'Fifty Shades of Grey' heats up: Charity orders public burning of the erotic novel

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Fifty Shades of Grey just got a whole lot hotter. (Couldn’t resist the pun.)

A British charity for domestic abuse has announced plans to hold a mass burning of E L James’ erotic novel. Clare Phillipson, director of Wearside Women In Need, described the book as “dangerous” and insisted that it could potentially encourage domestic abuse.

“I do not think I can put into words how vile I think this book is and how dangerous I think the idea is that you get a sophisticated but naive young woman and a much richer, abusive older man who beats her up and does some dreadful things to her sexually,” Phillipson said.

“My main objection is that at a time when local authorities are making cuts to outreach and refuge services for women experiencing domestic violence, we have libraries wasting and grossly misusing public money to buy a book which says: ‘domestic violence is sexy.’

“The money would be better spent supporting victims,” she added.

Phillipson’s solution is to have women burn their copies of Fifty Shades of Grey. She’s invited anyone who’s interested to come to the bonfire, which will be held outside the Wearside Women in Need’s offices in Washington, Tyne and Wear on November 5.

I can understand Phillipson’s outrage, but is a public burning really the answer? That just feels too extreme to me. Besides, is her point even a valid one? (Humor me while I discuss the contents of Fifty Shades of Grey seriously.) Christian Grey does hit Anastasia, but he only does so with her consent. The minute she tells him to stop, he does. Indeed, a spokesperson for the book’s publisher denied Phillipson’s claim on that very basis, saying that Fifty Shades of Grey “explores a consensual relationship between two willing adult participants.”

In any case, it seems like the public’s fascination with the Fifty Shades trilogy might be fading a tiny bit. The first installment was knocked off the top spot on the Amazon Best Sellers list, falling to third place after No Easy Day and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

So, what do you think readers? Is the burning of any book just plain wrong? Or do you support Fifty Shades being burned for other reasons?

Read more:
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