Audra Krell

On Purpose

Shifty Grades of Prey

 This is perfect for one of the covers of the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy. So symbolic of the masks we manipulate to project our false selves.

My 16-year-old son and I sat in a small California airport last Friday night, waiting to catch a plane. He told me to look across from us, to my right and then behind me. Three women were reading 50 Shades of Grey. When we boarded, another woman was engrossed in her copy. That’s four women out of 60, plus those reading it on their e-reader. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen; that kind of math never happened with Potter, Hunger or Twilight.

As a writer and avid life-long learner, I read a lot of different things. This book was highly recommended by someone dear to me, I had no idea what it was, so I read it. The writing is repetitive, amateurish and won’t be up for literary awards. The content is mature, often erotic and mindless. In this case, none of those words are synonyms for entertaining.

Notice I did not put “shocking” on my descriptive list. Not because I’m experienced in the BDSM lifestyle, but because there is nothing new under the sun. A lifetime ago, while studying English Literature, I took a course called Principles of Obscenity. We read all the big ones, Story of O, Story of the Eye and shorter works by D.H. Lawrence. They were shocking to my 21 -year -old mind and unguarded heart. I learned, that really there are no principles to obscenity. Rather it’s the absence of principle that makes these fictional accounts a literary genre.

I find Fifty Shades simply the latest culture crusher to stand firm against. Next week a new magazine, book, essay, speech, movie, song, album, picture or other entertainment medium will prey on us and take it’s place in the number one spot.

Tomorrow we will still have to stand tall against the message that our marriage isn’t enough, your spouse isn’t everything you deserve, you’re not thin enough, we’re not pretty enough, you don’t think right, do things right, believe right, you’re too far right and you’re weak. All in all, the sun will probably rise tomorrow and with it the message that you aren’t enough and never will be.

The most troubling issue regarding 50 Shades, is the term “Mommy Porn.” Why is this okay? If one in six of our men were sitting in the airport reading a little “Daddy Porn” women would go crazy. It’s believed that pornography damages the image of women in the name of a cheap thrill.

50 Shades portrays the female character being degraded and emotionally damaged. Our culture embraces it by giving it a name and touting it on a national talk show. Why aren’t our men asking if they can have their porn featured on a talk show? It would never happen and the uprising would be like none other if  it did.

Even some feminists have praised the book. What? Women dedicate their lives to fighting for equal rights and then embrace a series of books that are in direct opposition to what they stand for.

People however, don’t need our judgement for reading this book or even for liking it. We need to see it for what it is, a gale wind in the storm of life. It’s an opportunity to stand right next to God’s people, shore them up and pray against cultural norm.

It’s not the first time the wind has howled and it won’t be the last.

Take the high road, ride your high horse if you must, but I won’t stop praying for you.

I hope you’ll do the same.

What has been your personal reaction to 50 Shades of Grey ideology and hype? Do the themes and content seem new?


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13 thoughts on “Shifty Grades of Prey

  1. I haven’t read it, yet. I’m so out of the loop, and perhaps that’s a good thing. Good points re: the mommy vs. daddy porn. Actually, great thoughts altogether. Wears me out, the fight against our character…good thing I have God on which to cling as I ride out the storms of this life.

  2. We do live in battle weary times. What would we do without our good God? Praising Him that we never have to find out.

  3. Floyd on said:

    I just heard about it a couple weeks ago, a friend of mine that actually edits my posts for me (because I’m lame) said she started reading it and quit. Then I had another guy I do a writing group (very small group), who is not Christian told me he was reading the book. He reads everything that gets big to check out the prose, he too was unimpressed and quit reading the book.

    Just goes to show that true talent isn’t needed by the enemy. And valid points all the way around Audra. You go get em’ girl!

    • I think it’s wonderful that you have an editor Floyd! Not lame at all sir. But you are funny! And you’re brilliant and encouraging. Thank you for your response.

  4. Andra I believe I am in the presence of a “COURAGEOUS WISE HEARTED WOMAN…you go girl. I like Floyd reply …”true talent isnt’ needed by the enemy.”.

    This is a must read post for all us woman. Honest, coming back to the states after living remote in a third world country I was over whelmed by all that is out there for us woman. Yet never have I met so many unhappy ones…and I am not talking about the ones who do not know the Lord, Christian women. The enemy comes clothed in pretty book covers that tease our senses, not our spiritual sense but the flesh ones. I speak from experience for have been convicted more then once at how easily I fall between the covers of the hype and adverstisement.

    We came back into the country Sept 2010 and “The Help” was the first book I bought….for me it as a good read. It left me encouraged to stand up for Phil 4:8 Finally brethren (and sister) whatever is true, ,whatever is honorable, whatever is lovely, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute…if there is any excellance and if anything worth of priase, dwell on these things. It’s hard to dwell on smut and not be affected.

    Let me repeat myself, you go girl. I will be back for your future reviews…will save me from spending a bunch of money that fuels degrading woman.
    So let me repeat again…you go girl.

    • Betty, It sounds like you are an adventurer and a very courageous woman yourself. Welcome home! I’ll bet you haven’t heard that in awhile! I have not read The Help, but I believe the movie embodies the same message of Phil 4:8. I find myself just as challenged as anyone to dwell on the things that are lovely, it’s easy to fall into culture traps daily. Praise God, He is our strength.

      • Thanks for welcome home, it’s good to be here. If health would have allowed we would have stayed in PNG…God uses different issue at different times of our life to get us just where He wants us. We are confident it is stateside, in a member care minsitry with our mission…now…as for future..well, pray He gives us a few years to serve Him this way.

        The best adventure is a daily walk with the Lord, He is full of surprises all designed to bring us closer to Him, to bring Him glory.

        I am excited for you and your son mission trip coming up next month. A heart changing adventure for sure. Blessings.

  5. I commute to work by train and I’ve seen a handful of people devouring the second book in the trilogy this week. They have all been women. I choose not to read things like that because they cloud the mind. It was refreshing to read such an honest account of the book(s) and the larger looming issue in your post. It’s just another sign our culture is running amuck without a conscience.

    • It is quite the phenomena in some ways. We have to ask ourselves what we’re missing and believe we’re finding in 50 Shades. I think there is going to be a new problem; I hear lots of women talking about what to do now that they’ve finished the trilogy. Some have read the first one 8 or 9 times. I think we are all after eternal peace and we just won’t find it there, no matter how many times we read it.

  6. Betty, I will pray for the will of God to be done in your service to the member care ministry. I’m excited for the mission trip, it will be heart changing and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do. I will also pray for your health.

  7. You are so very wise. And so much braver than I. I simply posted a photo, briefly stated my objection to the book, then linked to someone else who explained the why-nots of reading it. You’ve done a great job of here of putting the book into perspective, taking a stand for women, while not condemning others who’ve read it.

    (I still can’t get over that airport scene. When you wrote about that in my comment box, I had to read it out loud to my husband.)

    • Jennifer I find you to be very wise and I thought your post was perfect. You didn’t judge anyone and didn’t rant about not reading it. As far as the airport scene, I was blown away when I realized that I had no idea how many were reading it on e-readers, I would have loved to know the true numbers, and what the numbers would be at a large airport. As I stated above, as a culture we are in search of something and repeatedly turning up the wrong the rocks to try and find it. It’s easy for all of us to sip from the wrong fountain.

  8. Thanks for the review. Very helpful. I intend to pass the link on to members of my writers group who have shared that many of their friends are reading this lame book right now.

    I love your phrase: “In this case, none of those words are synonyms for entertaining.”

    Well said!

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