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Should a 13 year old girl be allowed to read 50 Shades of Grey?

(77 Posts)
Midwife99 Sat 14-Jul-12 13:17:02

My cousin has asked me to post a discussion in her behalf. She has 13 year old twin girls. One of them is very precocious & challenging in general & the latest source of conflict is that she wants to read my cousin's copy of 50 Shades & when my cousin said no & she has gone mental & says she is treated like a 2 year old & she will get it from somewhere else. I agree with my cousin that a 13 year old shouldn't be brainwashed into thinking sexual domination & controlling in relationships is ok & that in the end the "gorgeous billionaire" will marry you (after whipping you of course!) I think a 13 year should be reading about much positive female role models. What do you think?

TouTou Sat 14-Jul-12 14:51:33

...and genital clamps...

...and the wanton environmental damage from Grey fartarsing around in his helicopter just so he can spank some fally-downy lip-biting fool?

Midwife99 Sat 14-Jul-12 15:07:11

gringrin Tou Tou!!

cheesesarnie Sat 14-Jul-12 15:11:50

Another vote for judy blume.

Also agree with reading her a passage. i've not read it but sounds cringeworthy.

Maybe that'll teach your cousin to keep some decent books in the house rather than fifty shades of bored housewives on heatgrin

ivykaty44 Sat 14-Jul-12 15:18:15

tell her yes they should read it aloud together one page each all through the book, still at 13 reading aloud is important and this is a good chance to get some practice in, let them start tonight and let me know how it goes?

marriedinwhite Sat 14-Jul-12 15:19:36

I think the mother has it entirely wrong actually. There are no books in this house that either of us would forbid the children to read. There is, however, a wide variety of good classical and contemporary literature from which the children can help themselves, including the odd crass Jackie Collins and Atonement.

Our 14 year old is an avid reader. She though Twilight was rubbish and didn't read more than a chapter or two. She has also borrowed a copy of 50 Shades from a friend. She has talked to me about it and having read two chapters had laughed about it and told me not to bother because it is so badly written, worse than Twilight, that it is an ubearable read. I am exceptionally proud of both her good taste and her honesty.

HermioneE Sat 14-Jul-12 15:32:55

Even if the 13 yo gets it from elsewhere at least she has got the message from her mum that it isn't appropriate reading. I think that makes a difference.

I don't think it would scar her for life if she got a copy from elsewhere though, she's old enough to know that just because something happens in a book doesn't mean it can/should/will happen in real life.

Greenbed Sat 14-Jul-12 15:36:09

Absolutely not I have been married twenty years and I am shocked by it.

LynetteScavo Sat 14-Jul-12 15:38:51

What HermioneE said.

cheesesarnie Sat 14-Jul-12 19:45:05

agree with hermione actually, ignore my previous post grin

ImperialBlether Sat 14-Jul-12 20:32:03

I would allow my daughter (when she was younger) to read anything that was in the house, but if I'd bought 50 Shades, I would have hidden it from her.

Of course it's not suitable for a 13 year old, but this girl sounds as though she's going to read it anyway. Whatever happened to doing things without telling your mum?

Is anyone else here old enough to remember the Skinhead books?

NoComet Sat 14-Jul-12 20:45:21

I strongly suspect my DD(14) shouldn't have sneaked game of Thrones out of the sixth form library either.

Shades of Grey sounds tripe and I'm not going to bother, but there are so many copies of it about she is sure to read it.

openerofjars Sat 14-Jul-12 21:18:41

I would have died if I'd thought my mum had read Forever or similar when I was 13. The thought of asking to borrow her smut, well, gosh. The nerve.

How about: "Sure, you can read it. But I'm going to read it, too. And then we are going to have a critical discussion about it at the dinner table. And I'll tell your grandmother you read it. And you know she'll want to know all about it, so you'll have to pass it on to her when you've finished reading it... I bet she calls you to chat about it."

That'll send her screaming back to Judy Blume. What the hell happened to sneaking around behind your parents' backs in search of filth? Kids today, I dunno.

QueenofPlaids Sat 14-Jul-12 21:21:20

Hrm, if her daughter is throwing a strop about it, then she clearly can't back down.

