by Joni Abilene
It wasn’t easy posting about boundaries the other day, but I actually feel better having done so. Not an easy topic.
But, moving on, I was thinking about how a person can go through things like that and still find a way to write unaffected. Currently, I am working on a piece which deals with a familiar topic of boundaries, and I could let my own life stop me, but I just feel that would be so stupid. If anything, writing should be about challenging the truth in order to come to a philosophical discovery, which seldom happens in reality. Often, we dodge reality and let it kill us. We ignore, ignore, because one person’s truth, and ours, are seldom of equal value. We get offended. We live in the dark, even though we hate the dark. There’s no revelation, no epiphanies. And isn’t fiction all about the epiphany? Also, it needs to be said that what you won’t write, is what you should be writing.
I love fractured characters. If one is a stalker, psycho type, then bring it on. In real life, not so much. But what I love is when a character changes, because he or she can’t live life they way they have been. At some point they see things aren’t working. It’s that pivot, that apex, that is so exciting. If it’s bad stuff, good stuff, I love it.
So, why was E.L. James misled in writing about a young woman dominated by an older, much wealthier man? Well, first, she’s just a writer, so let’s remember that. But it’s what she didn’t do that bothers people, I guess. Haven’t read the book. But my impression is that she didn’t have Ana ask to be the dominant one in the relationship, or question why there should be any roles at all. Why in the hell does a young woman have to be beaten for sex? What kind of message does that send? I makes me sick writing about this, actually, but I’m trying to make a point. The point is, there was never an epiphany for Ana. She was always a pawn. The book was about her, right? But even to the reader she was nothing more than a vehicle for sexual fantasy. It’s sad. Again, I can’t say because I haven’t read the book, but I do wonder if Ana was allowed to think and make choices.
But I also hate moralizing. And it is just fiction.
The main thing is a book doesn’t reflect an author, it reflects the book. We should talk about the book.