With the news that the most successful novelist of last year was EL James for her book about nudey prod games and naughty ladies getting a spanking and loving every minute of it the light of publicity has been shone on the dawning age of New Feminism.
The success of Fifty Shades of Bollocks has led to a series of cheap rip offs/legacy books from the dirty mac brigade/empowering literature handing sexuality back into the hands of birds – er, chicks, er – ladies, er – self-empowered feminists who like a bit of rough and tumble. With titles like Spank My Botty, Fatman, to He Flicked The V’s At My Fanny all the way through to He Ignored Me and Went Down the Pub the concept of women reclaiming a five minute scuttling from behind has been taken out of the hands of gentlemen who can’t leave their tackle alone for five minutes and into the hands of the strong, powerful ladies who read this sort of stuff on the tube and ignore me.
But what articles like Blokes Are Shit by arch feminist Sour McAngry and I Did It Lots And Liked It by Bouncy O’Chirpy fail to take into consideration is the psycho-sexual political angle these works of fiction encompass. True, it is not just the average member of the Houses of Parliament who chooses to contextualise these works within the boundaries of his own member (see what I did there – that was clever, wasn’t it. Took me bloody ages to think that one up. See, girlies, not only am I really right on and feminist, but I’ve also got a sense of humour, and according to the mags I don’t read like Cosmo and Bella that’s what ladies like! Of course, politicians come in both sexes, so it could also be ‘her member’, which wouldn’t make any sense, but that’s not important. The important thing is I’m funny and I have a beard and nice ladies should definitely go to bed with me as I’m so right on it makes my knackers ache, or would if I hadn’t had them removed last July to become even more right on! Knackers are symbols of oppression, ladies!)
The key to the novel’s appeal lies in it’s easily accessible language and the way it subverts the norms of modern sensuality, providing a mixture of passive-aggressive foreplay in the intertexuality of the main characters, as evidenced in this extract:
“Blimey, Christian, I’m feeling a bit rum tonight and fancy a quick go at a bit of ‘How’s your father’. Fancy doing me a right old favour, me old chum, and giving me a bit of a spanking. I’d be right pleased and no mistakin’,” said Ana in a sort of way which said she was feeling a bit horny and wouldn’t mind a bit of a roll in the hay with the swarthy rich fucker, but only if he gave her a spanking.
“Bloody hell, Ana, you mad young mad thing who’s also quite intelligent and is thus no insult to women anywhere at all whatsoever, even though you’re subverting the strength of your personality to be my plaything. Match of the Day’s just started and I’ve opened a can of fackin’ lager, wot wot,” said Christian, who was dead fucking posh and drank his lager with his little finger crooked just to show how fucking posh he was, which was dead posh.
Or how about this touchingly knowing nod to a reversion of the feminist archetype as evidenced in the fetishisation of the tropes more at home with the male gaze than with the feminine stereotype of the willing female:
“Fuck me, that’s a large one,” erupted Ana in a gushing spout of steamy hot sticky words that metaphorically splashed all over her norks.
“Too bloody right, love,” ejaculated Christian as he stroked the rigid contours of his manly wonder. “It’s a The Enzo Ferrari, a 12 cylinder mid-engine berlinetta named after the company’s founder, Enzo Ferrari. It was built in 2002 using Formula One technology, such as a carbon-fibre body, F1-style electrohydraulic shift transmission, and Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite disc brakes. Also used are technologies not allowed in F1 such as active aerodynamics and traction control. After a downforce of 7600N(1700lb) is reached at 300 km/h (186 mph) the rear wing is actuated by computer to maintain that downforce. The Enzo’s V12 engine is the first of a new generation for Ferrari. It is based on the architecture of the V8 found in sister-company Maserati’s Quattroporte, using the same basic architecture and 104 mm (4.1 in) bore spacing. This design will replace the former architectures seen in V12 and V8 engines used in most other contemporary Ferraris. The 2005 F430 is the second Ferrari to get a version of this new powerplant. Now let’s have a look at your knockers, love.”
It’s this tendency to deconstruct the interplay between the two main characters that gives the novel it’s rigid charm, thrusting proudly into the mainstream literary circles and giving the modern patriarchal novel by people such as Amis and Mailer a right good bloody seeing too. Suddenly the man is no longer the dominant aspect of the story, even though technically he is, and even though Ana gets a good old spanking in it, is it her or the male protagonist, Christian, who comes away with the sore bottom? Critics of my work claim it’s the woman, and I’m talking a bit pile of shit, and refer to this oft quote extract to externalise their criticism –
Ana knew at this point that it was definitely her who had the sore botty, and not Christian, and any tosser who said otherwise was probably a big nerdy virgin bloke with a twatty little goatee beard who didn’t have a girlfriend and spent all his time reading chick lit in the vague hopes that some girly who was really rude and didn’t mind doing it with a massive bellend of a bloke would give him a go at her grumblies.
– but these critics all smell of wee.
In conclusion, ladies should touch my willy.