50 Shades Freed chapter 20 recap, or “This is definitely not an abusive relationship.”

Ugh.

Ana has just found out she’s pregnant. And it’s unexpected:

A baby. I don’t want a baby… not yet. Fuck. And I know deep down that Christian is going to freak.

Okay, so, unplanned pregnancies are the worst. Believe me on this one. I know. I got pregnant with my son three months into my relationship with my husband. So… wait… just a hair under the length of time Ana has been with Chedward. And when I found out I was pregnant, I really did think, Joe is going to freak. But I never thought half the things Ana is going to think in this chapter.

I nod mutely at the good doctor as she hands me a glass of water from her conveniently placed water cooler.

It matches all the conveniently placed plot elements.

“We could do an ultrasound to see how advanced the pregnancy is. Judging by your reaction, I suspect you’re just a couple of weeks or so from conception – four or five weeks pregnant. [...]“

Okay, first of all, is a patient’s shocked reaction really a reliable indicator of gestational age? I’d hate to be the lady having a baby on the toilet because I didn’t know I was pregnant, only to show up at the hospital and have Dr. Greene say, “Well, judging from your reaction, you’re very newly pregnant!” Second, I know that pregnancy “weeks” are determined from the first date of your last menstrual period, ergo you could have conceived two weeks ago and be five weeks pregnant, but then Dr. Greene asks Ana if she’s been having her period, and she says no… so how does the doctor come up with this estimate?

I nod, bewildered, and Dr. Greene directs me toward a black leather exam table behind a screen.

This isn’t how doctors’ offices in America are set up. Most of the time, exam rooms are separate from where the doctor’s desk is. But since Dr. Greene was cool with just sticking a cup of pee on her desk in the last chapter, I guess she’s into open floor plan medicine or something.

“This is a transvaginal ultrasound. If you’re only just pregnant, we should be able to find the baby with this.” She holds up a long white probe.

Oh, you have got to be kidding!

Then Doctor Greene tells Ana to relax and…

Slowly and gently she inserts the probe.

Holy fuck!

Leaving aside the fact that this scene reads like lesbian gynecological fetish porn, I’m dying at the idea of this probe being so scary and big and awful. This is a transvaginal ultrasound probe:

intra-vaginal-ultrasound-probe

I love that I had to click “Insert into post” to put this picture here.

Only about four inches of the probe is insertable, and it’s about as big around as a super absorbent tampon. So, you know. Let’s make an unkind correlation here between Chedward’s dick size the giant, terrifying 4″ probe as big around as a thumb.

So, Ana sees the “little blip” on the ultrasound screen and she’s immediately like, “It’s a baby!” just like in every Anti-Choice midwestern grandmother’s fantasy of how forced ultrasounds prevent abortion, and Dr. Greene says:

“It’s too early to see the heartbeat, but yes, you’re definitely pregnant. Four or five weeks, I would say.” She frowns. “Looks like the shot ran out early. Oh well, that happens sometimes.”

What in the actual fuck, lady?! Did they teach you that at med school? Pro-tip: if you’re doing a transvaginal ultrasound on a woman who isn’t happy about her unplanned pregnancy, “Oh well” should not be in your fucking vocabulary. “Oh well, that happens sometimes,” is what you tell a kid who’s favorite tv program is preempted by breaking news. It’s not what you say to someone who is pregnant with an unwanted baby.

Dr. People Skills prints out a photo for Ana, then tells her to come back in four weeks so they can figure out the age of the fetus and assign a due date. Okay… so what was the ultrasound for, if not to do all of that? You can set a due date right now. She’s either four or five weeks pregnant. You can give her a ballpark, and besides, even when you give her the due date, it will probably change when Chedward demands that she not go into labor until his security team has finished moving room to room through the hospital, neutralizing perceived threats.

Ana is freaking out about having a baby before thirty, and as she leaves the office she thinks:

Christian is going to freak, I know, but how much and how far, I have no idea. His words haunt me. “I’m not ready to share you yet.” I pull my jacket tighter around me, trying to shake off the cold.

Hey, remember that whole “Let’s look at a checklist of abusive relationship symptoms” game we all played during the first book? Wasn’t that fun? Let’s do it again. In this one tiny excerpt, we have:

  • Do you feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • Does your partner have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • Does your partner act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • Does your partner see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

That’s in three sentences. Ana is afraid because she doesn’t know “how far” Christian is going to go when she tells him she’s pregnant. When she tells her husband, who has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to someday have a family, that she’s pregnant, he might go “too far.” WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH WOMEN WHO FEEL THIS IS ROMANTIC?

Just in case you were worried this was going to go unpredictably feminist or anything, E.L. throws in some anti-choice bullshit:

Perhaps I shouldn’t tell Christian. Perhaps I… perhaps I should end this. I halt my thoughts on that dark path, alarmed at the direction they’re taking. Instinctively my hand sweeps down to rest protectively over my belly. No. My little Blip. Tears spring to my eyes. What am I going to do?

