The 'Fifty Shades of Grey' author had a Twitter chat. It went off the rails BIG TIME.

#AskELJames is the hashtag. They might have seen this coming.

The 'Fifty Shades of Grey' author had a Twitter chat. It went off the rails BIG TIME.

Here's the thing: No matter how you feel about BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism), most domestic abuse survivors and fetishists agree that what author E.L. James put out into the world with "Fifty Shades of Grey" is not an accurate description of it. Ever since the books have become popular, both camps have been outspoken about the fact that it more closely resembles domestic abuse than fair role-playing.

Here's how people made that point using today's prime Twitter-tunity.

There were concerned friends asking for other friends:

There were people who took their time to craft just the right thing:

There were people seeking guidance after her "model" didn't work so well for them:

There were people searching for a sign of deeper meaning:

There were earnest, straightforward types with damn good questions:

There was pop culture cross-pollination:

There were call-outs about the times fiction turned into horrific reality:

There were the folks feeling empathy for E.L. James' PR people:

Finally, there was the question that drove home the point of the backlash and the brilliant irony of it all:

All of this points to readers who, like Christian Grey, have very singular tastes — you know, for responsible literature that doesn't romanticize abuse when it gets kinky. Let's hope the publishers and authors are listening.


If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.