[disclaimer: I don’t own any of the gifs used in this post. If you see a gif that you created and would either like credit for it or would like it taken down, please let me know.]
My tolerance for Ana and Christian’s bullshit seems to have become nonexistent in my time away from this blog. My rage is so intense that it’s starting to feel kind of good.
Anyway, so Ana decides to shop around, and finds an anklet that she likes.
I walk determinedly past Chanel, Gucci, Dior, and the other designer boutiques and eventually find the antidote to what ails me in a small, overstocked, touristy store. It’s a little silver ankle bracelet with small hearts and little bells. It tinkles sweetly and costs five euros. As soon as I’ve bought it, I put it on. This is me–this is what I like.
WHAT A QUIRKY, UNIQUE GIRL YOU ARE, ANA. WOW. SO SPECIAL.
I have had it up to here with Ana’s special snowflake complex. For reference, imagine that “here” is the top of mount Everest.
I’m SO FUCKING DONE with Ana acting like she’s so goddamned special and unique because she reads books and drinks tea and doesn’t buy designer shit.
WHOOP DI FUCKING DO, YOU PIECE OF SHIT. YOU’RE EXACTLY LIKE EVERY OTHER LADY IN THE WORLD.
Oh, wow, YOU READ BOOKS? HERE’S AN AWARD! IT’S CALLED “I GRADUATED 2ND GRADE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THEREFORE POSSESS THE CAPABILITY OF UNDERSTANDING WRITTEN ENGLISH.”
Wait a second, you drink tea? THERE’S NO WAY ANYONE ELSE DOES THAT. IT’S NOT LIKE TEA PLACES ARE SPRINGING UP LIKE STARBUCKS THESE DAYS. IT’S NOT LIKE LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE DRINKS TEA YOU SACK OF UNORIGINAL SHIT.
You’re not different. You don’t deserve special treatment. That’s awesome that you enjoy these things, but no one gives a shit.
Ana decides to buy a present for Christian, but she needs to call José to help pick it out.
Gee. I wonder what it could be. It’s not like José has one defining hobby that is literally all we know about him. I wonder why Ana would be calling her photographer friend for help picking something out in an electronics store.
Wow. Much suspense. Very plot.
Ana heads back to the boat and gives Christian his present. And it’s, surprise surprise, a camera.
“I thought you might, um…like to take pictures of…me.”
Ana, you married this guy. You shouldn’t be this awkward when asking him to take nude portraits of you. He’s shaved your goddamned pubes, for christ’s sake. You should be past this shit.
Christian is weirded out by the proposal. I’ll admit, I was expecting him to be all for it. But apparently, when he used to take sexy pictures of his submissives, they were an “insurance policy.”
“For me, photos like those have usually been an insurance policy, Ana. I know I’ve objectified women for so long,” he says and pauses awkwardly.
Did…did Christian just admit to being a sexist douchebag?
WHAT IS HAPPENING.
FIRST HE’S RATIONAL.
NOW HE’S ADMITTING TO OBJECTIFYING WOMEN.
Is this the part where the book actually becomes a brilliant examination of sexism and how easily society can overlook it?
Probably not. But a girl can dream.
So then Ana starts having basically a panic attack because Christian says “I’m confused.” And suddenly she seems to think that their entire marriage is literally crumbling apart right then and there or something. Wow, that sure says a lot about the stability of your relationship.
Ana figures out that Christian is being weird because he’s worried about her? Because of the fire? And seeing the marks on her wrists makes him uncomfortable (as well it fucking should)?
I have literally ZERO idea what this has to do with the camera and the pictures but okay?
“Christian, these don’t matter.” I hold up my wrist, revealing the fading welt. “You gave me a safe word. Shit–yesterday was fun. I enjoyed it. Stop brooding about it–I like rough sex, I’ve told you that before.” I blush scarlet as I try to quash my rising panic.
I don’t…even…no. Okay? Just no.
This is exactly why so many people say these books don’t glorify abuse. “She likes it!” they say. “She asked for it!”
REASONS WHY THE HANDCUFFS + ROUGH SEX STUFF FROM TWO CHAPTERS AGO WAS ABUSIVE, SCARY BULLSHIT:
- Christian got Ana a drink beforehand, and told her to finish it before they went to the bedroom. Ana has a notoriously low tolerance.
- Yes, Christian gave Ana a safeword, but they never practiced using it, and using a safeword isn’t something that comes naturally to someone like Ana who is used to swallowing pain for Christian’s sake, so the likelihood that Ana would actually safeword is VERY slim, especially because they’d never tested her limits before (except for the time when he hit her with a belt, and we all remember how well THAT ended).
- Christian never fully explained what kind of damage the handcuffs could cause, and he didn’t really give Ana a choice about wearing them. He said they can dig into the skin. That’s not enough of a warning.