I’m trying hard to be sympathetic to Ana as a woman getting hit with the bombshell of unintended pregnancy while she’s in an abusive relationship. But it’s difficult when her internal monologue has certain adjectives and adverbs in it. Like “dark.” And “instinctively,” and “protectively.” E.L. James is trying to show the reader than Ana is already a mother – a protective mother with good motherly instincts – and therefore she can’t even think of abortion as an option. She can’t even say “abortion” in her head. That word is the end of a “dark path” a good mother wouldn’t go down. This doesn’t even make me angry. It makes me really sad. Because sometimes, the best way to protect the child is to have an abortion.

Ana has a very cliche daydream about a little boy who looks just like Christian cavorting in a meadow while she and Christian hold hands. And then she thinks about this happening:

My vision morphs into Christian turning away from me in disgust. I’m fat and awkward, heavy with child. He paces the long hall of mirrors, away from me, the sound of his footsteps echoing off the silvered glass, walls, and floor. Christian…

I. Cannot. Wait. To see this sequence on film. I want to fly to L.A. to attend the goddamned premier just to see this scene. It is literally all I have ever wanted, without knowing it. It’s going to be worse than the wedding nightmare Bella had in Breaking Dawn pt. 1. I’m actually crying a little imagining the joy I’m going to have watching those words transform into visuals.

Ana goes back to the office, where she accepts her responsibility in her birth control screw up:

“Ana, great to see you. How’s your dad?” Hannah asks as soon as I reach my office. I regard her coolly.

He’s better, thank you. Can I see you in my office?”

“Sure.” She looks surprised as she follows me in. “Is everything okay?”

“I need to know if you’ve moved or canceled any appointments with Dr. Greene.”

“Dr. Greene? Yes, I have. About two or three of them. Mostly because you were in other meetings or running late. Why?”

Because now I’m fucking pregnant! I scream at her in my head. I take a deep, steadying breath. “If you move any appointments, will you make sure I know? I don’t always check my calendar.”

“Sure,” Hannah says quietly. “I’m sorry. Have I done something wrong?”

I shake my head and sigh loudly.

Everyone has had that boss that tells you to do something and later yells at you for doing it. Ana is that boss. She has told Hannah to move appointments. Hannah has tried to tell Ana about appointments she’s moved. And now Ana is blaming her pregnancy on her assistant, because Ana is too stubborn to just look at her damned calendar like a grown-up.

“You see that woman?” I talk quietly to the blip. “She might be the reason you’re here.”

No. You switched birth control methods three times in four months, from condoms to the pill to Depo, without using a backup, because your spoiled man-child husband doesn’t like using condoms. This is why you’re pregnant.

I shake my head, exasperated at myself and Hannah… though deep down I know I can’t really blame Hannah.

And knowing that makes everything you just scolded her about go magically away, right? No need at all to apologize. Oh, and spoiler alert, she doesn’t apologize for the way she just treated Hannah. She gets on her computer and emails Christian with one-word replies so he’ll sense something is wrong, but she doesn’t tell him what.

Hey, ready for the domestic violence warning sign funtimes again?

When will I tell him? Tonight? Maybe after sex? Maybe during sex. No, that might be dangerous for both of us. When he’s asleep? I put my head in my hands. What the hell am I going to do?

  • Does your partner hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?

Ana believes it will be dangerous to tell her husband she’s pregnant, because in the past he’s admitted that he enjoys hurting her.

Let’s really sit and meditate on that thought a minute. I read a forum thread yesterday that a tweep passed on to me. Women were specifically discussing this chapter, and Christian’s reaction to the pregnancy. Many of them said that when Ana found out she was pregnant, they cried because they knew Christian was going to freak out and possibly hurt her. But the running theme through most of the discussion was that Ana is a strong woman, and she can handle Christian, and they so admired her for this. So, this whole time I’ve been thinking that women who love these books have been brainwashed by society into not recognizing abuse. I was wrong. They recognize that Christian is abusive. They just apparently think a “strong woman” can change an abuser.

If you were waiting for a good reason to drink yourself to death, well. Merry fucking Christmas in July.

Christian picks up Ana after work – hey, what happened to the R8 he just bought her?

  • Does your partner limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?

So, she’s still getting picked up by Christian like this is preschool. Christian knows stuff is wrong, and Ana thinks:

Maybe now? I could tell him now when we’re in a contained space and Taylor is with us.

She wants to tell him when Taylor, the armed bodyguard, is there to protect her. BUT THIS IS ALL OKAY AND TOTALLY ROMANTIC.

“Ana, what’s wrong?” His tone is a little more forceful, and I chicken out.

  • Do you avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?

Plus, Chedward, you’re on the way to visit her dad in the hospital. Like, less than a week ago he experienced cardiac arrest due to massive internal bleeding caused by a traumatic and violent car crash. You should definitely yell at Ana until she tells you what’s wrong, because there’s no possible way you could figure it out on your own.

Christian notices that Ana’s hand is cold, and he asks her if she’s eaten:

Well, I haven’t eaten because I know you’re going to go bat-shit crazy when I tell you I’m pregnant.

Several smarty-pants commenters have pointed out ways that Ana seems like she could have an eating disorder. You can add this one to your list. She’s afraid of his reaction, so she exerts control over her life the only way she can.

