This video is spreading like wildfire, and it’s too good not to repost here. It’s Gilbert Gottfried reading steamy passages from Fifty Shades of Gray, an extremely popular erotic fiction novel about a BDSM love affair.
Written by E. L. Leonard, the book started out as a Twilight fanfic titled Master of the Universe, published under the pen name Snowqueen’s Icedragon. Once the book was reworked for publication, high schooler Bella and vampire Edward replaced with college grad Anastasia Steele and powerful business magnate Christian Grey, the novel became an overnight success, recently landing on the New York Times #1 bestseller list with major movie studios vying for the film rights.
If I were a member of the Christian right, sitting on my front porch decrying the decadent morals of working American women, what would be most alarming about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena, what gives it its true edge of desperation, and end-of-the-world ambience, is that millions of otherwise intelligent women are willing to tolerate prose on this level. If you are willing to slog through sentences like “In spite of my poignant sadness, I laugh,” or “My world is crumbling around me into a sterile pile of ashes, all my hopes and dreams cruelly dashed,” you must really, really, want to get to the submissive sex scene.
Roiphe’s piece is clever, but flawed in its premise that feminism is at odds with the type of sex described in Fifty Shades. “It is perhaps inconvenient for feminism that the erotic imagination does not submit to politics,” Roiphe writes in one passage. “Nope!” counters Maya in a well-written rebuttal on Feministing. “Really don’t care! I don’t want the erotic imagination to submit to politics. That sounds horrible. I’d like to create a politics that affirms the full range of the erotic imagination, though.” Well-put.