Whose Gaze Is It Anyway?

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Ok, so. I went to see 50 Shades of Grey last night. Here’s my quick take:

Wow, did this movie need more cock.

This is a story, ostensibly, that hinges on a man who likes to “fuck. And fuck hard” (Yes, Jamie Dornan actually says that, in the least convincing way possible). And yet, we never see Dornan-as-Grey’s dick, not even for a second. Yes, the film’s rated R, which usually means no male full frontal, though 98% full female nudity? Totally fine.

However, one of the major selling points for this story has been its emphasis on female pleasure, implicitly the heteronormative (or at least cock-appreciating kind), making the utter absence of Dornan’s dick kind of bewildering. Notably, Dornan does wear these ridiculously low-slung and stylishly ripped jeans during the scenes in his sex dungeon/playroom—hot damn yes, he looks good—but the fuckers never come all the way off. Perfect metaphor for the movie.

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Four Reasons I Adore Fanfic

The upcoming release of the film version of 50 Shades of Grey has spawned, perhaps inevitably, another uptick in discussion of fanfiction in the media. In this piece from the New York Post, for example, fan fiction writers themselves decry 50 Shades for its crappy writing, misleading portrayal of BDSM, and for being “just porn”:

Tom, a 22-year-old warehouse worker from the Southeast who uses the pen name military history and writes “Lord of the Rings” fan fiction, found the book’s abusive relationship disturbing and the understanding of BDSM misguided.

“The whole thing honestly reads like masturbation material,” he says, “as opposed to an actual story.”

PEOPLE READ FANFIC TO GET OFF?!

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HA! (Love that it’s a dude saying this, BTW).

Me, I’m not here to cast any shade on the 50. No. If you like it, awesome. If you don’t, that’s ok, too. Everyone’s relationship to fanfic is different, which is something that I think a lot of mainstream media stories about fic really don’t get.

So. Here are four reasons why I adore fanfiction:

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