“Do you want me to add ‘feed my wife’ to the security detail’s list of duties?”

“I’m sorry. I’ll eat. It’s just been a weird day. You know, moving Dad and all.”

His lips press into a hard line, but he says nothing.

Your dad nearly dying, then being airlifted unnecessarily to a different city for my convenience is no excuse for you to buck my total, authoritarian control, Ana. And this is all boding super well for my parenting skills later, for I am the great Chedward, and all I do is just and true.

Christian interrupts my reverie. “I may have to go to Taiwan.”

“Oh. When?”

“Later this week. Maybe next week.”

“Okay.”

“I want you to come with me.”

I swallow. “Christian, please. I have my job. Let’s not rehash this argument again.”

He sighs and pouts like a sulky teenager. “Thought I’d ask,” he mutters petulantly.

That’s not asking. That’s telling her, “I want you to come with me.”

  • Does your partner control where you go or what you do?
  • Does your partner  ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?

Oh, Ana. You and your “job” I so graciously let you keep. Chedward doesn’t want a wife. He wants a fucking pet he can dope up for the flight to Taiwan.

Ray is much brighter and a lot less grumpy when we see him. I’m touched by his quiet gratitude to Christian, and for a moment I forget about my impending news as I sit and listen to them talk fishing and the Mariners. But he tires easily.

If I had to talk about the same two subjects every time I got a moment of page time, I’d tire easily, too. Doesn’t Ray have any interests besides fishing and sports? Oh, of course not! He’s a man! And more importantly, he’s a man who isn’t Christian Grey, so he doesn’t need layers.

When they leave, Ana has this stomach-turning goodbye with her father:

“I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?” I kiss him. My subconscious purses her lips. That’s provided Christian hasn’t locked you away… or worse. My spirits take a nosedive.

“Come.” Christian holds out his hand, frowning at me. I take it and we leave the hospital.

You know, I’ve had my differences with that stuck-up b-word in the past, but now I’m Team Subconscious. She’s straight up telling Ana she’s going to get murdered and never see her dad again, because Christian is just that fucking scary.

This is how I’m imagining Ana’s subconscious right now:

you in danger girl

So, at home, over dinner, Ana tells Christian she’s pregnant. And it goes… not great. He asks her how, and bypassing the obvious answer, he jumps to:

“Your shot?” he snarls.

Oh shit.

“Did you forget your shot?”

Did she forget it? Or was she too busy dealing with all the drama and bullshit that goes along with be Mrs. Grey that she got too fucking busy to go get her shot? I mean, would she have even been allowed out of the house, or is it too dangerous?

“Christ, Ana!” He bangs his fist on the table, making me jump, and stands so abruptly he almost knocks the dining chair over. “You have one thing, one thing to remember. Shit! I don’t fucking believe it. How could you be so stupid?”

Apart from the fact that Ana being stupid isn’t a new development here,

one job

Stupid! I gasp. Shit. I want to tell him that the shot was ineffective, but words fail me.

Okay, but the shot wasn’t ineffective, Ana. You never got the follow up shot.

“I know the timing’s not very good.”

“Not very good!” he shouts. “We’ve known each other five fucking minutes! I wanted to show you the fucking world and now… Fuck. Diapers and vomit and shit!”

Five fucking minutes is long enough to get married, though? And what’s this about wanting to show her the world, but now he has to deal with vomit and shit? Do people not vomit and shit in the parts of the world he’s going to show her?

“Did you forget? Tell me. Or did you do this on purpose?” His eyes blaze and anger emanates off him like a force field.

“No,” I whisper. I can’t tell him about Hannah – he’d fire her.

HANNAH DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! THIS IS YOUR FAULT, BOTH OF YOU, YOU FUCKING CHILDREN! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY! IF YOU HAVE SEX, SOMETIMES PREGNANCY HAPPENS! YOU KNOW THIS! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS!

“This is why. This is why I like control. So shit like this doesn’t come along and fuck everything up.”

Guys who really like control and don’t want this to happen? Use condoms.

No… Little Blip. “Christian, please don’t shout at me.” Tears start to slip down my face.

“Don’t start with waterworks now,” he snaps. “Fuck.”

  • Does your partner humiliate or yell at you?
  • Does your partner criticize you and put you down?

He runs a hand through his hair, pulling at it as he does. “You think I’m ready to be a father?” His voice catches, and it’s a mixture of rage and panic.

And it all becomes clear, the fear and loathing writ large in his eyes – his rage is that of a powerless adolescent. Oh, Fifty, I am so sorry. It’s a shock for me, too.

So, as long as we can blame his shitty behavior on past abuse, that totally justifies it. Good. Glad we cleared that up.

Christian gets pissed off and storms out of the apartment, and Mrs. Jones comes in to comfort Ana:

“I heard. I’m sorry,” she says gently. “Would you like an herbal tea or something?”

My abusive husband just walked out on me after throwing a temper tantrum about the fact that I’m pregnant. Yeah, bitch, get me a Snapple, that should fix everything.

“I’d like a glass of white wine.”

Mrs. Jones pauses for a fraction of a second, and I remember Blip. Now I can’t drink alcohol. Can I? I must study the dos and don’ts Dr. Greene gave me.

