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EL James's Rape Culture Handbook Isn't Funny Anymore

Illustration for article titled EL Jamess Rape Culture Handbook Isnt Funny Anymore

I’m now at the halfway mark where the manipulation, gaslighting, rape, and abuse really takes hold and it’s just so, so depressing. I’m partway through today’s recap, but I keep having to stop to avoid getting overwhelmed.


Honestly, anyone who tried to defend this series needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror. This is textbook abuse. Textbook rape. Textbook manipulation.

And she has her lead character spell it all out — and then laugh about it.

How could anyone — let alone a woman — write this as a frothy erotic romp?

It also means that I feel like the recaps will just get darker and darker because it’s very hard to write something pithy after you’ve just read a line like this:

I open Ana’s door and switch on the main light. She’s huddled in her bed, wrapped in her comforter. Her eyes are red and puffy, and squinting in the overhead light. Her nose is swollen and blotchy.

I’ve seen women in this state many times, especially after I’ve punished them. But I’m surprised by the unease that grips my gut.


I know I don’t have to finish this project, and it’s entirely up to me. So I may just take a little longer to get these updates out, but JESUS CHRIST, y’all. Who wrote this without seeing it for what it was?

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