2012/08/01 by admin
Following William Stillwell’s revelation of suffering depression and embarrassment it seems that the male reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey is one of complete befuddlement, head in hands denial or complete fear of this unknown phenomenon.
The astronomical rise of Fifty Shades has seen it being mocked, spoofed and denounced in equal measure. It is, however, nothing new – just the latest iteration of female sexuality bursting into the public consciousness.
For years female sexuality has been something considered hidden and perverse – in polite society it was something to be subdued. Whereas male sexuality is something that’s trumpeted and often apologised for when it goes too far as “boys being boys”, Brides on their wedding nights were told to “lie back and think of England”.
With our society having historically taught girls that sex was something that was done to them rather than which they partake, there is an innate hypocrisy in the way that Western societies denounce the enforcement of wearing Burqas in Tehran or Riyadh as a way of controlling women.
Yet the English language is full of a litany of linguistic barbs just as harsh. The words slut, slag and tart are all designed to achieve the same purpose the shaming of women who enjoy sex or display their sexuality.
The ridicule of Fifty Shades (which is in some cases is admittedly hilarious) is almost as silly as the defence, the protestation that it isn’t about the sex, but about the characters.
As if any male visitor to Spankwire, Redtube or PornHub has ever dropped by to see stylised shots and compositions – yet the fact that women of all ages are reading erotica featuring S&M makes it somehow extreme.
I hope that this mainstream show of female sexuality is here to stay and the right reaction isn’t to ridicule or try and explain it. It’s right that we should live in a society in which women feel no longer feel shamed into hiding the fact that they have erotic experiences – men can help by fully accepting that.