San Jose California: A woman’s rights and anti-abuse groups here admitted last night that it is behind the popular sexual thriller “50 Shades of Gray.” Although it expects some backlash from the announcement, Norma Greyson, the group’s president said she is happy with the impact that the publication has had and is very excited about the social media attention which has been focused on violence and masochism directed against women in the lead-up to the book’s release as a major motion picture.
“Sometimes you have to talk about these things to really bring awareness to them,” Noted Greyson. Her group, Women’s Federation Against Violence and Domestic Abuse (WFAVDA) launched an exploratory campaign in early 2011 to bring attention to issues relating to female sexual abuse, a campaign that led them to amateur British Author E.L James and a rather slight erotica novel she had recently attempted to self publish.
“James’s work was really very disturbing.” Said Greyson, “We looked at it, and thought, you know what, people are going to be able to write nasty facebook comments and publish endless blog posts about this that bring attention to issues of female violence, and that is exactly the kind of social media campaign our movement needs.”
The problem was that James’s book was languishing in a self-published netherworld and showed absolutely no signs of being picked up by mainstream culture. WFAVDA begin to solicit donors and publishers to help get the book into the mainstream, and even participated in an undercover social media campaign to push the books popularity.
Greyson contacted longtime friend and WFAVDA donor Gina Centrello, president and head publisher at Random House, and Centrello agreed to publish the book under the company’s “Vintage Books” Label.
“I’ve always been a big supporter of Women’s rights, and have wanted to do something really meaningful to bring attention to abuse and violence against women that is so prevalent in our culture,” says Centrello. Adding that the publication of “50 Shades of Grey” is probably the most meaningful and important decision she will ever make in her life.
Always one to look ahead Greyson sees “50 Shades of Grey” as merely the first step in a long campaign. “We have more books to publish, more awareness to bring to this subject, it’s a long fight, and the success of this book in bringing these issues to the forefront is very exciting and invigorating for us. This is probably the most attention domestic violence has received in all of recorded human history.”
Greyson encourages those excited by her work to donate directly to WFAVDA.