I thought “no alcohol” was a pretty obvious one in this day and age, but a less obvious one? No herbal teas, unless they’re mommy safe. I was going through a tea phase when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I learned to my horror that many herbal tea bags you can buy in the grocery store contain herbs that are known abortificants.

Holy crap. Double Jeez. No alcohol? For Ana? She’s never going to make it.

Mrs. Jones tries to get Ana to eat something, but she won’t. She goes to the library and reads the pamphlets Dr. Greene gave her while justifying and rationalizing staying with a man who is clearly abusive and unstable:

I can’t concentrate. Christian’s never walked out on me before. He’s been so thoughtful and kind over the last few days, so loving and now… Suppose he never comes back? Shit! Perhaps I should call Flynn. I don’t know what to do. I’m at a loss. He’s so fragile in so many ways, and I knew he’d react badly to the news.

  • Do you  feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?

Also, apparently Dr. Flynn is so fragile in so many ways. Pronoun agreement, yo.

He was so sweet this weekend. All those circumstances way beyond his control, yet he managed  fine. But this news was too much.

Ever since I met him, my life has been complicated. Is it him? Is it the two of us together? Suppose he doesn’t get past this? Suppose he wants a divorce?

That would be the best thing that ever happened to you, Ana.

He’ll be back. I know he will. I know, regardless of the shouting and his harsh words, that he loves me… yes. And he’ll love you, too, Little Blip.

Yeah, the best fix for an abusive man is to make him a father. That fixes everything, in 100% of all cases.

Ana falls asleep in her chair, and when she wakes up, Christian still isn’t back, so she texts him to see where he is.

I head into the bathroom and run myself a bath. I am so cold.

  • Do you feel emotionally numb or helpless?

In fairness, she could be cold from not eating, as that was Christian’s tip-off in the car that she hadn’t eaten anything. Which means that Ana is so close to the verge of starvation that she can’t maintain her body temperature if she misses a couple meals. This pregnancy thing might just sort itself out, and then we can all go home.

After her bath, Christian still isn’t back, so Ana puts on a nightgown and wanders the apartment.

On my way, I pop into the spare bedroom. Perhaps this could be Little Blip’s room. I am started by the thought and stand in the doorway, contemplating this reality.

The reality in which you forget about the whole “we’re building a house with a sexually aggressive architect” subplot? Or the reality in which your bundle of joy will sleep in a room one used by your husband’s contracted conquests?

Ana is asleep in the great room when Christian stumbles in:

Shit, Christian drunk? I know how much he hates drunks.

Unless he’s coercing them into sex.

So, he’s home, he’s sloppy drunk and trying to get Ana to fuck him, and a thought occurs to me… where was Taylor? I thought Christian and Ana led such an exotic and dangerous life that to even step a single foot out the door of their apartment without a fully armed staff of trained killers was to invite death at the hands of the many nefarious villains all twiddling their mustaches and trying to murder them. If Ana goes out for a drink with friends while accompanied by two bodyguards, the narrative threatens her with rape and kidnapping. If the author were making both characters play by the rules, Christian should be dead now. Since he isn’t, we must then assume that Ana isn’t in any danger from these supposed threats at all.

“Christian, I think you need some sleep.”

“And so it begins. I’ve heard about this.”

I frown. “Heard about what?”

“Babies mean no sex.”

Yup. It’s the baby’s fault. Not the fact that you had a violent outburst, terrified your wife, then left and came home crazy drunk. It’s the baby.

Christian has another one of those haunted expressions that remind Ana that he was abused as a child, so it must be a day ending in Y. Ana gets him undressed while he talks in an exaggerated drunk dialect not unlike Otis on Mayberry RFD:

“I like the feel of this fabric on you, Anastay-shia,” he says, slurring his words. “You should always be in satin or silk.”

casket lining

“And we have an invader in here.”

I stop breathing. Holy cow. He’s talking to Little Blip.

“You’re going to keep me awake, aren’t you?” he says to my belly.

Oh my. Christian looks up at me through his long dark lashes, gray eyes blurred and cloudy. My heart constricts.

“You’ll choose him over me,” he says sadly.

So, Chedward is already jealous of the baby. That’s a good sign.

“Christian, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t be ridiculous – I am not choosing anyone over anyone. And he might be a she.”

I hope she is, for her sake. Because if she’s a he, and his penis touches the inside of Ana’s vagina during delivery, Christian will have to murder him. And Ana, of course, since she cheated on him.

I have managed to loosen his tie.

I have managed to loosen strangle him with his tie. There, I fixed it for you, Ana.

Ana looks at Christian and realizes that he’s handsome, so obviously, that goes a long way toward excusing his behavior. Also, he has a happy trail and she kisses it, because gosh, it’s so sexy when a guy treats you like a fucking dog who should wait at home until he gets back.

While Ana picks up his clothes, she finds his BlackBerry, and a text that reads:

It was good to see you. I understand now.

Don’t fret, you’ll make a wonderful father.

It’s from her. Mrs. Elena Bitch Troll Robinson.

Shit. That’s where he went. He’s been to see her.

