My husband and I were at a small art fair this weekend selling our books. A woman stopped at our table and mentioned—rather passionately—that she abhorred 50 Shades of Grey (she had read the first two books). She was concerned about the lack of consensual sex in 50 Shades and at least to me, in the first book it was clearly 100% Anastasia’s decision (I haven’t read the other two). Grey placed all his cards on the table in FSOG and Ana knew what she was getting into.
Some reviewers of my dark, erotic, suspense My Body Trilogy have said the sex between Jane, the protagonist in the story, and Luke was non-consensual. I adamantly disagree. Just because people make bad decisions, doesn’t negate their responsibility for those choices or remove their ability to make better ones.
The woman also said that we are wrongly, as women, given the message that we can change a man for the better as long as we love hard enough and if the relationship is a failure it’s because we (women) didn’t try hard enough. That was not a notion I took from my childhood. Honestly, I looked around as a kid and thought no one had love figured out. I had no role models for a healthy relationship, but sometimes seeing it done badly is a lesson in itself. I certainly knew what I DIDN’T want.
Sure, there are plenty situations where we have limited or no choice, especially as a child, but as an adult our lives are under OUR control.
In my opinion, believing that we don’t have a choice is the flawed thinking. People who don’t believe they have the power to choose don’t effect change to make their situation better. I know a lot of people like this.
If you have been following my blog then you know I’m of the ilk that believes my happiness is up to me. If I’m stressed or unhappy then I can only look at myself and my choices. Because I take responsibility for them, I can exact change.
As a writer, I want my characters to reflect the power of choice in their lives. I want the struggles to be as realistic as possible and the outcome to reflect a possible reality.
Those who believe they are responsible for what they do and which way they turn have the power to change—change themselves, change their circumstance, change their minds. This is how we evolve as individuals. I’m not saying life or change is easy, but it is your choice.
Your power to choose is the greatest power you have. Use it wisely.