One of the most popular pages on this blog, and one of the most frequent search terms that unsuspectingly lands people here is “Fifty Shades Of Grey”. A while back, I wrote an article about my hesitance to read these novels, and since I’ve now heard enough feedback from the rest of the world, I can state with some certainty that I will never do so.

However, I’ve learned some valuable lessons due to the popularity of this book that have helped me to grow as a more enlightened individual, and to become a better writer.

* I was more sexually aware at 18 than this author is in her mid-40′s. I understand you want the world to believe this story is being told by a sweet and innocent virgin who is submissive, lacking self-esteem, and likely suffers from an eating disorder. (don’t emphasize the frail and helpless nature of a female character, her petite frame and inability to fight back in any situation, and name her “Ana” if you don’t want the world to know about your former anorexia issues. Also, the weird thing with the guy forcing her to eat while still wanting her tiny and breakable is a dead giveaway that the author of these books needs a healthier relationship with both food and sex.) However, nobody has been that sexually unaware in college since the 1900′s. Kids are having color-coded-bracelet sex parties at 14 these days. Initiation to certain sororities has been known to involve sleeping with a guy your big sisters pick out for you. What world are these characters living in?

*I don’t care how much of an abusive asshole you are, you’re not an experienced dominant at 26. Reviews of this book point out that the male character is awesomely good looking, great in bed, and a skilled dominant in and out of the bedroom. Snippets of the book I’ve read point to the fact that he might actually be a sociopathic control freak who’s kind of making it up as he goes along, and has a poor naive girl who confuses that with the world of BDSM. I’m kind of expecting book three to be a horror story where the guy stalks and murders her. If I met this guy when I was in my early 20′s, I’d have known enough to call the police.

*I can write a book that will be a NY Times best-seller In fact, anyone can. One dimensional characters, boring sex scenes, and lack of female empowerment appeals to women…which says something about women and our society. If you want to write a book that’s even BETTER than this one, buy a thesaurus.

For all the complaining that the media hates women, and politicians hate women, and men hate women, and women are being sent back to the 1950′s more and more with each passing day, here’s the truth: women are the ones who hate women, because they largely dislike themselves. The proof is that both this saga and its tamer, teen counterpart, “The Twilight Saga feature helpless, weak-willed female characters who have low self-esteem and will literally die if the guy that’s made them feel special disappears/hurts their feelings/rejects them. Both are best-selling series that are largely written by women, and read by women.

(Oh, and a side note: all those “evil” magazines that show pictures of size 2 models and promote negative body image to sell products? About 85% of them have female editors-in-chief. Yet Hugh Hefner is the one that somehow disrespects women with his publication?)

So, who’s sending out the fucked-up messages to women of today?

Oh, right. Other women. When you think about it, it makes sense. How many girls/women of any age do you know that genuinely like and support other girls/women in a positive, non-passive-agressive/frenemy kind of way?

However, if you don’t agree with my assessment of “Fifty Shades Of Grey”, based on the fact that I refuse to spend my time and money reading bad soft-core porn with glorified psychological abuse and rape scenes that are dismissed as “misunderstandings” and “No usually means yes when a guy has a big penis”, you should read a very well-written review from someone who did read the books. It’s not only accurate, but entertaining.

And, yes, she wants her time, her money, and her dignity back.

P.S. She also wrote equally entertaining reviews of the second and third novels. Spoiler alert: At the end, Edward turns them all into vampires.