If "50 Shades" had been written by a man.
February 15, 2015 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Tickld shows us what That Book would be like had a man written it. 50 Sheds of Gray, on Twitter; on Amazon 'Are you ready to be tortured in a way only a woman can torture a man?' she asked. I nodded nervously. 'OK' she said and ate half my chips."
posted by I_Love_Bananas (87 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
How do you feel about using toys in the bedroom?' she asked. 'Fine,' I said, 'But I can't see how we're going to fit a Scalextric in here.'

I think Mrs A. would be up for this.
posted by arcticseal at 3:21 PM on February 15, 2015


I can't see how we're going to fit a Scalextric in here.

A 4x8 sheet will fit nicely under a queen size. This guy needs to up his game.
posted by bonehead at 3:26 PM on February 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Red/Grey show?
posted by BungaDunga at 3:29 PM on February 15, 2015 [17 favorites]


My favourite one of these isn't on this list:

"I was shocked to see that soft, limp body squirm wildly as it was pumped hard and fast. I'd never been to a Build-a-Bear before."
posted by howfar at 3:51 PM on February 15, 2015 [17 favorites]


This is better than the Bulwer-Lytton awards. They should probably start a new category.
posted by uosuaq at 3:52 PM on February 15, 2015


I so do not get this. I mean, I literally do not understand what the joke is supposed to be. They seem to be porn-y lines from the book, but tweaked so instead of being something bondage porn-y it turns out to be something mundane. How is that a man thing? Since when do men not write or read bondage porn? Isn't the stereotype usually that men would be MORE likely to read or write porn? If this was, like, "If 50 Shades of Grey had been written by Hank Hill," I could sort of see that. Otherwise, huh? "By a man" means all the porn is taken out?

I suspect I will find this obnoxious and reductive and gender-bullshit-y, when I understand what it's supposed to be. But for now, I just do not understand it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:54 PM on February 15, 2015 [59 favorites]


way to kill the party, Hitler.
posted by boo_radley at 4:03 PM on February 15, 2015 [91 favorites]


I'm not really following either. My guess is this is supposed to be a middle-aged suburban dad type, in a marriage that has long since lost its steaminess. Or to put it another way, this is the husband of a middle-aged suburban woman who reads 50 Shades of Grey to escape to a thrilling fantasy. Or: I just have no idea what's happening.
posted by naju at 4:04 PM on February 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Ursula, like so many things on the Internet, you have to flat-out ignore the title. They just used "written by a man" as 50 Shades of Grey is supposed to be a "woman's thing", so they went for a knee-jerk opposite. The title has no idea what it's doing w.r.t. gender.

The jokes themselves are kind of funny. They belong in a MAD magazine parody of 50SOG where the title is "It's Not As Smutty As You Think It Is". I think they would fit perfectly there.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:06 PM on February 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


way to kill the party, Hitler.


YOU KNOW WHO ELSE KILLED THE PARTY?!?!
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:11 PM on February 15, 2015 [39 favorites]


I prefer 50 Shades of Gran
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 4:11 PM on February 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


way to kill the party, Hitler.

Well, obviously I'm not the only one who was kind of baffled by it. Sorry to harsh your buzz, sad and lonesome shut-in guy from To Kill a Mockingbird.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:13 PM on February 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


Also, The Petals Fall Twice.
posted by boo_radley at 4:13 PM on February 15, 2015


> I suspect I will find this obnoxious and reductive and gender-bullshit-y, when I understand
> what it's supposed to be. But for now, I just do not understand it.

I on the other hand think they're mainly silly and also hysterically funny. Which shows that I am a male and a very bad and wicked one. (Heh, understanding that there's no other kind.)
posted by jfuller at 4:15 PM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I prefer 50 Shades of Gran

See, if this had been called that, or 50 Shades of Grandpa, I could see it. Not that older people can't be into bondage porn too, but the stereotype is that they wouldn't be. But "by a man" = porn with all the porn taken out just does not track with any reality OR bullshit stereotype I know.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:16 PM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought it was kinda funny.
posted by parki at 4:17 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like this random extract approach. Example:
Christian Grey stood on top of the end of the bed, shirtless, hands on his hips, wearing really good pants that he got at the millionaire pants store.

