Cinderella, Pretty Woman, 50 Shades of Grey, are we still doing this?!
-By Leah Bonnema (Stand Up Comic)
I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey, although I do love a good science fiction. I am pretty sure though that I get the basic jizz of the story. The protagonist (if we pretend it's literature, I mean it is on the New York Times best seller list, which is a sure sign of the impending apocalypse, no wonder no one on Twitter can conjugate 'you are') meets a rich guy and they have sex. (Did I miss anything?!) Oh, AND it's great sex, from the very beginning (yeah, ok).
I am not sure what bothers me more... At first I thought it was the incredibly unrealistic sexual relationship (not that people don't have fantastic sex but if you want real sex their first experience should be called 50 Shades of a Panic Attack) but I think it is that I have had about enough of rich guys in my romance.
Obviously in relationships there are times when one person takes care of the other, emotionally, financially, whatever. And in many relationships one person makes the money and the other person takes care of their home, the kids etc, which is also work and should be valued. That's a partnership.
BUT a prince who shows up because you looked beautiful at a dance and whisks you away to a castle (you most likely will not be allowed to vote there) is not a partner, that's a daddy, or a pimp. (It's not like your relationship was based on good conversation.) And I know that some women just want a provider. But can we stop putting that idea out there like it should be a goal for women. And can we as women stop buying (literally) into it.
How about if the princess kissed the frog and he turned into a teacher, with a wonderful work ethic, who really cared about his job, made forty thousand a year and had great health benefits?! WHAT if she kissed the frog and he turned into an artist who was great at listening and was incredibly loyal, but was totally broke but she had a job that made good money?!
What if the princess spent a little less time looking for frogs to kiss and a little more time finding out what she loves to do in life and developing a skill set. Probably then when she accomplishes her personal goals she will meet a frog that shares similar dreams and they can accomplish great things together with mutual respect and appreciation for each other. How much damage do these 'fantasies' do by holding women AND men up to these unrealistic standards of what romance is supposed to be.
And one last thing, if it's gonna be a rich guy, and I am supposed to be fantasizing about him, I want to know: did he inherit the money, or did he make it for himself, because those are completely different things. And if he did make the money himself, did he step on people on the way up? Does he own a business and not give his employees health care to cut costs? If I am supposed to flick my bean to this man I want to know that he is paying taxes and donating AT LEAST fifteen percent of his income to charity annually. But twenty to twenty five percent would be a lot hotter.