Phew, I’m so glad Ana has someone to shift the focus of her anger onto. For a second, I thought she might have to be upset with Chedward. Thank god for Bitch Trolls.


171 Comments on “50 Shades Freed chapter 20 recap, or “This is definitely not an abusive relationship.””

  1. Me says:

    To be honest most of the time I’m not too fond of being a female. I sometimes seriously wish I was a guy ( and no, I’m not transgender or confused about my gender). And it might sound mean but I feel no sympathy for Ana’s plight. Even though how people don’t see this as abusive is beyond me. After reading these recaps I realized that I have a friend in an abusive relationship, and I think she knows it at least subconsciously, but her excuse is money. She likes expensive toys, she told me once that having a boyfriend was good because they “buy you things” but that’s not a good enough incentive for me, especially since I lean more towards being an aromantic asexual anyway. But she’s always doing things cus (well call him X) X said so. Cus he knows better and she pretty much has given up all autonomy cus why should she know these things, she has X who is unconditional. To be honest she annoys me w/ her talk of X since he has no personality, he doesn’t like any of the little things that people like. An example he refitted her something because he thought shed like it cus it was kinda tacky, something mind you that someone had taken time to get him. I know the abuse is 2 sided in this situation she uses him as a wallet w/ a dick, but she still gets the short end of the stick because she has no life. One time we hanged out and then he started calling her and calling her until she left because “he missed her”. So yeah he might not hit her or rape her, but he’s brainwashed her to the point that all she ever talks about is him and her family.

  2. Wilwy Waylan says:

    I love how, anytime she thinks about children, another Christian, being happy with a family, she thinks about a boy. Never a girl. That’s the first time in three books she thinks about having a girl. I wonder if it means something.

  3. Feathers says:

    So ten days late and 133 comments later…

    I’d just like to say my job overexposes me to the celebrity media machine. Whenever another celeb is pregnant, everyone starts hauling out the term “baby bump”. It drives me crazy! It sounds childish and dismissive of something very wonderful. Like, what are we, 9 years old? Actually, the way they fawn over the celebs, that may not be too far from the truth.

    After reading this recap though, I think “little blip” is poised to top “baby bump” in my list of hated pregnancy terms. Even worse, I know it’s supposed to be an affectionate nickname but it’s just not doin’ it for me. It sounds ridiculous. But I suppose “little one” or something like that would be too sappy.

    Finally… I haven’t watched a lot of Adventure Time, but the episodes I’ve seen, I’ve been quite amazed. In the “wow, this is such an awesome story/concept/plot” kind of way. I happened to see “Thank You” (s3e17) with the snow golem and the fire wolf pup and I think I almost cried at the end! So touching! More recently I saw the adventures of Fiona and Cake and the bizzaro-world spin on everything (and everybody) was such an awesome twist. I really gotta start watching Adventure Time more regularly.

    Keep up the great blogs, I love reading them.

  4. “So, this whole time I’ve been thinking that women who love these books have been brainwashed by society into not recognizing abuse. I was wrong. They recognize that Christian is abusive. They just apparently think a “strong woman” can change an abuser.”

    This was maybe my biggest head-desk, facepalm reaction, so far, to how ridiculously society is behaving toward these books.

    Here I thought it was strong for me to realize I should seek out a non-abusive partner to begin with, rather than possibly die trying to change an abuser.
    Gosh, I guess I just don’t want a real challenge, huh? It has to be that, rather than valuing my life, right? Ugh.

    Just, shit shit shit shit shit.
    Oh, and Holy Crap.

  5. lams, labs, and lafs says:

    Jen, I am a long-time follower of your wonderful insight..this is the first time I am writing back. In my head I always planned to speak with intelligence, as a result of whole-heartedly agreeing with many things you have said, and possibly offer a bit of my own piece of wisdom- I am somewhat new to technology. I did not own a cell-phone until about 8 years ago or so. And they were ancient up til about a year ago. My phone is too smart for me. Where I am trying to go with all this is that you are my first experience with a blog. Ever. And I fell in love. So many times I have laughed out loud so hard, that Kitty would pull her ears back, all concerned, and then run away and chase dust balls. Or in public or at work, gazing at my phone and braying like a donkey-oh Jen, the looks I got!

    I even turned a 50 shades fan-the one co-worker girl who said that title to me (I remember vaguely hearing the title mentioned somewhere around before) and that it was a “good book” and I should read it…I turned her on to your 50 shades recaps, and now suddenly she began to see all the obvious, very disturbing shite that was shoved right into all of our faces, the horrible thing that compelled me to “curl my mouth” in disgust before hurling the “book” (haha! yeah right!) at the opposing wall and hear it slide down the wall and spread open onto the floor, so I could step on it while huffing out the room, wailing for humanity. You are an inspiration to me. Opened me up to a whole (previously mysterious) world of wonderfully, soul-elevating snarkines, where collectively, like-minded souls get together to discuss and illuminate one another about the sick, sad reality of terribleness our planet has been exposed to_ and we make humor out of it, because humor touches a wider audience, and I believe brings people together. And so on and so fourth…I cannot summarize to save my life. But in a nutshell-an extremely positive addition to my life, and I thank you. Through you, I am inspired to explore not only numerous talented, wonderful individuals who inspire me with their words and encourage me to find my own. Like-minded individuals, smart people who are awake and see bullshit for what it is, or at least aspire to in some way-through fabulous snarky blogs, recaps, honest recounts of personal experiences, the commenters, story-tellers, and more. Those who contribute honest and real thought and to better moods and laughter all around…I am also comforted by knowing humanity entirely doomed. There are a lot pollution in this world, and it’s hurting ppl..loved ones even! But for this extreme intensity is that type of frequency, there is equally an extreme intensity in smart people, good and natural people. realness. and people are standing up for those principals. So I have hope and faith for humanity yet..