"Dong," he said. "Dong. Dong. Dong. Dong. Dong. Dong."

"What’s that?" said the girl, aware in some girl way that she was about to sex more than she ever had before.

"Open up," he said, unzipping. "That’s the fuck doorbell."
posted by maudlin at 4:19 PM on February 15, 2015 [89 favorites]


Ursula Hitler: "porn with all the porn taken out just does not track with any reality OR bullshit stereotype I know."

How have you never seen Married with Children? The whole premise of the exhausted and burnt out suburban man who just wants some goddamn rest, for chrissake, dear lord spare me from all that commotion -- was brought into the limelight by that show.
posted by boo_radley at 4:22 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess it depends if you think your personal Red Room would be more likely to be filled with exotic leather goods or old hand tools and duct tape.
posted by bonehead at 4:23 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Buzzfeed has been going to town on this, too. This is a decent overview of the "My desires are ... unconventional / singular" meme, as long as you ignore the text before each image. More from Uproxx and Vox, but the best ones appear and disappear on Twitter.)
posted by maudlin at 4:30 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


> porn with all the porn taken out just does not track with any reality OR bullshit stereotype I know.

The stereotype-skewering reality is that if you're not a helplessly randy teenager very little of it is about sex. It's about cars, bass fishin', and hardware stores.
posted by jfuller at 4:30 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


> " They seem to be porn-y lines from the book, but tweaked so instead of being something bondage porn-y it turns out to be something mundane."

No, they're not even lines from the book.

It's even less funny than you had thought.
posted by kyrademon at 4:31 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


This makes no sense to me either, because based on what I've seen of the actual "50 Shades" (which was voluntarily VERY little), it has always looked to me as the writing of a man, a MRA dudebro depicting his most sincere wet dreams, with a female Twilight fan 'beard' covering for him and drawing self-hating women into the fandom.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:31 PM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Written by a man from Lake Woebegone" would have been a better title. They're kind of funny if you picture a dude who has given up on sex in favor of fiddling around with home improvement projects.

The sad backstory; he and the wife married because That's What You're Supposed to Do, the hormone-caused magic is long gone, they don't understand or particularly like each other anymore, and all told he'd rather escape any demands for intimacy by hiding out in the workshed. Most people know couples like this. Sometimes they divorce, sometimes they just keep going till one of them falls over.
posted by emjaybee at 4:33 PM on February 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm not sure why it needs to "make sense" if the individual jokes are good. I mean, "If Fifty Shades Of Grey Was Written By A Man" (corrected by I_Love_Bananas in this post's title) isn't even grammatical, but who's complaining?

"TL;DR: Is this something I'd need a sense of humor to understand?"
posted by uosuaq at 4:35 PM on February 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


This vaguely reminds me of those "Porn For Women" books/calendars/etc that show pictures of male models doing housework while saying things like "After I finish folding the laundry, let's go shopping for new curtains!"

Only instead of riding on the notion that men are sex-hungry pigs and women's lives revolve around domestic chores, it seems weirdly subversive in that sense. But at the same time it's still trying to draw from the "sitcom dad" kind of character who is all about home improvement and making bad "dad jokes" and annoying and/or being annoyed by their wife in some way.
posted by picklenickle at 4:38 PM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure why it needs to "make sense" if the individual jokes are good.

The individual jokes can be good while the framing -- oh, this is the male point of view, to counter the female point of view of the books that I'm mocking -- can be shit. Both matter.

And that's what I happen to think is true in this case.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 4:41 PM on February 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Fair enough. I just don't care enough about the framing to find the jokes unfunny. Some of them are excellent.
posted by uosuaq at 4:52 PM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


How have you never seen Married with Children?

I was subjected to that show on a few occasions. But beyond Al Bundy and Mr. Roper, the "guy trying to escape having sex with his horny wife" trope isn't nearly as prevalent as the "guy begging his wife for sex" trope. The general stereotype is that men are horny all the damn time, and the reality is that plenty of guys do like porn.

"Written by a man from Lake Woebegone" would have been a better title.

You beat me to it! I was going to say that these read like lines from a less inspired Garrison Keillor bit from his later years.

I'm not sure why it needs to "make sense" if the individual jokes are good.

