Thursday, August 23, 2012

WTF: British charity calls for '50 Shades of Grey' book burning

This just popped up on my Twitter feed and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. It's for a good cause, but book burning? Part of me just instinctively reacts with a "don't burn books" reaction.

The long and short of this LA Times article is that a British charity that focuses on domestic violence is holding a bonfire where they'll be toasting books on the fire in order to draw attention to the issues of DV. 

I'm a little bothered by this because while I understand their issues with the book and I'm fairly sure that most of this is a way to get media attention (mission accomplished, obviously), I'm disturbed at the idea of destroying a book. At some point this is going to be more of a stunt that will might make the general public see the organization as less serious than they actually want to be and would instead become more about whether or not book burning is right than the more important issue, which is that we need to all try to help those who have suffered from domestic violence, to stop the cycle, and to notice the signs. It's just that whenever someone says "lets's burn books" it immediately brings up images and feelings of intolerance and censorship more than anything else. 

The problem is that a group of DJs have tried to do this in Cleveland in the States and it didn't really accomplish much. Once you make something seem taboo, people want to see it all the more. I just hope that in the end the women's group manages to keep this more about the men, women, and children that suffer from domestic violence and it doesn't turn into a big thing that's more about the book. (And yes, men suffer from domestic violence too, and not from other men.)

Further Reading:


  1. I guess I need to read the dang thing more. I do understand that it does not do a very good job with it's mature topics and does cross into the realm of "glorifying abuse", which is a bad thing. Of course, that's hearsay and I'm willing to read it to see.

    Then again, Twilight is full of abusive themes held up as glorified so maybe that should be included in the fire?

  2. I think it's all in the eye of the beholder. I found Christian to be an ass, with some of his actions being a little... extreme. I can see where people get domestic abuse from this. I don't think the writer intended it. I think this was just one of those books that the author wrote to cater to her specific fantasy and forgot that some of the actions wouldn't really be realistic or even favorable at times.

    I honestly don't know which relationship is more dysfunctional, Twilight's or FSOG's.

  3. I hate these books because it gloryfies an abusive relationship. I don't believe in book burning. But I really want to help women, men and children who suffer from domestic violence.