- CHRISTIAN USED SEX AS PUNISHMENT TO GET BACK AT ANA FOR BREAKING ONE OF HIS BULLSHIT RULES THAT SHE NEVER EVEN AGREED TO. THIS IS NOT A CONSENSUAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE WHO BOTH FULLY UNDERSTAND THE EXTENT OF BDSM. THIS IS A TERRIFIED, WEAK-WILLED WOMAN WITH SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES BEING MANIPULATED AND CONTROLLED BY A MAN WITH VERY OBVIOUS MENTAL ISSUES THAT HE EITHER CANNOT OR WILL NOT DEAL WITH.
I don’t care that she said it was okay after the fact. Still not cool. Sex should never be used as a punishment unless that’s part of an agreement between 2 consenting parties, where both fully understand the rules and consequences. Ana has never agreed to obey Christian in all things, and therefore he has no right to punish her like that.
I just…I can’t. I really, really can’t. If you think I’m wrong, and think that this is fine and that this isn’t abuse, you can go right ahead and tell me, but you better have some DAMN good reasons why I’m wrong, because I refuse to accept anything less.
So now Christian just…refuses to talk to Ana? Uh…cool? So Ana decides to take out his camera and start taking pictures of him. Finally Christian comes out of his shell and wants the camera back, and then he pushes Ana on the bed and straddles her and starts taking pictures of her.
If I have to read another gross sex scene I’ll be so pissed. I’m already on tilt enough as it is over this bullshit, I really don’t want to vomit out of spite.
Christian starts tickling Ana, and it’s actually…kind of…cute? Maybe I’ve been close to madness for too long. Maybe I finally tipped over the edge and have started thinking that some parts of this book are cute.
Ugh. Kill me.
WELP. NOW CHRISTIAN HAS A BONER. GUESS WE GET TO READ ABOUT A GROSS SEX SCENE NOW.
Except it’s really short, because the two of them only last 20 seconds. I mean, that’s nice that you can get the deed done that fast, but…isn’t the journey half the fun?
Ana asks Christian what’s wrong, and he still won’t tell her, so she starts…uh…reciting their wedding vows back to him? Like the “in sickness and in health” crap. I guess it’s supposed to be sweet or something. I just can’t find it in me to care about any of this.
Finally Christian tells Ana what’s up. I guess the fire was officially arson, and he’s afraid that this person is after him, and therefore might be after Ana too.
That’s the big shocker? As if we didn’t already know it was arson. As if we didn’t already know this person is probably after Christian. Please, E.L. James. You think your readers are honestly that stupid?
(Although some of them actually might be that stupid…)
The chapter cuts to a new scene, a new day. Now we’re at Versailles, and Christian tells Ana how beautiful she is, and then…oh. Apparently that was a flashback. What a sloppy fucking flashback. YOU NEED TO TELL US WHEN WE’RE GOING BACK IN TIME, MISS JAMES. OTHERWISE YOUR STORY IS CONFUSING AS FUCK.
Cut back to present day, when Ana and Christian have just finished eating dinner. Christian has to go check emails for like an hour, leaving Ana alone. Ana decides to check emails too, and gets one from Kate asking about the fire. Apparently the fire was at Christian’s office? What. He literally said “Grey house.” I don’t…nothing makes any sense. Whatever. I’m sure it’ll get explained once Ana and Christian finally stop fucking long enough to get back home to Seattle.
Like that’ll ever happen.
Ana falls asleep and has some weird nightmare in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, where she’s with Christian and then…DUM BUM BUMMM he walks away from her! HOW SCARY. She wakes up LITERALLY terrified, and Christian is suddenly there to hold her and make her feel better.
Drinking in his scent, I curl around him, trying to ignore the loss and devastation I felt in my dream, and in that moment, I know that my deepest, darkest fear would be losing him.
I was going to make fun of her for her “deepest, darkest fear,” but…honestly…that would probably be my biggest fear too, if I got married. So I guess maybe that’s legitimate. I just wish they both weren’t so fucking stupid all the time.
-End of Chapter Four-
WOOO I DID IT!
No guarantees that I’ll post on Wednesday. I might reduce this to twice a week, at least until I’m done with work for the semester (which will actually be pretty soon).
I’m so, so sorry that it took so long for me to update! All of you guys that stuck around…you’re great. Seriously. Everyone that is reading this right now, you’re all wonderful and amazing and I love you all to pieces. Thanks for sticking around and supporting me while I rant about books online, haha.
I’m also going to try and get better at responding to comments! So if you have a question or comment, or just want to say hi, comment that shit, yo!
Also feel free to find me on Twitter. I actually do that these days. My names Guernica322, y’all.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wash my brain in bleach to remove all the stupid that I contracted after reading this book.