The jokes are pretty blah to me. Mostly I was posting because I didn't get the framing device, and now I guess I get it but I find it awkward at best. This thing works a lot better if your general conception of a man is a very specific, asexual sit-com dad type.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:52 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


> all told he'd rather escape any demands for intimacy by hiding out in the workshed.

Wait 'til after your third kid.

It wasn't like this back when I was an Australopithecine.
posted by jfuller at 4:55 PM on February 15, 2015


“Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog. You understand it better but the frog dies in the process.” -E.B. White
posted by locidot at 5:00 PM on February 15, 2015 [24 favorites]


What if the frog was already dead when I found it
posted by naju at 5:01 PM on February 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


But beyond Al Bundy and Mr. Roper, the "guy trying to escape having sex with his horny wife" trope isn't nearly as prevalent as the "guy begging his wife for sex" trope.

Based on the informal survey of sex jokes I did back in college, the "Guy wants to have sex with anyone but his wife" trope as a pretty fan's common one, going back to the 20s at least. It's probably not as common today, but it used to beone if the most common sex gags.
posted by happyroach at 5:02 PM on February 15, 2015


She stood in the doorway of the kitchen in a sleek red negligee. "Don't you want to come to bed, honey?"

"I will, I will," he said. "These damned beans have me so perplexed ..."
posted by pyramid termite at 5:03 PM on February 15, 2015 [43 favorites]


What if the frog was already dead when I found it

then the joke was dead on arrival

it flew over your head.....
posted by locidot at 5:06 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, some of these are pretty funny. (The duvet one, but perhaps that's just because my house is so cold.)

But the framing device is just the usual "whatever women's sexual desires can be imagined to be is wrong". If women don't want sex, or want a relationship rather than a hook-up or aren't nubile nymphets, then it's important to allege that all men everywhere are total horndogs who think about sex, on average, every seven seconds and who don't care about feelings and get rapidly bored unless supplied with either lots of porn or lots of young, young partners. If women do want sex, then it's important to point out that all that fuss is just antithetical to the pragmatic male nature, men would rather be down the pub than having it off with their wives, etc etc. The rule is that whether women want sex or don't want sex, they are doing it wrong.

One thing I find hilarious about the whole Fifty Shades of Grey business - for many years, I've heard a lot of complaints from straight men that women just don't understand how essential porn is, women are too uptight, women get irrationally threatened by porn, etc etc. And now there is porn that lots of straight women are super into, and once again, women are doing it wrong.
posted by Frowner at 5:07 PM on February 15, 2015 [41 favorites]


Never did I expect to log onto metafilter and find a conversation between hitler and benito.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:08 PM on February 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


All I know is Hitler is not invited to the Arbor Day party.
posted by angerbot at 5:21 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


He fixes the cable? - Don't be fatuous, Jeffrey.
posted by locidot at 5:32 PM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am reading this under the pretext that "if it had been written by a man" isn't the framing. It isn't about a man being obtuse or living up to a stereotype or whatever. It's not even about the man.

For me, the framing is "here are some cheesy porn lines, as taken out of context". Which to me is kind of funny, but not really.
posted by disclaimer at 5:52 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


When all else fails let Gilbert Gottfried read it for you. He really breathes life into it.
posted by boilermonster at 6:04 PM on February 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I dont think the framing is complicated or deep ... porn-y lines are the setup and the non-porn change of context is the joke ....

you really dont need to get into a gender discussion over something as pointless as twitter jokes about 50 shades of grey.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 6:25 PM on February 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


It wouldn't be Metafilter if we didn't overthink everything. Anyways, I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the framing a bit ick.
posted by Zalzidrax at 6:48 PM on February 15, 2015


of course, if you really wanted to over think it ...

in almost all the jokes, its a woman expressing a desire for/about sex and the change of context is making fun of that desire. I guess, the jokes can be interpreted as trivializing a woman's sexual desires.

Add it to the fact that such jokes have always been there ... but now are seeing an increase in popularity when connected of with a movie that shows a woman enjoying unconventional sex.

So, there we have it. The patriarchy is using humor to trivialize women's enjoyment of sex.

\I know how you know I have a plate of beans
posted by TheLittlePrince at 6:58 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jeez, the Hitler japes are flying pretty fast in this thread. You can score a lot of points, by pointing out that my last name is Hitler. Because scoring points is how Metafilter is supposed to work, and because my last name never stops being hilarious.

