After nearly three years of writing about kink, feminism, and pop culture, I’m so tired of talking about a certain novel that I now make a point of only referring to it as “that book.” Criticizing Fifty Shades of Grey on either feminist or literary grounds is pretty much like shooting grey-eyed fish in a barrel. Having re-read it recently, I can certainly offer no defense of its style, characters, plotline, or its relationship with reality.
Dominant, submissive, top, bottom, masochist, sadist... What if your kink preferences don't fit one of these labels? Does popular culture have no time for fence-sitters, or as Jay Wiseman called them, "switch-hitters"? Or does it regularly represent them without acknowledging their existence?
Okay, so we're basically just saying what many have already concluded. 50 Shades of Grey is a boring, badly written book that portrays people into BDSM as sick. Yes, it's popular, but we think erotica fans can do better.