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Fifty Shades of Embarrassment, Guilt and Regret

Popular book draws attention and some level of shame to many who read it. More importantly, what impact does it have on today’s youth?

All I can say is thank goodness for eReaders.

As part of a monthly book club, it was inevitable that the ever-so-popular “Fifty Shades of Grey” was destined to be a book of selection. After all, it’s the talk of the town these days.

My great-aunt has even told me she’s read it. Awkward!

I had mixed feelings on this, much as I did when the Harry Potter wave hit. I had no interest in Harry or his sorcery, but felt intrigued by all the commotion. I suppose that’s how books become best sellers.

People talk. People gawk. People read. Only the "Fifty" series has actually surpassed the "Harry" series and is now the world's fastest-selling paperback of all time, currently at 40 million copies, per Wikipedia.

Only a few chapters into this book does one realize that it has nothing to do with a color and everything to do with emotional and physical abuse, money and power. I knew it was controversial, but I never imagined the level of profanity, abuse and S&M that would be involved.

A friend of mine told me she skipped borrowing a free copy at the library and decided to invest in the eBook simply for the sake of being able to read it during her daughter’s dance class.

There was no WAY she was going to be seen with that book in her hand in public, she confessed.

As it seems, holding a copy of this book could be compared to flipping through a Playboy magazine in many senses. Although Playboy might not be quite as graphic.

Middle school students have been seen walking the halls and passing a heavily duct-taped version of it around. This is disturbing in so many ways.

Gee, and some thought “Catcher in the Rye” was risqué.

Here I am, a full-fledged adult, a parent, a wife, a woman, and I’m having feelings of embarrassment and guilt at the fact that I’ve read such smut.

What on earth is the effect it has on a seventh grader?

If a teachers sees this, what is their responsibility? Should they be held accountable for contacting the parents? Perhaps some parents are OK with their child reading this sort of thing. Whose job is it?

I contacted a local bookstore and asked if there were any policies regarding books of this nature. Video games and music have ratings and restrictions. Surely a book so raw, so explicit, so pornographic would have restrictions. Minors can't purchase a Playboy, right?

“Well,” the anonymous employee clarified, “We don’t display it near the children’s section.” … Well, thank goodness for THAT!

However, a person of any age has the legal right to make this purchase. Mind-boggling.

These naive adolescents are just beginning to learn about relationships, life, and love. They are so impressionable.

Could a book like this start a new generation of sexually confused adults? Will young women find it enthralling to become involved in controlling and abusive relationships? Or is it just one of those things that will slip in and out of their innocent minds without any true effect?

As a parent I have major concerns about the direction in which our society is going and the acceptance of such immorality.

After reading this book, I feel like I’m in need of a good spanking … oh wait. 

See what I mean?

Haley September 14, 2012 at 02:57 AM
we need to realize that children these days know more then parents. most that stuff doesnt shock them so if you cant protect your children from all the influiences in life unless you lock them up for good then i suggest we discuss the topics and let them read the book based on the maturity of that kid in time. We may think our kids are not mature but its pretty bad when you got 9th graders and some younger knowing how give oral and anal and so forth. Its sad yes so only thing we can do is talk to our kids and let them make there own choices in life cause we all were younf and know what its like when parents tell us whats bad like drinking and partying. We all went out and did that stuff or rebeled here and there for some of us. So maybe if we accept that the world is this way now with social media and tv and books we can be more open and more involved in our children and guide them.
WRVinovskis September 14, 2012 at 10:38 AM
So, you are saying that you agree, there is really now no difference between children and adults today. They already know all that "adult stuff".
Pamela Porter September 14, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Gramma: You said it. "Titus Andronicus" has as much gore and mayhem as an Eli Roth film, and no one would dare criticize you for reading it :D
Haley September 14, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Well as sad as it may be you have 6 graders having sex and when I was in school kids knew about things and how to do what fast forward to today with how much information is going into our kids heads I feel the old way isn't the right way with kids. You have hs kids that have kids so much Ehs has its own daycare and girls that are doing anal to stay a virgin and all that stuff you can read on the news and crap. So maybe since kids are so grown up and in some cases know more about sex and topics alike that since we can't stop that information from influencing are kids then maybe we should except it and get more involved in it and if my kid wants to read that book ok chances are they know everything in it. So least I can discuss the book with them so they know right from wrong.
Haley September 14, 2012 at 08:00 PM
So to answer your question I would say to an extent there really is hardly a difference in it, maybe a small one but with kids and information and peers it's tough to think are kids are getting more grown up faster and doing stuff more then in the past. Some parents throw a blind eye to it an think oh I know my so and so doesn't do this or that. I'm not sayin they do or don't. Just kids these days are not stupid you know and we all were young and know they tell the parents what they want to hear. Maybe with the times changing we all can be more open minded I guess least the younger generation will be since they are living in the society where more skin and sex is becoming mainstream that it doesn't shock them as it does to parents. Your only option is to cut out there eyes and ears to maybe completely protect them from it lol.

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