All I know is Hitler is not invited to the Arbor Day party.
posted by angerbot


I think I've got better things to do with my April 24th than planting trees with some angry robot.

(WTH does Arbor Day have to do with this?)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:05 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


a movie that shows a woman enjoying unconventional sex

Haven't read the books or seen the movie, but every review I've read contradicts that interpretation. Most of them seem to go on at length about how the books/movie depict a really unhealthy, nonconsensual relationship.
posted by uosuaq at 7:08 PM on February 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't get the Arbor Day thing either, except it being close to April 20th.

I had to go back and "CTRL+F" through all of the "Hitlers" to find the two japes; I find selecting "Hitler" as a surname to be a perpetual jape inviting perpetual japery
posted by aydeejones at 7:14 PM on February 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


I think I've got better things to do with my April 24th than planting trees with some angry robot.

Breaking news: Hitler against planting trees, well meaning robots.
posted by angerbot at 7:19 PM on February 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's dad jokes all the way down.
posted by Les Socks Du Mal at 7:22 PM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


[Folks, the "Hitler" jokes are blurring the line between harmless fun and directed picking-on a user who is right here; can we give it a rest, please? Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:37 PM on February 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I never thought I'd live to see the day when a thread had too many Hitler jokes.
posted by uosuaq at 7:46 PM on February 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


uosuaq: "but every review I've read contradicts that interpretation."

I never said it was a good movie ... or even a logical one.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 7:47 PM on February 15, 2015


'I'm a bad girl,' she whispered, 'Punish me in a way only a real man can!' 'Alright,' I said and left my wet towels on the bathroom floor.

I liked this one. Some of the others are pretty "meh", but that one there's comedy gold.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 7:54 PM on February 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


One thing I find hilarious about the whole Fifty Shades of Grey business... once again, women are doing it wrong.

Sounds like you're conflating criticism of the story with criticism of women. I'm hearing from straight women that the book reads like it was written by someone who's never engaged in bondage, and possibly by someone who's never had sex.
posted by spaltavian at 7:55 PM on February 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


I too think that the title should be more descriptive and explain the jokes in intricate detail before I read them, because that is what makes jokes funny, and also because I am dumb as all fuck.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:08 PM on February 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


'Hurt me!' she cried, pressing her body up against the shed wall. 'Alright,' I said. 'You're a terrible cook and I fancy your sister.'

This and other tweets read as Channel 4 humor. 1980s Channel 4 humor. Wake me up before you ...
posted by datawrangler at 8:19 PM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't understand the premise either. "Fond Memories of Vagina" isn't an hypothetical book, it's a whole literary subgenre. Also, FMoV is always regarded as high literature, unlike those pink novels women write, bless their silly hearts.

Tiger Beatdown isn't a blog for everyone but this post was genius.
posted by sukeban at 8:48 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aw I miss Tiger Beatdown. Sady Doyle still posts on Twitter and writes elsewhere, but I haven't seen Garland Gray around in a while (he wrote the article linked). It was the proto-Toast in many ways.
posted by emjaybee at 9:27 PM on February 15, 2015


Yeah, so another distinction that people often miss out on is that you can dislike that a lot of the criticism of the book is sexist while still thinking the book is worthy of criticism, and even sexist itself.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:47 PM on February 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Er, I think the reason the "If 50 Shades of Grey had been written by a man" framing doesn't work here is because that's not the original framing of these jokes. This Tickld website has just ripped off a bunch of tweets from the @50ShedsofGrey Twitter, and put their own dumb headline on top of them. Debating the gender politics of a ripoff linkfarm seems a bit beside the point of the jokes themselves.

As for the @50ShedsofGrey jokes, I think they're pretty funny dad jokes, and that's about it. (I like dad jokes.) Quite a lot of them aren't about "a woman expressing a desire for/about sex and the change of context is making fun of that desire" (TheLittlePrince) at all; certainly the funniest of them aren't. Don't get me wrong, there is lots of good overthinking to be done around 50SoG and the response to it, but I don't think these jokes are the most fertile ground for it.
posted by daisyk at 11:58 PM on February 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


Thanks, daisyk, that makes a lot more sense. The "shed" thing is explained in this Telegraph article (and discussed a bit here in this Mefi post), for people who aren't familiar with the reference.
posted by taz at 12:12 AM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


To Ursula who doesn't get it: Having a British/Irish sense of humour where the funny lies in deflating the exotic and reseating it in suburban reality helps.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:20 AM on February 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think the nub of the joke is best shown by this excerpt from The Telegraph:

In an interview, the celebrated composer Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson is asked how he got his nickname:

Jackson: "Well, I don't use it myself, but some of my friends call me 'Two Sheds'."

