Warnings: The Fifty Shades series is extremely sexually explicit and involves BDSM. Because of that, and because they are not exactly well-researched or high-quality literature, I will mention things such as abuse, rape, rape culture, male dominance, sexism, relationship violence, and consensual BDSM. Also, the books began as Twilight fanfic, so I will be mentioning Twilight (which is a major squick for a lot of people just by itself).
Ana keeps using that phrase. I do not think it means what she thinks it means.
This is Ana’s go-to phrase whenever she sees Christian or thinks about something sex-related with Christian–which is like 85% of this book, so we see it a lot. It never seems to matter what precedes it. She starts out thinking that she’s nervous or she has misgivings or he’s too controlling, and then her brain shuts down. She is reduced to an inner-goddess-influenced, quivering mass of OhMyism.
I’ve lost track of how many times she’s used that phrase, and I’ve only reviewed about half the book so far. If only there were an infinite resource…hang on lemme Google that.
Okay, I’m back. According to my sources (er, Google search), Ana uses the phrase “Oh my” more than 70 times. Oh, my!
The reason I’m harping on the lousy writing exemplified by overuse of that specific phrase is because I actually have no words for the garbage that can be found in Chapter 15. No one should be surprised that we have more of Ana being nervous and unsure of what she wants and more of Christian being a controlling ass. That is what this book is about, after all.
In this section, she tries to return the very expensive (and creepy) gift of first editions of Tess of the d’Urbervilles that he’s given her. Instead of having a conversation about how he really wants her to have them, he just manipulates her by telling her she is “defying” him by giving them back. He says,
As a submissive you would just be grateful for them. You just accept what I buy you because it pleases me for you to do so.
I have no idea if this is true or not. I have never been in that kind of relationship, and it is unlikely that I ever will be. But in the context of Christian and Ana’s relationship, it just seems so threatening. The other thing about it that bothers me is that when she says she wasn’t his sub when he bought them, his response is that she agreed and now she is–so it’s somehow retroactive. This probably wouldn’t worry me so much if it weren’t for the fact that he was already controlling and manipulative long before she agreed to the terms. Oh, my.
These books are some kind of weird symbol here. He doesn’t even want her to give them away so that someone else can benefit from their sale. He concedes, but he’s not particularly nice about it. So much for Mr. Philanthropist who cares so deeply about the poor starving people in Darfur. Oh, my.
And then, stupid Ana actually feels guilty about hurting his feelings. Oh, my!
This particular admonishment from her subconscious really ought to tell her something:
You can pretend to be a car, like his other possessions.
Yes, Ana! Listen to your subconscious for once, dammit! You. are. a. possession. He is taking ownership of you and you are going to be left as an empty vessel. This is what men like Christian do. For the love of all things holy, just walk away right now.
Except she doesn’t. She tries to figure out how to make it better. Exactly like every other person who has ever been through domestic abuse. Oh, my indeed.
This whole scene gives me the creeps. She says she feels cheap, like he’s buying her with these gifts. He says she shouldn’t feel that way because of what others might think (what others? No one knows about them). He admits she doesn’t know what she’s getting into, but he doesn’t really offer her any guidance (or, better yet, someone else to help her). And then he gives her champagne. Oh, my.
I can’t honestly tell whether the next section is actually the author’s poor attempt at making it look like Christian is stalling on Ana’s request to talk about the soft limits or whether it’s her poor attempt at some kind of plot points. All I know is that it is badly written and maddeningly irrelevant. I don’t care about Ana’s job or her move or her career plans; I do, however, care about the fact that Christian is not answering her questions while at the same time trying to get her drunk. Oh, my.
This whole next section on Teh Sexay requires its own blog post, so I’ll just leave you…er…hanging until next time. Meanwhile, please enjoy this video.