Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Women aren’t losing plot over Fifty Shade ...

I’ve spent the last two weeks travelling across France and Spain, but I still couldn’t get away from Fifty Shades of Grey.

There it was on the beaches of Biarritz, on the rickety train through the Pyrenees, in the cafe of the Bilboa Guggenheim.

Women of all ages had their noses in it, in a totally unembarrassed way which struck me as newly emboldened, even in the post-liberation 2010s.

There appeared to be no concern about attracting teenage giggles or male leers — the book has become part of the boring old furniture in a way no one could have predicted just a few months ago.

However, of the small number of women I actually chatted to about it, all but one said they were starting to skip the repetitive “erotica” passages and were reading on to find out what happened to the characters.

There may be no neater summation of the different attitudes men and women have to sex.

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