Host: "And do you, in fact, have two sheds?"

Jackson: "No, I've only got one. I've had one for some time, but a few years ago I said I was thinking of getting another, and since then some people have called me 'Two Sheds'."

posted by ambrosen at 12:35 AM on February 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


in almost all the jokes, its a woman expressing a desire for/about sex and the change of context is making fun of that desire. I guess, the jokes can be interpreted as trivializing a woman's sexual desires.

As I read them, the jokes are parodying 50 Shades as BDSM, not 50 Shades as an expression of women's desire. The way to really hurt a woman is to fancy her sister, criticize her efforts, make a mess and expect her to tidy it up, or ignore her. They read as Dad jokes because so many of those ways that men hurt women develop in relationships over time, they don't happen in the first flush of a new relationship (when you ignore the wet towels on the floor, he's being more careful about what he says, and he doesn't have eyes for your sister yet). Even if you do read them as trivializing a woman's sexual desires, that's surely an effective way to hurt her.
posted by rory at 1:40 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


This and other tweets read as Channel 4 humor. 1980s Channel 4 humor. Wake me up before you ...

Exactly. The way they're phrased makes me think they were written by someone English. The English middle age sweater wearing eccentric out in his garage playing with model trains, hiding from his wife, possibly inventing things (think Wallace and Grommit) is a stock comic character, as well as, based on certain people I've met, a real thing.
posted by kersplunk at 2:04 AM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I do get it now. The gags themselves are standard sitcom level, but the framing was really odd. It wasn't immediately clicking with me why we were supposed to assume that if "a man" (apparently representing men as a group) had written a famous bondage porn book, he would have made it about mundane, non-sexy, suburban stuff instead. I asked for help understanding the framing, and I got it. But it's based on assumptions about men that I think very few people would see as universal or even common characteristics.

This discussion about a bunch of strained Twitter gags got remarkably personal and unpleasant. (There was some additional yuck the mods cut.) Go figure.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:22 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I agree with Ursula: it took me several goes to get the framing at all, and I'm British. For a more woman-positive take on the framing, here's a similar "man doesn't want sex with wife" take on the set-up: Victoria Wood's THE BALLAD OF FREDA AND BARRY (YouTube).
posted by alasdair at 2:32 AM on February 16, 2015


The patriarchy is using humor to trivialize women's enjoyment of sex.


The patriarchy seems to be feeling massively insecure about the movie, as they were about the books. Patriarchy needs to grow up.

Also, these jokes are kind of dull. Somebody needs to smarten them up, do some revising. They're all falling flat.
posted by discopolo at 2:54 AM on February 16, 2015


I so do not get this. I mean, I literally do not understand what the joke is supposed to be. They seem to be porn-y lines from the book, but tweaked so instead of being something bondage porn-y it turns out to be something mundane. How is that a man thing? Since when do men not write or read bondage porn? Isn't the stereotype usually that men would be MORE likely to read or write porn? If this was, like, "If 50 Shades of Grey had been written by Hank Hill," I could sort of see that. Otherwise, huh? "By a man" means all the porn is taken out?

I suspect I will find this obnoxious and reductive and gender-bullshit-y, when I understand what it's supposed to be. But for now, I just do not understand it.


It seems to be some means of coping with the massive insecurity men are feeling about women having a rich, successful and handsome man be the sexual fantasy character---it kinda seems like not only are the guys most vulnerable to PUA and MRA weird stuff are freaking out, but so is the average guy, and my gut feeling was that these "jokes" are to manage women's sexual desires down or to put women down for wanting more? Like those tired jokes u socialized guys make, like the whole,"Go make me a sandwich!" thing some of them think is witty or something, shrug.

