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Is Fifty Shades of Grey the Future of Chick Lit?

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Now, when it comes to the plot of Fifty Shades Of Grey I'm little confused. When did chick-lit get so hardcore?

I've read umpteen novels about vulnerable, female graduates, inexplicably attracted to hot, rich, flawed, man - with whom they just can't seem to break it off. But those girls were rarely bitten on their first date.

Chick-lit land has always offered modern women a pragmatic way to indulge in 'less progressive' sexual fantasies, without renouncing their feminist principles.

So when we read about sexy, senior marketing manager 'Bradley' staying late in the office to help young intern 'Hattie' with her spreadsheet... and casually brushing her arm one too many times - we know she wants him to do bad things to her, without him having to brandish handcuffs.

But now 'Chick-Whip' - like the terrible love child of Helen Fielding and Hugh Hefner - has well and truly let the pussy out of the bag.

Millions of women are throwing caution to the wind and merrily embracing a sexist, literary zone, where poor old Hattie will end up on her back, being forcibly entered, while dreaming of finding 'the one'.

And of course if this trend for chick-lit porn continues, it could be curtains for suggestive romantic comedy, where banter replaces sex.

The next Richard Curtis film will more likely involve Hugh Grant jumping Renee Zellweger in a dark alley, before taking her back to his Red Room Of Posh.

Women have successfully cloaked their desire to be sexually subjugated, behind pastel-coloured fiction novels and slightly sexist romantic comedy, for decades, precisely because it really doesn't do 'anyone' any favours to play out scenes of sexual violence against women anywhere else, apart from in our heads.

Before EL James, I'd spent years enjoying reading chick-lit on the train to work.

Now, I am uncomfortably aware that the woman on my left is probably imagining being "helpless, trussed up and pressed into a mattress" while her Fifty-Shades-of-Grey-esque billionaire boyfriend plans their life in his Red Room Of Pain.

While it's one thing to have a rape fantasy by yourself - in the safe seclusion of your own head - it's quite another to know that everyone around you is having one too.

Surely the only good result of this new genre will be to make mens' eyes gleam (and not in good way), and make it a lot harder for women to look their sexy bosses in the eye.

But, it's the fastest selling paperback of all time. So expect to see a sadomasochistic relationship plot device in a Garry Marshall movie this Christmas.

Ladies, you've made your own beds, prepare to be tethered to them.

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