Muppets’ Twitter page, they’re “seeing” each other, but according to Kermit’s page, they aren’t at the exclusive level yet), but she’s certainly got some people raging mad.
She’s younger and thinner, though still chubby. Because she’s isn’t older than Miss Piggy, and at least as large, the character of Denise has been called everything from anti-feminist to bland (without anyone having a chance to get to know her) to a homewrecker, since somehow dating after a breakup, even potentially, means the new girlfriend (or maybe-girlfriend) is wrecking a home. Of course the woman is to blame. Men can’t control themselves, you know. Women are the ones who have to control men’s lust, and so this means Denise is somehow oh so bad. Well, that in addition to the aforementioned size of her body and her age.
Now I know theses are puppets with people’s hands up their butts to control them, but they reveal something sad about society. Denise is bad because being thinner is bad because it’s only okay to be fat these days (any message about how any body size is bad is very harmful, and having been as high as 400 pounds and as low as 113 pounds myself, I personally know how damaging it is to hear shame on either end), and because she’s younger. These are all that people have to use against her. She’s rotten for them, and should go away. She can’t hold a candle to Miss Piggy! Miss Piggy is perfect, and if you don’t agree, you should get punched!
Wow. Advocating violence as a show of strength.
Okay, a lot of people hold Miss Piggy up as a feminist icon. She’s even won an award. No, I’m not kidding. Miss Piggy, a puppet, has literally won a really real actual real-world award for feminism at the ackler Center First Award from the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Sandra Day O’Connor and Toni Morrison and Connie Chung were among the fifteen co-recipients in 2012.
Miss Piggy alone won in 2015.
Now I’m not saying her confidence and unwillingness to be held back and her acceptance of her body are bad things. They’re good. They’re very good. But why is no one addressing her domestic abuse and anger issues? See how far you can watch into this video before you’re too disgusted and have to stop. I can’t make it all the way through. These are highlights from just the first season:
Could you get through all eleven minutes? Congrats. Your stomach is stronger than mine. As unsettling as it is, you might have noticed that the humor is both on Kermit getting hit and in Miss Piggy not getting hit. Why are those funny?
If the genders were reversed, the abuse would be clearer. Why, plenty of people today have a problem with Ralph Kramden’s signature like of, “One of these days… POW!!! Right in the kisser!”
Mere empty threats by a man who is really rather spineless (Alice but rolls her eyes before telling her husband to “shaddup”) gets ire, but Miss Piggy actually beating on Kermit doesn’t!
Now I’m not trying to turn this into a debate over who has it worse. Women who are abused are more likely to be murdered by their abusers than men who are abused. But there is a problem that such a feminist icon is a long-time abuser, and her victim’s rumored new girlfriend is shamed for being thinner and younger, and torn down for not being the same way an abuser was.
Is this what we want? When we feminists are fighting against the romanticization and acceptance of violence against women, do we really want to hold up as an icon a woman-er, pig, who hits, especially without provocation? “Oh, uh, Piggy, have you met Lydia?” “No. Have you met my left fist?” Follow that with Miss Piggy punching him off his feet and blowing on her knuckles. Is this really, really what we want?
Self-esteem should never EVER come from mistaking a willingness to abuse as strength. It’s weak. Abusers are weak and insecure. Someone who is secure and strong doesn’t need to show it through karate-chopping and punching and stomping on someone the way Miss Piggy does. She lifted herself by tearing someone else down, and she was praised for being “strong” enough to do that.
I am extremely disappointed in those who choose to ignore Miss Piggy’s background and instead praise her as a role model. I’m equally disappointed in the supposedly-enlightened and supposedly-progressive people who think a proper way to behave to Kermit’s new friend is to insult her body size and age, and use those to make prejudgements about her personality. That’s not feminism. It’s misogyny. How dare Denise be thinner than someone. How dare she be younger. She’s bad. BAD. All because of her body size and age. And Miss Piggy is awesome for being “strong” enough to abuse.
Even though these characters are puppets, they are capable of making it abundantly clear that feminism has a much further way to go than many of us realized.
If you were on the bandwagon of un unrestrained praise for Miss Piggy, do you still feel that way when faced with her abuse history? If you jumped on the train of anger over Denise’s body size or age, how can you defend it as anything other than misogyny and body-shame and age-shame? I genuinely don’t understand how these things are good, and why they represent feminism when they’s abhorrent things.
Please, someone help me understand. Why is Miss Piggy good and Denise bad? How does Miss Piggy define feminism and Denise is everything wrong with feminism? Why should being strong mean taking pride in hitting?