Also these hastily put together jokes could be a cry for attention because the target demographic is women and maybe some guys feel ignored or possibly even more inadequate about their ability to sexually arouse or satisfy women. Shrug.
posted by discopolo at 3:03 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's great that women have finally gotten some porn that many of them like. But porn doesn't need to be taken seriously, and indeed porn doesn't care if it's not taken seriously. They were making jokes out of porno titles on Friends decades ago. There is a whole genre of porn that is parodies of Hollywood movies.

I thought some of these Tweets captured the relief of 'not taking sex totally seriously' for a few seconds quite well. Not sure if there's any of that in the original book, but I've even heard there's some big laughs (intentional ones) in the film.
posted by colie at 3:07 AM on February 16, 2015


Isn't the stereotype usually that men would be MORE likely to read or write porn?

This actually raises an interesting point, because the answer is probably "No, the stereotype of men is that they're more likely to *look at* or *watch* porn." Literary erotica is stereotypically "women's writing" and "women's reading," and its relationship to men is usually relegated to creaking bits about reading Lady Chatterly's Lover at a tender age or making fun of the ridiculousness of the old Penthouse letters.

A lot of this goes all the way back to the old days when prose literature itself -- in the form of the novel -- was a typed as a women's genre, a silly load of mind-rotting crap unlike the intellectual virtues of the Classics or poetry. Even these days, as subkeban notes above, when men write fiction about their sex fantasies, it tends to be treated as "high" literature that "explores human sexuality and culture" or something, as if the sex is about lots of high-falutin' things besides sex.

Where men are concerned, the wider culture always frames written porn as more juvenile, more esoteric, or less exciting than "actual" porn. But women's erotic and romantic literature? There, the stereotypical consumer is the unwanted loser or the repressed "frigid" type getting secret thrills to compensate for their naivete or their undesirability. It's a neat trick of patriarchy, one that insists women either have no control over their own sexualities, or no sexuality worth considering. In this scheme, men get to have sex in several senses, while women only get to be or not be sexy and sexed.
posted by kewb at 3:49 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


'OK' she said and ate half my chips.

Whoah whoah whoah, we're posting this sort of extreme stuff on the front page now?? Jesus, mods can we get a NSFW tag? This isn't the sort of thing I want to accidentally read on my lunch break.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:40 AM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


You raise some interesting points, kewb. Written smut for men isn't as common as it used to be, while written smut for women is classed up (by calling it erotica or romance) and simultaneously dismissed as trash. These days, perhaps it is more common for women to write and read prose smut than it is for men. I honestly don't know. But the assumption that the "man version" of 50 Shades of Grey would be non-smut still strikes me as really odd. Wouldn't the standard gag be, "Here's (Famous Novel), adapted for men!" and then they bring in a bunch of girls in bikinis?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:11 AM on February 16, 2015


Ha ha ha ha! Men and women are impossibly different, and can never agree on anything, including basic communication about desire and sex! So funny!
posted by clvrmnky at 5:46 AM on February 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


It seems to be some means of coping with the massive insecurity men are feeling about women having a rich, successful and handsome man be the sexual fantasy character---it kinda seems like not only are the guys most vulnerable to PUA and MRA weird stuff are freaking out, but so is the average guy,

The "average" guy is intimidated by Fifty Shades of Gray. That's really your thesis here about some Twitter jokes? It's a super-hyped movie make from a super-hyped book which is fan fiction of a super-hyped movie which was make from a super-hyped book. That you seem to think the only way something with this much cultural penetration could be a target of (pretty gentle) ribbing speaks more to you wanting to axe-grind than any reflection of reality.

The real mockery and criticism of the book/movie seems like it's coming from women (my wife included). A lot of the pushback seems to be coming from people who actually like BDSM/roleplay/etc and seeing portrayed so poorly (you don't flog on the lower back! kidneys!), so "weirdly", or with a power dynamic of a CEO and a college student. So yeah, pretty vanilla stuff portrayed as inhumanely mysterious, yet executed so badly is pretty mock-able, regardless of gender.
posted by spaltavian at 6:01 AM on February 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


Remember, folks, it's super duper uncommon for people to make fun of porn, especially their plots and acting. Or to call it trash or filth. "I watch a lot of porn" is seen as a really high-class statement, when said by a man.

