Grey areas in this cautionary tale

Daily Mail: Scientists warn reading Fifty Shades of Grey can turn you into a binge drinker with multiple sex partners

Would it be fair to say that these scientists are not “getting it”? I don’t think so. They get it (but scientists are no longer the new clergy; they’re now the old clergy, grown corrupt).

“We recognize that the depiction of violence against women in and of itself is not problematic, especially if the depiction attempts to shed serious light on the problem,’ Bonomi said.

‘The problem comes when the depiction reinforces the acceptance of the status quo, rather than challenging it.’

I get the sense they are saying they would be fine with all this if only the series had been dishonestly marketed as a “cautionary tale.” “You see,” says the super-cute twentysomething blonde female professor of sexorgasmgynocosmology that I’m imagining, “It would be a good thing for women to read this trash IF it teaches them how to avoid it.” That way the (insert massive sales figure here) women who like this sort of thing could go on reading it without anyone pointing to the fact that, um, a lot of women seem to like this sort of thing and we seem to have some conflicting social narratives running simultaneously beep bop boop does not compute. (What? Nearly 100 million copies sold worldwide? Fuck off, no way.)

It’s just a version of the “you-can-go-ahead-and-paint-naked-women-just-make-sure-you-put-them-in-a-setting-from-classical-literature” thing all over again. You know, progress.