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Fifty Shades of Trash

Fifty Shades

I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing. I have often dreamed of being a fiction writer (or just write a book). Through my research on how to make this all happen I found that flash fiction, short stories, and serials are in demand in the publishing market. I also read the best way to get published is on social writing sites like Wattpad.com. I had read some stories in the past from Wattpad, but I a lot of what I found there was poorly written high school romantic fantasies riddled with pointless graphic scenes. It put me off reading anything on Wattpad. Hopeful that maybe things had changed in the past three years, I was sad to find that it hadn’t. It was worse.

As I debate about promoting anything or utilizing this source in any way, shape, or form, I remembered back to when Superman and I had just gotten married. I had been working at a large corporate child care center as the assistant director (a.k.a. assistant boss). The teachers often spent naptimes reading. I understood it was hard to stay awake in a dim room with Enya lulling all the children off to sleep. During this time the well-known series Fifty Shades of Gray was at its peak of popularity. I don’t know if it was a single copy or if every teacher had one, but it seemed like that book was floating around the school. I was constantly finding teachers reading it, leaving it out, and whispering about it. It really bothered me.

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My boss had read the series, but she hated that the teachers had the book out during naptime and where parents could see. We had endless conversations about it. I felt like I was constantly hiding the book in the teacher’s closets when they left it out.

One day, a group of teachers and my boss were talking about the book at the front office. Everyone knew I was an avid reader and encouraged me to read it as well. I was very blunt with them. That book was nothing more than porn.

“How would you feel if you came home and found your husband or boyfriend watching porn? It is no different when you are reading that book. It is porn and I will not do that to my husband or myself.”

Somehow porn has infested its poison into every aspect of the entertainment industry. It’s passed off as valuable and proof of maturity. It’s passed off as normal, part of life, and the worst: who we are and unhealthy to deny it.

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Studies have found correlation between those who regularly view and read erotica and decreased size of grey matter in the brain. They also have found that these people view other people as objects. They have decreased satisfaction in relationships, and struggle to connect with others.

Once upon a time I reread the Harry Potter books for the umpteenth time. I read the entire series in three to four days. When I was almost done with the fifth book I realized that I was having a lot of issues with Superman. There was a lot of conflict (instigated by me). Superman asked what was wrong with me. I told him I didn’t know. Later when I was back reading the books, I realized that I was in the middle of the angst and contentious emotions of Harry. If reading teenage angst can cause such a huge problem in my marriage, what damage would trashy stories cause?

Why do we do this to ourselves? Women are the worst when it comes to reading it. It’s one thing to watch the actions of others play out on a screen. It is entirely different to create the action in your mind. How destructive and devastation for our families, our spouses. It is no surprise that divorce has skyrocketed, commitment has dissipated, and selfishness abounds in our society.

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I know a lot of girls who read what’s popular to fit in or to talk it out with everyone else. Here is a better solution: read a good, clean, book. When the trash is brought out, rather than jump in to talk about the smell and rancid diapers, share your new book. Share the clean, good, book. Tell them why it was so interesting. If you don’t participate in the trash, maybe your friends won’t either.

Sex doesn’t need to sell. We don’t need to buy it. Let us stop supporting the smut. I know that I will be spending lots of time talking to Princess Pea about making good choices in entertainment, including avoiding the trash that people are calling literature.

Katie

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20 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Trash

  1. I struggle with popular fiction as well – I haven’t read Fifty Shades either, and I don’t really feel any need to. Though I’m not a fan of erotica, I’m not sure removing it entirely is the answer. Isn’t that a bit like censorship? I don’t know if censoring books is ever a good idea. I do agree, however, that things like Fifty Shades shouldn’t be considered literature. It’s a book, but it doesn’t belong in that genre for sure.

    I love your analogy with Harry Potter, however. I have read a lot of books and during my favorites, I always take on mannerisms of the characters, for better or worse. Glad to know I’m not alone 😉

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In some ways, it’s lazy writing, too – instead of setting the characters up to scrutinize themselves and others, the author/director/person in charge dumps them into a sex scene instead. I hear ya on that :/

        I got very frustrated with the mystery genre a few years back for this reason: I wasn’t interested in reading 10,000 sex scenes.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Tue, i remember that when i was in high school there were lots of good suspense or romantic books that weren’t necessarily erotica, and i enjoyed them alot, they were more inspiring and educative! as well as relaxing unlike erotica

        Liked by 1 person

      2. i think its the way the world is changing which is sad, i don’t know why there is the necessity of putting erotic things all over TV, books, music anything there were supposed to be for some type of audience but not forced on everyone!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I too have a big problem with what I’m reading interfering with my life, my mood, my feelings, etc (in fact I just wrote 2000 words about this a few months ago where I explored the impact of Stephen King’s writing on my drinking – I then quit drinking). I’ve never taken the time to consider how a steady diet of porn might affect relationships. I don’t see porn as necessarily hurtful, but I acknowledge that most of it includes strong aspects of control, which is not a healthy model. Since many books are bad and clean, and many books are good and smutty (or ugly). I would like to amend your plea to “just make sure you’re reading a *good* book.” No one will find my upcoming book wholesome, but I still think there is a good story there that needs to be told.

    Like

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