Happy Fifty Shades of Grey readers are all alike; each Fifty Shades of Grey hater is a hater in his or her own way. Well, not quite. I’ve identified at least five species of Fifty Shades Hater and classified them here on the basis of the argument at the core of their hate. So haters, go ahead and take the quiz: what type of Fifty Shades of Grey hater are you?
1. If you argue: “Fifty Shades is poorly-written pablum,” you are a SNOBBY HATER
You read dense, difficult works, but you do it very ostentatiously (what’s the point of making it through Ulysses if you don’t tell everyone about it?). You judge people who read for anything other than intellectual stimulation and have a deep suspicion of enjoyable books, particularly those with plots. Right now, you are thinking, “Books aren’t enjoyable unless they are intellectually stimulating.” You are wrong.
2. If you argue, “Fifty Shades is perverted and/or mommy porn,” you are a SELF-RIGHTEOUS HATER
If you are female, you’re a martyr. A typical day involves four or more Facebook posts describing childcare disasters and how you are praying for either drugs or death, followed by a picture of sleeping toddler faces captioned “My angels. So blessed.” You have at some point asked, unironically, if someone would please think of the children.
If you are a male, you watch porn regularly. You do not see this comment as hypocritical.
3. If you argue, “Fifty Shades doesn’t reflect the real BDSM lifestyle,” you are a SMUG HATER.
You wish to be perceived as intellectually superior, but you are liberal, and therefore must avoid implying a lack of open-mindedness. You are fully in favor of women having sexual fantasies, provided that they do it properly. You are about to tell me that fans should consume a different work, such as Secretary. You are not BDSM yourself.
4. If you argue: “Fifty Shades is just Twilight fan fiction,” you are a JEALOUS HATER.
You also write fan fiction, but only the good kind, like Spock/Kirk slashfics. You do not object to fanfics by authors like Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, or Laurie R. King, and you do not realize that Wicked is a fanfic, and so is Sherlock. You have not read Twilight either. You write original stories, but they have not been published.
5. If you argue, “Oh, sexually unfilled virgin in thrall to a powerful, wealthy man. How enlightened. And can’t you see that he’s abusive?” you are an OBLIVIOUS HATER.
You consider yourself a feminist, and as such, it is your job to protect feeble-minded women from the perils of novels which will ruin them for healthy real lives. If you don’t point out that a twenty-something billionaire who writes a sex contract with a shy college student and flies her around in helicopters is unrealistic, they will never be able to figure it out, and then they’ll all move to Seattle to try to land billionaires of their own, and you’re going to have to wait FOREVER in line for your latte. You also complain about BDSM inaccuracies.
So these are the five main species of hater I’ve spotted in the wild. What haters am I missing?