For those that don’t know, E.L. James is the author of the 50 shades of Grey series. Last week she did a Q & A on twitter giving fans the opportunity to ask her anything they wanted about the books. In theory this seems like a good idea but in reality it didn’t work out so well for James. Her books are known to be controversial for many reasons, one of them being that people feel like her books promote an unhealthy, abusive relationship. Once people caught wind she was doing a Q & A they took the opportunity to ask her about that aspect of the books. Unfortunately for those people James and her publicity team started blocking those people from the conversation. The people that were blocked weren’t pleased and after reading a few articles about the incident I’m not pleased with James either.
I know several people that are survivors of domestic abuse and because of that I’m a strong advocate for survivors. From a media standpoint James and her team handled the situation all wrong. Some of the tweets were from domestic abuse survivors asking her to explain that aspect of her book, or even donate to a charity that helps domestic violence survivors. By blocking those people from the conversation and not responding to them shows that she rather not talk about uncomfortable issues stemming from her books. Personally I think she should have tried to talk to them about their viewpoint and then explain how she thought the books were meant to be perceived. If she would have explained herself, instead of blocking the people asking the questions, I and many other people might have had more respect for her at this point. But since she chose to block those people I have officially lost all respect for her and her books.
I probably wouldn’t have bought those books before the incident last week, because I have no interest in reading them. But after seeing the behavior of the author I definitely won’t be putting any of my money into her books. Instead I’ll be putting the money that could have been spent on those books and put it into a donation for a charity that helps domestic violence survivors. I hope other people will follow in my footsteps, because honestly the money will be better spent on helping survivors instead of reading an awful series of books that showcases an abusive, controlling relationship.
In case you’re wondering how much money that would be, I estimated all four books to equal about 50 dollars based on the prices I’ve seen in the bookstore (12 dollars a book give or take and I rounded up to 50 just because I felt like it). I plan to donate the money to the Crisis Center in Tampa Bay because I personally know the great work that they do, if you would like to donate to them you can do that by clicking here. I encourage anyone who is against the message in these books and the behavior of the author to do the same. You can find a domestic violence charity of your choice to donate whatever amount of money you feel you can donate at the time. Of course money isn’t the only important resource for survivors, charities always need volunteers so if you don’t have the money but you have the time you can try and find a way to volunteer at the charity that you picked. No matter how you do it supporting survivors of domestic violence is time and money better spent than reading books that potentially promotes domestic violence, written by an author who rather block her critics than respond to what they have to say.