"Fifty Shades of Grey": The luxury branding of domestic abuse

Ana doesn’t just like nice things as a background to her life, a reward for working hard and succeeding at her career. Being given nice things is her life—whether it’s cash, cars or, yes, overwrought-adjective-laden orgasms, Christian is constantly giving Ana stuff in return for having the right to control her life and make her “his” (to the point of demanding with shocking insistence and petulance that she change her maiden name once they get married).

When Anastasia makes a token effort at not being totally financially dependent on a man by finally getting an actual decent job on her own at the end of Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker reveals Christian going into full-on stalker mode and buying the company she works at.

Why? Because in his jealousy-addled mind, her financial independence is an illusion and her supposed job is just a way for the boss of her company to buy her as a sex toy.

And this is the kind of book where the crazy stalker logic turns out to be true, and Ana’s boss Jack turns out to be a mustache-twirling villain, and Ana’s attempt at having her own career turns out to be as symbolically disastrous as it was in Die Hard (let go of the watch, Holly!), and the choice turns out to never have been between slavery and freedom but between Good Master and Bad Master.