We should also bear in mind the fact that no one has ever made fun of mainstream entertainment which also attempts to be pointedly erotic. No one has ever made parodies of Basic Instinct, or of Showgirls, or of Emanuelle-type softcore, or of so-called Skinemax thrillers, or of any other self-consciously "steamy" entertainment.

Certainly nobody has ever parodied sexist and overly sexualized comic book art by flipping the genders, in order to both make a satirical point and to have a good laugh at the inappropriate juxtaposition between what is expected and what we receive! Everybody who has ever made these parodies obviously either literally thinks that all sexy men ought to dress and pose that way; or, they literally hate all men, and that is why they ever make any jokes ever.

It is also one hundred percent true that 50SOG marks the very first time that anything erotic has been popularly consumed by women. There has never been any such thing as specific lines of romance novels which are marketed as being more "steamy" than others.

It's also important to remember that absolutely no women are making fun of 50SOG. Certainly no women involved in erotica/kink/etc. have ever expressed any issues with it! And even among the fans of the book, everybody agrees one hundred percent that the writing is perfect and not at all mockable in any way. All fans of the book are doe-eyed naifs who cannot possibly be engaging with the material in any way.

Finally, remember this: the only possible reason why anybody would make fun of a popular book of purple-prosed perversion, one which is vocally rejected by the very subculture it purportedly depicts, is because the author is a woman. The book has no other problems. Certainly not the problems people keep talking about, such as with the writing, or the nasty issues with gender and consent! No, no. You see, no woman has ever written erotica before, and that is why this book is so remarkable. Before 50SOG, whenever a woman wrote erotica, people clasped their heads and yowled, "WHAAAAT!?!?!? A WOMAN, WRITING EROTICA!?!?!?!?" and that was the reason to pay attention to it. This is especially true within the circles of people who write and read erotica. That is a very normal reaction to have to such unusual stimulus.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:05 AM on February 16, 2015 [20 favorites]


An important lesson was learned here. Don't link to shitty reposting linkbait sites. Do research and find the original creator of the whatever-it-is.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:30 AM on February 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


Everybody who has ever made these parodies obviously either literally thinks that all sexy men ought to dress and pose that way; or, they literally hate all men, and that is why they ever make any jokes ever.

These people are laughing, however, at anyone who likes men to pose and dress sexy, which is frankly anyone who's not a straight male. Which is actually kind of a problem.
posted by Zalzidrax at 8:42 AM on February 16, 2015


Also, fanfic is a hell of a thing.
posted by clvrmnky at 10:16 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm a woman. I thought Fifty was boring and the jokes were hilarious. That's all.
posted by puddinghead at 1:19 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is my favorite so far: Fifty Shades of Socialist Feminism

“You’re a very sweet girl,” he says “And I’m sure you’re just waiting for someone to sweep you away from this mundane life of entry-level journalism. It’s a collapsing industry, you know. Don’t you want to know what I do to relax?” Christian Grey runs his fingers over the back of my chair.

“I’m going to take a wild guess that you like to tie up submissive young women and beat them to a pulp while you sob about your mother.”

Christian Grey looks out the window broodingly. “Okay, fine,” he says, “Let’s talk about finance.”

posted by bunderful at 1:35 PM on February 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


Fifty Shades of Socialist Feminism is funny. Also really cold and ruthless in a way that even left-wing women journalists are not encouraged to write characters.
posted by Frowner at 1:45 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is my favorite so far: Fifty Shades of Socialist Feminism

That was beautiful.
posted by naju at 1:57 PM on February 16, 2015


Victoria Wood did a great comedy song entirely in this vein, it's hilarious if you're 40-50+ and British....
posted by maiamaia at 2:37 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


From 50 Shades of Feminism:
I pull my tampon out and throw it violently at his head.


Bwahaha!
posted by Omnomnom at 3:16 PM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


could be a target of (pretty gentle) ribbing

Ahem.
posted by cromagnon at 4:33 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someone made a perfect 50 shades unintentional pun / Freudian slip at work the other day, I've been sharing it with everyone I've met, which now includes you, internet.

An old, sweet, god-fearing woman who I work with was asked her opinion on the books, to which she replied '50 Shades of Grey is the worst book I've ever come across'.
posted by Ned G at 6:26 AM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


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