In general views on the books are definitely split: those that have been in domestic abusive relationships (or have been close to someone who has) can see the similarities and are worried about the dangerous message this trilogy gives the public, whilst people who have had no experience of this seem to get personally offended that anyone dare slate the book in this way. I have been racking my brains wondering why this is and thought it was worthwhile looking into this a bit closer.
So.... dealing with the most hostile of reactions: I have been told by women who seem quite exasperated by my blogs that I am just simply "wrong" and that it is not domestic abuse at all. Just to clarify some facts:
- I have actually read all of the first 2 books and have just started on the third, so my observations are based on what I have read and not just on hearsay
- I have been unlucky enough to be in a domestic abusive relationship and their are vast similarities in Christian Greys character to the one of my abuser both in the things he does and says - I am not "wrong" in this !
- Since my domestic abusive relationship I have contributed on forums specifically set up to help people suffering from domestic abuse, which all have first hand experiences from women describing a very similar type of abusive person
- I have read countless books on domestic abuse, the characteristics that an abusive person displays and the clear warning signs that people should look out for during a relationships - all of the warning signs can be seen in Christian (as explained in my previous blog)
- One of the books that was most significant was Lundy Bancroft's "Why does he do that" - this is a book written by a man who works with abusers, so in my view you can't get any closer to the problem than he has! In his expert opinion men that displays abusive characteristics do not get better and the relationship tends to get worse and women are subjected to more danger the longer they stay. This is why it is worrying that women are coming away with a positive opinion of Christian and the misguided opinion that men like him may change
If I am "wrong" in my observations, then all the women who have posted on domestic abuse sites about their experiences, all the people who have studied domestic abuse cases and wrote books about them, Charities that display the clear warning signs of unhealthy, abusive, dangerous relationships and the experts who attempt to work with the perpetrators of this awful crime are also wrong......which is highly unlikely !!!
The other opinion that I have come up across is that it can't be domestic abuse because he wrote a contract so it was consensual...really? Two points here....firstly Ana never signed the contract in book one but this did not stop his controlling, abusive behaviour, this behaviour had started before any contract was signed. Secondly if we take that opinion further does that mean that if I intend to hurt someone in any way it is acceptable as long as I have put it in writing and then manipulated them and pressurised them into signing it.