Fifty Shades risks demonising healthy bondage enthusiasts

Comment

Opinion Digest: That book... and why Andy Murray's detractors should be ashamed of themselves

LAST UPDATED AT 10:34 ON Mon 9 Jul 2012

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BONDAGE FANS DON'T HAVE A SCREW LOOSE
PAMELA STEPHENSON ON FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
Clinical psychologist Pamela Stephenson read the Fifty Shades of Grey erotic novel trilogy in a single sitting but found the sex boring and repetitive. Writing in The Guardian, she fears not only will EL James's bestseller lead women to "aspire to undesirable – and frankly unattainable – goals, such as simultaneous orgasm" but it could also cause those with a fetish for bondage to be "discriminated against – losing children, property and jobs". The male protagonist, Christian, is a "cold-hearted sexual predator" and James suggests that his interest in BDSM (bondage, domination and sado-masochism) stems from psychological sickness. In fact, as Connelly herself demonstrated in research she conducted a decade ago, BDSM practitioners are not generally mentally unhealthy – nor is there a link to their having been abused in childhood.

ALL BRITS SHOULD HAVE BACKED MURRAY
MICHAEL DEACON ON THE WIMBLEDON FINAL
We knew Andy Murray would lose to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final yesterday, says Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph, but this was "as proud a defeat as defeat can get". Throughout, Murray played with doggedness, determination and skill. Hopefully, his British detractors will now be ashamed of themselves. For, going by Twitter, some Brits were backing the Swiss player - which makes you wonder "what the reaction on social media would be if the Third World War broke out tomorrow?" No doubt a sizeable minority would back the enemy. So why do some Brits not like Murray? They say he "appears insufficiently cheerful". Well, here's "a small fact" to remember: "When Murray was an eight-year-old pupil at primary school in Dunblane, 16 of his schoolfriends were shot dead by Thomas Hamilton."

NOT THE TIME TO VOTE ON EUROPE
BILL EMMOTT ON AN EU REFERENDUM
Should wed have a national referendum on our membership of the EU? Bill Emmott in The Times points out that those opposed to our membership say we need a vote because the EU is threatening our sovereignty – and because the last such poll, in 1975, was only on membership of the Common Market. But the antis are wrong on both counts. First, successive governments have already handed over pieces of our sovereignty to many other international organisations – Nato, the UN,  the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF – without a sniff of a referendum. Second, the EU is a common market – that's what the "vast bulk" of its activities and directives are about. So: "All the real issues are about degree, not kind." Which is why "it would be especially pointless to have a vote soon" when the nature of the Eurozone is in such a state of flux.

BRITAIN STILL NEEDS RISK-TAKING BANKERS
BORIS JOHNSON ON THE BARCLAYS SCANDAL
 "It is time for British politicians say it loud and clear and in unison: we need bankers, my friends!" writes Boris Johnson in The Daily Telegraph. He claims it is time "to stop slagging off a sector that is utterly crucial to the British economy". While acknowledging the need to punish anyone involved in a criminal conspiracy to fix Libor, he writes that a strong banking sector populated by people who are willing to take risks is essential for Britain's recovery. He warns over-regulation will cause banks to become too cautious, affecting investment in other areas. He says their capital is essential to government revenues and investment in Britain's cultural landscape. Responding to a suggestion that it is embarrassing to have Barclays funding London's bicycle sharing sheme, Johnson retorts "If they give us another £50 million I will change my name to Barclays Johnson." · 

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