  6. lams, labs, and lafs says:

    sorry about the novels..just want to be your cheerleader for a moment..thank you for trekking through this “impossible muck!” you are truly a heroine to us all. You are doing good for the world. you have gotten people to see the light-so to speak. and you bring us so much joy. please do not give up, you’re almost done! please put every bit of passion you’ve got to conclude this awful social experiment imposed on us all. And with you, we turn the tables back on them. Let James and the non-existent editors hang their heads in shame for selling out. And kick ass as you naturally do so well. From your conviction in which you speak your mind, to the endearing little things you do (your very special child-hood doll in particular, forgot her name…the one that now has her red lips stain down her chin, looking creepy-lovingly like blood, that whom you so cleverly and sweetly (at the same time!) like to sneak in and place in various locations to look at your husband while he tries to play video games (Here, I related to you as soul-sister in shared experiences messing with our husbands!). You must continue on to the bitter end with relish, and I admire you all the way. I read only the first book, reading on in confusion and disgust…waiting for the punch-line that never came. Then, in my search for like-minded individuals to confirm I am not crazy, I found you-my first and favorite blog. And I know you are busy with important projects of actually writing material with intent to entertain your readers and bring them joy, (not to mention replenishing the brain cells lost to this “50 shades of terror” cause) but please know we are rooting for you, and we will patiently wait for you to reach the time that is right to finally put this monster to bed- and when that time has come, we will all celebrate together, the conclusion of this fascinating study of “idiocricy”, and dissecting its this awful agenda.

  7. Meghan says:

    So, I’ve had it with Goodreads and all the women defending this “love story”. Apparently none of them understand that rape comes in all forms, the abuse is obvious, and that Christian should not be a romantic hero. I just can’t believe how much of this women inflicted misogyny has been allowed to permeate our culture and has been accepted and seen as being okay, or even normal! The circular arguments occurring with people that “just don’t see it” when it’s like a neon sign is mind boggling. I’m sorry I’m venting a bit here, but I feel like Jenny’s blog is a safe place with enough people that get it for me to ask this (probably) stupid question: what is it going to take to make the madness stop?

  8. Sophie says:

    “I wanted to show you the fucking world!

    dude you won’t even let her leave the fucking HOUSE.

  9. Simi says:

    omigosh abortion is so bad! Ana, if you aren’t ready to be parents, then its okay to abort, fyi. My cousin who thought he could pull it off made life miserable for the poor baby. ok? MTP is fine if you aren’t ready.

  10. Tesria says:

    Coming late to the show, but:

    //Christian gets pissed off and storms out of the apartment, and Mrs. Jones comes in to comfort Ana:

    “I heard. I’m sorry,” she says gently. “Would you like an herbal tea or something?”//

    You know what this made me think of? That scene in Titanic where Rose’s *violent fiance we’re supposed to hate* yelled and broke china, and the maid came over after he left to clean up and try and comfort Rose. Interesting that this time we’re supposed to like the guy.

    Not that Titanic is a brilliant, unproblematic movie, but Ana needs a Jack Dawson-like-character to inspire her (because clearly she’s not going to get it on her own).

  11. Lynn says:

    While there were many WTF moments throughout the series that made me see red, this chapter pissed me off the most. Fuck, where do I start? First of all, I read this chapter when I was pregnant (in my second term). I couldn’t imagine telling someone like Christian that I was pregnant when I knew how he would react. If Christian did to me what he did to Ana when he found out about the pregnancy, that would be the last straw and I would’ve left him. I wouldn’t want someone as abusive and immature as Christian to be the father of my child (thank my deities I have my SO who is the opposite of Christian).

    Second of all, I don’t get why Ana didn’t feverently say “Your preferred birth control method, you know the one you forced on me, failed.”. I would’ve loved if she said that to his face because then it would’ve been his fault for forcing her to use a birth control method that wasn’t good for her. Yes, I realize that it was Ana’s fault too for not keeping on track with her appointments. However, I can’t go much into DEPO as I’ve never been on it (just the patch-ugh, and the pill).

    Third of all, I do agree that it is anti-choice bullshit because while it’s not anti-choice for Ana to choose to carry to term, it is anti-choice for her to say that a reproductive choice like aborting a pregnancy you don’t want is a dark path and a “good mother” wouldn’t choose it. I guess Ana would see one of my best friends as a horrible mother and going down a dark path because she aborted to save her life from a fucking ectopic pregnancy (and you have people that are against abortion for even this reason, which I wonder what they’re trying to save since the fetus will die too if the woman dies…whether if she willingly chooses to die since she doesn’t like abortion or someone denied giving her an abortion).

