So, this appeared in our Twitter timeline, recently (thanks to one of our lovely supporters who alerted us to it!) and us being us, we couldn’t just let it go. In fact, this is one of those posts that’s begging to be unpicked, item by item, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Let’s analyse those seven reasons to love Christian Grey and see how, when you untangle each one, they’re reasons to stay the heck away…
1. Likes his women to eat.
Yeah, he really does. So much so that he’s not actually bothered about whether or not they really want to and is willing to threaten non-consensual physical punishment for them if they don’t. From Fifty Shades Darker:
“So help me God, Anastasia, if you don’t eat, I’ll take you over my knee right here in this restaurant and it’ll have nothing to do with my sexual gratification.”
SWOON. Except actually, bleurgh. A guy who appreciates a woman’s healthy appetite might be seen as hugely attractive by many (he would be by me, but then I’m greedy…), but we’re not talking about that, here. Food is just one of the many ways that Christian uses to control Ana throughout the story. Long before she’s ever agreed to so much as try to be his submissive, he’s ordering her food for her in restaurants and getting annoyed by the idea that she might like a choice in the matter. Indeed, in Grey, when we see his internal thought processes, he even admits that he’s “never thought” to ask a woman what she’d like to eat. He just goes ahead and makes the choice for her, regardless. In a consensual D/s relationship, that might be something that has been agreed upon, but in the case of Christian and Ana, it’s simply him allowing her no control, as per usual.
2. Begs to take her shopping.
I hate to dwell on a theme here, but again, Christian’s desire to buy things for Ana is all about control. He buys her a car, despite her insisting that she loves her old one and doesn’t want a new vehicle – selling it without her permission barely sounds legal (if Ana’s the legal owner, how did Christian sell it from under her?! Maybe this is a US thing, but in the UK it surely wouldn’t fly and EL James knows that) and besides, it’s an act of control. The computer he buys her? Is to ensure she keeps in more constant contact. The phone? Ditto (and he tracks it to keep tabs on her). Wanting to buy her clothes? Is his way of ensuring that she looks the way he sees fit, regardless of the fact that Ana states several times throughout the trilogy that she’s happy with her own, informal style.
Being showered with gifts might be nice, but if they’re gifts bought with the intention of further controlling you and keeping you in debt to your partner (even if only the debt of gratitude), then they’re not worth having.
3. Loves his mother.
Serious question: WHERE DO YOU GET THIS RUBBISH??!!
Aaaaand breathe. Okay, where to even start with this one…?!
Throughout the entire Fifty Shades trilogy (and in Grey), Christian refers to his mother as “the Crack Whore.” Is that an indication of love?! This is a woman who, despite being a drug addict and seemingly a prostitute, did what she could for her son; trying to protect him from her pimp’s beatings, buying him a toy car that he loved and baking him a birthday cake, despite being incredibly poor. When she died, Christian lay on the floor beside her. Young Christian seems to have loved his mother. Adult Christian lays all the blame for his “f*cked up” personality at her door, referring to her using sexist, derogatory language and admitting that he likes to “beat little brown-haired girls” because they remind him of her. Where – seriously, where – do you get “loves his mother” out of that????!!!!
And if you’re talking about his adopted mother, we see little more than mild irritation on Christian’s behalf, where she’s concerned. He believes she prefers Elliot and Mia, he thinks she’s sticking her nose in when she shows concern for him and he utterly disrespects her by trying to masturbate Ana beneath the dinner table where his poor mother is trying to hold a family meal.
Loves his mother? Don’t make me laugh.
4. Spoons in his sleep.
I mean, sure, he does this. When he’s not ordering Ana not to touch him, that is. And actually, his “spooning” sounds a lot more like “clinging.” Ana even refers to him as being entwined around her like ivy at one point. Considering how little space he gives her in the rest of her life, it could be argued that his obsessive clinging to her in his sleep is less romantic and more creepy.
5. Never plays video games.
WHY IS THIS A GOOD THING?????!!!!
I’m a nerd. I like nerdy guys. There is nothing – nothing – wrong with a guy who enjoys the odd video game, as long as he’s not playing it for 19 hours a day at the expense of any kind of life beyond his console. And frankly, Christian is dull. If ever a guy needed a hobby, it’s Christian “everything in my life is a business deal” Grey. Seriously, the dude needs to sit down and play a game or two just to chill the heck out. Maybe if he was spending an hour or two a day on Grand Theft Auto, he’d have less time on his hands to abuse actual, real-life humans. Just a thought.
6. Great dancer.
Forgive me, it’s been a while since I burned my copy of Fifty Shades (on the advice of my abuse support worker, before anyone piles on me for book-burning; it was advised as a way of dealing with how terribly triggered I was by it – cheers, EL James), but I only recall a few scenes of his dance moves. He slow-dances with Ana at his apartment – big whoop, anyone can slow-dance – and I think Ana references being twirled around the dance floor at that masked ball thing they attend in book two. But, to be fair, we’re judging this entirely on Ana’s opinion and she thinks he’s wonderful at everything. So… Forgive me if I don’t take her viewpoint at face value. Besides which, since when did being a great dancer make up for being a stalking, controlling, manipulative, coercive, threatening asshole? Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t.
7. Always makes sure she finishes first!
I think you’ll find he orders her to finish first. “Come for me, baby,” is a direction, given because Christian Grey has all the staying power of the first little pig’s house of straw. One blow and it falls down, if you know what I’m saying…
Seriously, look at the sex scenes (if you can bear the dreadful writing and the constant repetition) and you’ll soon see that Christian is a guy who doesn’t actually last very long. When he tells her to orgasm (because Ana is a perfect woman who can do that on cue, apparently), it’s because he is about to do the same.
And actually, whilst you’re looking at those sex scenes, notice how infrequently he asks Ana what she wants in bed. Notice how often he tells her how it’s going to go down (pun intended, sorry, I can’t help myself). Now yes, you could argue that this is part of their D/s relationship, but let’s not forget that Christian believes their relationship to be “vanilla” and therefore things should be much more equal. This is a dude whose principle concern is what he wants in the bedroom – his whole campaign to win Ana over is literally based on getting what he wants in a sexual sense, so let’s not make him out to be some incredible lover.
So, there we have it. Seven reasons women love Christian Grey, incredibly easily picked apart and revealed as seven reasons why he’s an utter douche nozzle. Sorry, fans. You’re going to have to do better than that to justify this abusive “hero” in our eyes.