Mommy Porn

Chick-lit other than Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight has been in the news, the content of which is encapsulated perfectly in the LA Times article “Bestselling Mommy Porn: 50 Shades of Grey”. Can you believe that Edward Cullen, the manifestation of the Dark Triad, has been out alpha-ed by another fictional male character?

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is about a 22-year-old college literature student, Anastasia Steele, a virgin who falls for a 28-year-old billionaire entrepreneur, Christian Grey, who gets a sexual charge out of being in charge.

Mr. Grey, the new alpha male? Not exactly:

British author E.L. James, a former television executive, first published the book on fan fiction site ff.net ….that “reimagined the Bella and Edward love affair set in contemporary Seattle, Washington with Bella as the young college graduate virgin and Edward as the masterful billionaire with secret sexual predilections.”

Edward got a considerable upgrade- from loner weirdo in high school to billionaire entrepreneur! Ladies having a hard time empathizing with tween vampires locked in high school methinks. Proof?  Over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books the ladies make the case:

My problems with the book rested on two main points:

1. The hero read so young, unrealistically young for me – almost like a 17 year old trying to live a 35 year old’s life, like one of those movies that become popular every 5 or 9 years where an adult and a child switch bodies and hilarity and hijinks ensue, possibly with a song from either Nickelback or Smashmouth, or both.

The author is complaining about the new book! Teenage Edward was too young, but even after the status upgrade to 27 year old billionaire, the female protagonist was still too young apparently. This speaks volumes about the writer at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. It also tells us about the mechanics behind the psychology of chick-lit.

Women are not naturally predilected to empathize with those who carry greater sexual market value than themselves. The inverse is true: their natural instinct to those with higher SMV is more a case of “command and conquer” or “belittle and bully.” Considering the higher sexual market value of younger women, you could therefore assume that older women will have a hard time projecting themselves into the story. The author writes:

50 Shades (and Twilight, obviously) are also told from the heroine’s POV, a very deep, first person, detail-heavy point of view, and the narrative is also akin to reading a diary, adding to that sense of illicit secrecy ….

I can attribute: the book is full of “I held his hand” and “He took me inside his hotel suite” and various other first person pronouns.

So, mentally, an older law-school worshipping, career oriented mommy thinks something like this: “Wait, this young billionaire entrepreneur is falling for 21 year old virginal girls??? My heart is racing: I’m not one of these! I’m an aggressive mommy with a strong career! I can’t understand this submissiveness! Ack!”

If the 17 year old submissive waif has all the power of the poontang, the consumer of the chick-lit, 30+ year old spinsters, cannot downward associate. Sure enough, the LA Times author writes:

Wendell (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books), an enthusiastic romance reader, didn’t think much of “Fifty Shades of Grey” when she read it in November. “I found it to be melancholy and meandering, and the heroine narrator is so maudlin and wimpy I grew more and more irritated with her and with the story and had to stop,” she wrote.

Theory: Chick-lit is nothing but projection. Anything preventing the consuming woman from placing herself believably into the story will ruin its effectiveness. Therefore, Twilight was more believable for the chick because of its heavily fantastic nature.

Theory: Because fantasy drives the desire, women perpetuate beliefs in the occult, religion, astrology, etc in attempt to get closer to fantasy to satiate their desires. I’m surprised we don’t have more alien abduction chick-lit, or more Greek god/godess stories. The entire ancient Greek religion seems in retrospect like chick-fantasy. But that’s a story for another time.

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