    To be frank, I was shocked that Christian didn’t force her to abort given that he’s forced her to have sex with him and forced DEPO on her since he sees her body as being his. However, after thinking about it, he would probably use a child to keep her tied to him which is probably why most abusive assholes like him are against abortion (and probably giving the kid up for adoption)…so they can keep their power over the women they victimized.

    • Lynn says:

      Amazingly, I’m not done yet. I got one more thing to rant about that is a bit related to what I said about my best friend aborting to save her life from an ectopic.

      It pisses me off when people imply that pregnancy and childbirth are a fucking walk in the park as a way of trying to get women not to abort. Yes, I realize that there are women out there who are very lucky to have an uncomplicated pregnancy and childbirth. I’m one of those women. However, I’m *also* one of those women that have had a life threatening complication related to pregnancy.

      When I was pregnant the first time, I miscarried. Originally, I thought I was having a period. Imagine my surprise when I began to bleed like there was no tomorrow on the last day of this so-called period. I went to the hospital and found out there that I was pregnant. Unfortunately, I lost the fetus by that point, and I was in the process of losing my own life because I was bleeding too much. What happened was while I was miscarrying (particularly the last day of this so-called period), my blood and the fetus’ blood mixed together. This is normally not an issue unless A)you are a woman with a negative blood with a fetus that has a positive blood type (which can lead to Rh incompatability unless you’ve gotten an RH globhin shot) or/and B)You have O negative blood. For anyone that is aware of how blood types and transfusions go, you can only get O negative blood if you’re O negative. If anything else mixes with O negative blood, it will be disasterous. I began to bleed out because my body was that desperate to rid itself of the other blood type that mixed in with mine. If it wasn’t for a D&C procedure and a blood transfusion (yes, I bleed that much)…I would be dead now. Yes, this isn’t common with miscarriages. In fact, I’ve only read one other woman that went through the same thing as I did and she also had O negative blood. Because of this, my blood was monitored throughout my last pregnancy and when I gave birth to make sure my blood type and the fetus/baby’s blood type weren’t mixing. However, you can bet your ass if I had another complication with this last pregnancy, it would’ve been the last time I gotten pregnant. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can sympathize with women who don’t want to be pregnant when they have gone through a life threatening complication related to pregnancy and childbirth even though I choose to try to get pregnant again despite what had happened to me because it’s all about what each individual wants rather than the collective (especailly since they’re the ones that don’t have to live with the decision or deal with the aftermath of whatever decision is made).

  12. Lieke says:

    Every single time Ana has reason to be angry with Christian for something dickish he’s done, she shifts her anger to something relatively minor. Every. Single. Time. Here it’s Christian meeting with Elena. Which Ana is mad about for all the wrong reasons as usual. Because she’s jealous. But this way Christian can ‘explain’ why he went to Elena and promise never to do it again and everything will be fine. We can forget about addressing the actual problem: his reaction to her pregnancy with the blaming and the yelling. It drives me crazy. There’s no resolution for anything, ever.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me, forcibly and unpleasantly, of the time I had to tell my abusive ex- husband I was pregnant after he got arrested for beating the shit out of me. I was so scared, I bought him alcohol to try and lessen the blow. He reacted… Well, see above. Then he spent my entire pregnancy telling his family I was faking (after I peed on a digital stick right in front of him, and got an ultrasound, and, well, yeah…) even though I had HG and lost 25 lbs in 3 weeks and had to be hospitalized and had a ND feeding tube put in, twice because I vomited so hard that I threw the first tube up. Yup, up from my small intestine, and it hurt like a mofo, and I cried for an hour afterward alone in the hospital without my husband, the person who is supposed to love and support me. I’m pretty sure the combination of the stress inflicted by him and his family harassing me daily over “faking” it — faking what, how do I fake this shit?!? — and the HG/weight loss/malnutrition thing caused me to miscarry at almost 11 weeks. Then, of course, I REALLY was faking cause, LOOK, I’m not actually going to give birth after all! Even though I did, alone, in the middle of the night, on my toilet, and cried, and cried, and cried.

    People love this series, and it is NOT OK!! I am not a hateful person (I pray for my ex by name every night, I work hard to forgive him and his family for all of this stuff), but I HATE EL James! She offends me as a Domme (who loves her sub and treats him with respect, who Domme’s him because he GIVES that to me willingly, because he LOVES me and TRUSTS me, and who would never, EVER make him feel bad for safe wording… WHAT THE FUCK?!), she offends me as an avid writer of fanfiction in my “youth” (I love you, JK!), she offends me as a writer (because this book is appalingly, disgustingly, badly written!), and she offends me as a human being. I almost wish she had come out to say, “I wrote this book as an example of an abusive relationship, this isn’t a romance, this is serious!” but NO. She is fucked in the head and has dollar signs for pupils and I really, really hate her!!

