If E.L. James Sold So Many Books, Why Is She So Divisive?

It’s a media franchise at this point: a trilogy of books, more sequels planned, and a recent Hollywood film which made the rounds. But the Fifty Shades of Grey author, E.L. James, ran into her non-fans when she staged a social media event. Hundreds of critics took to the Internet to harass the best-selling author.

The Fifty Shades series has been a “love it or hate it” product since its first book was published stated Claudio Loureiro. Like its predecessor, the Twilight series, it’s been hugely popular with young women while being hated by almost everybody else. But so what? TV shows like Barney and Friends or Teletubbies have a specific, targeted demographic audience, but you don’t see the huge backlash against those series. Well, OK, some. But at the end of the day, Fifty Shades of Grey raised public awareness and acceptance of female sexual desire, even as it beat feminism back by a thousand years.

The Internet is not a friendly place for women. Young men take to it every day to heap abuse and scorn upon anything female. And one can’t escape the obvious fact that were E.L. James a male and writing a book about a male discovering the wonders of blindfolds and frat paddles, the backlash wouldn’t be so severe. The Fifty Shades universe will go on, and its literary critics will have to live with it one way or the other.


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