Having said that, more generally I would say 'it depends'.

I read some a lot of quite challenging porn novels at that age or shortly thereafter. Thing is though, they weren't the first novels I read where I encountered sex scenes or other adult material.

Like others I read James Herbert, crime novels etc. My father actually bought me a copy of Fanny Hill when I was about 14. He had no issues with my 'banned books' stage grin as he'd had one himself. I am now settled with my partner of 10 yrs, have a nice house and a good job smile

One thing I would say is that all my adult books were either historical, fantastical or specifically badged as horror. I do wonder if that helped at that age because none of the behaviour in the books was normal, so I doubt they normalised anything unhealthy, because very little in the books was 'normal for me'.

I've not read the Grey books, so can't comment specifically, but I believe they have a modern, morer plausible setting so that might be a bit more difficult.

AnyFucker Sat 14-Jul-12 21:21:40

fuck, no

FallenCaryatid Sat 14-Jul-12 21:25:03

'tell her yes they should read it aloud together one page each all through the book, still at 13 reading aloud is important and this is a good chance to get some practice in, let them start tonight and let me know how it goes?'

ivykaty, I have adopted a similar approach to other tricky areas. The cringe factor is very effective for so many things. grin

Annunziata Sat 14-Jul-12 21:29:26


seeker Sat 14-Jul-12 21:32:06

Nobody of any age should rad 50 Shades of Grey!

seeker Sat 14-Jul-12 21:34:28

But I don't think it's at all appropriate that if this child is going to read it, that her mother gives it to her.

skyebluesapphire Sat 14-Jul-12 21:36:02

I read Lace when I was about 13 after seeing the miniseries on the tv. There were some rude bits in it, my gran read it and told my mum that it was filth and that I shouldnt be reading it.......

I havent read 50 shades yet, the world and his mother are all reading it, so Im going against the crowd, lol. but will no doubt give in at some point and see what its all about

lisad123 Sat 14-Jul-12 21:40:17

Have to say I work with teenage parents or parents to be. We were discussing 50 shades of grey this week and general consensus is that it is a horrible book, which gives a view that sex is purely a male thing, woman are to do as your told and if you sign a piece of paper you are held to it. Most said they found it disturbing and demoralising. I couldn't have been prouder grin

In answer to your question, NO way! My older teens are pretty hard core and even they said its an appalling book and clearly written by a man wink

sashh Sun 15-Jul-12 03:28:31

What Romilly70 said.

Midwife99 Sun 15-Jul-12 08:10:59

Don't bother Skye - its a load of crap!

QOD Sun 15-Jul-12 08:22:36

Nope, no way. I read the Confessions Of series at 11, sneakily, staying with parents friends while our new house was renovated, and that was TAME compared to 50 shades. It's not the sexual content, it's the domination, the acceptance of pain within some sex, at 13 this should not be anything you're aware of.
By the way, I was about 14 before I discovered what "I ran my fingers through her moist public hair" actually meant. I thought EVERY SINGLE woman had a greasy head of hair.
Most confusing .... Imagine trying to work out the whole anal fisting thing (I know she took it off the list but it's still mentioned)

I am a voracious reader, yes I have read book one, out of curiosity, it was ok, but I am in my 40's and unshockable. My 13 yr old DD has absolutely not one single clue that anus's can be a sexual area, and I'd like it to remain that way until she is at least of a legal age for sex.

ColouringIn Sun 15-Jul-12 08:26:43

No way, I'd hate an impressionabke teenager to read this and think that it depicts love. The relationship is an SM one which on it's own is not the issue, it's the behaviour of the dominant that is worrying. He shows stalking type behaviour which is accepted by the female character as a sign of his love for her. Seriously creepy in fact and I have told all my female nieces old enough to read such rubbish that any man who acts like this character is probaboly a serial killer and they should avoid him grin. The eldest niece told me to "credit me with more taste Auntie - I wouldn't bother with such a rubbish book".

SoupDragon Sun 15-Jul-12 08:27:18

Dear god no! I think the sex content in it is highly inappropriate for a 13 year old. The crapness of the writing [meh] they need to learn to sort the wheat from the chaff at some point.

If she sneaks off and reads it..? Well you can't stop that can you?

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