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This page contains a single entry by Laurie Frankel published on August 28, 2012 7:09 AM.

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August 28, 2012

Fifty Shades of Gone Girl

As you know (where you=a person on earth), the two big books of the summer are actually four: the three Fifty Shades of Gray books and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. Having just finished the latter, what I'm wondering is this: 

Why the nationwide summer taste for abusive relationships? Not abusive relationships in a Lifetime movie kind of way. Much stranger than that. Consensual abusive relationships. Fantastical abusive relationships. Wildly complicated and begged for abusive relationships. Love so hopelessly confused as abuse, violent abuse, possibly murderous abuse, that you can't tell the difference.

In re: porn, S&M, sex games, and make believe, I say sure, whatever floats your boat. That's not my question. My questions are these:

Why do we say S&M? There's no "and" in sadomasochism. Sadomasochism isn't even two words. This is like if I said the republican party is incom & prehensible. Or rep & rehensible. Or I said something was discon & tinuous. (See what I did there?)

Is the choice of these two texts coincidence or just coincident or something else? And really, (why) are we in this mood as a nation? When Todd Akin made asinine comments two weeks ago about "legitimate rape," the whole country went nuts. And hey, I get it. I didn't find that comment much more offensive or nonsensical than the rest of his party's current statements, but I get it. That said, his (badly stated) point wasn't really about the ambiguities of rape (his point was about making abortion illegal and unavailable, a position which should also offend us but does not). His argument wasn't really about gray shades of rape. But these four books are about exactly that. Maybe not fifty, but at least three or four. That strikes me as strange. Does that strike anyone else as strange?

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