    • laina1312 says:

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Annie says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry. What a thing to endure.
      I had hyperemesis during my one pregnancy and I’m sure that the only reason I made it through was because of the constant support of my husband. We tried for years to get pregnant, and I desperately wanted a baby, but still those months of pregnancy were complete hell. And no matter how hellish they were for me, I think they were even worse for him. He was working full time, running me back and forth to doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds, the ER, the hospital, the pharmacy. He watched me waste away and become pale and sunken while he couldn’t do anything to help me for months on end. There were so many times that I didn’t think I could get through one more hour of it and at those times he would sit by my side holding my hand all night long, even though he had to work that morning, telling me I was strong enough and that we would get through it.

      I wish no woman had to endure HG. Even in it’s mild forms it’s hellish. I’m so sorry for what you went through, not just because of the HG and that you lost the baby, which believe me I am incredibly sorry for, but also because you *should* have had a loving, supportive partner there with you. He should have been there holding your hand, bringing you the little things like hair ties and meds. He should have been rubbing your back and assuring you that you had the strength to get through it no matter what comes.
      I am so, so sorry that he wasn’t there. He should have been! He should have been, damnit!
      I’m a bit awestruck that you’re determined to forgive him and his family. You’re a bigger woman than me because I am *furious* at him on your behalf.

      I’m also furious at EL James for all the reasons you named. I’m even more furious that so many people are eating up her drivel and put it up on a pedestal as something to strive for literarily and romantically.
      I strove for a relationship similar to the one in these books when I was younger. I strove to keep that relationship for quite some time. Then I realized that not only was this “relationship” dysfunctional, it was abusive. Very abusive. I’m so glad for these recaps because I wouldn’t have been able to handle the books. It’s scary reading from the perspective of being in Ana’s head and read her thinking and saying the EXACT same things I thought. Reasoning to my self why this relationship was worth maintaining in the EXACT same way. Sometimes word-for-word. I can’t wrap my head around how James was able to so accurately portray the thought processes of an abused woman while insisting the relationship is *not* abusive. And it seems that it’s quite possible that EL James really and truly didn’t intend to portray an abusive relationship and that truly baffles me more than anything else, I think.

  15. What I have to know is: where is the part where Jose falls in love with the Blip?

  16. G says:

    This chapter. I can’t even…THIS RELATIONSHIP IS SO UNHEALTHY AND ABUSIVE! It’s not romantic! It’s not sexy! It’s just creepy and sad and awful and why the fuck do people think this is romantic??

  17. Blue says:

    For some reason I couldn’t reply to comment, but I wanted to point out that RISUG is being tested in the US. It’s in phase 2 trials under the name Vasalgel. It’s being crowd funded, so if you have the money & you’re interested in getting a long term male contraceptive to market, go look them up & donate. :)

    Also, it’s a bit more complicated than “a shot in the penis” as it has to be inserted into both the vas deferens.

  18. I need to have a tshirt with a picture of a Treasure Troll on it that says “Thank God For Bitch Trolls”.

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  22. Emmar says:

    Just when I thought Ana couldn’t get any worse she adds ‘complete bitch’ to her growing list of hideous characteristics! How can she treat her assistant like that for her mistakes??

    I absolutely love these recaps – Jenny you are a genius. Am sad they are about to end, unless in the last chapter these two goons die in a massive fireball in Charlie Tango (after the baby is born and left safely with Mrs Jones of course). I’ve come to this quite late as read the first dreadful book in 2012 and fell across the blog when my preteen daughter mentioned she wanted to read Twilight and I googled it for a bit. This chapter has to be the worst so far. How anyone can find his reaction to her pregnancy as romantic is beyond me, and probably a few pshychiatrists

    I’d heard about it (the first book) and took it on a long train journey expecting a good read. I thought from what I’d heard it would be about a likeable young woman who meets a charming, rich, handsome bloke who introduces her to BDSM – she loves it – and they bang like a barn door for a few hundred pages. God no. It made me want to boilwash my brain to rid myself of any of it. How can this have sold millions of copies? How can anyone not see that she is terrified of him and allows him to emotionally and physically abuse her, yet the thought of losing him is even worse (why? I’d have gift wrapped him meat and dropped him in shark infested waters after a few chapters).

    What are his redeeming features? He’s rich – but she’s not interested in money, apparently (yeah right) – although she’s very good at spending her friends money. He’s handsome – yes, but she comments that every bloke she meets is tripping over their tongue when they meet her, so can she not just drop her sights a little lower and get, you know, a decent relationship? Aside from that, he is spoilt, selfish, possessive, controlling, superior and utterly humourless. Did he ever laugh once in any of the 3 books?

    As for Ana, EL James has created probably the worst character ever in a book. It’s like she wrote down every single awful female trait and created her. She is jealous, possessive, whiny, needy, self-obsessed, insecure, pathetic and thick – how can anyone relate to her? She’s got 1 friend at 22 (who she constantly bitches about and is always on holiday (probably to get away from her)) – Jose doesn’t count as he’s yet another bloke trying to get into her knickers – yet the author keeps telling us how bright, intelligent, witty and strong she is, but she never, ever displays any of these characteristics.

    What worries me is either of my daughters reading this crap and thinking this is a relationship to aspire to. Fortunately, my daughter quickly gave up on Twilight as she hated the characters, so hopefully not!


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