Pat Robertson Reckons With ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

This is maybe the most delightful thing I have ever seen in my entire life: Pat Robertson discovering that some ladies like erotica through the world-conquering phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey:

First, there’s the way that he asks his co-host, “You’re a sweet Christian girl. Lady. Do you see anything in porn that attracts you at all?” I imagine his intention is to provide her an opportunity to reaffirm her chastity, to come across as a little shocked and maybe even innocent. But it comes across as awfully prurient.

And that position of shock and presumption of innocence and purity is actually more revealing than the idea that “A third of the millions of Americans who watch porn are women.” If Robertson is shocked that E.L. James “the author, kind of a little house-wifey type, who doesn’t look like a glamor queen…this woman is kind of like a housewife in some little town” thinks about sex, he must be almost wholly unacquainted with the prospect of female desire. If you can’t reckon with the idea that women crave, enjoy, and think about how to make sex better, it actually makes sense that you’d have a hard time understanding why contraceptive coverage is important to women, or why it’s important to us to have final decision-making authority over our own bodies. Doesn’t make that befuddlement admirable. But it does help make sense of at least a segment of the tide of weird that’s enveloped us over the last year. It would be nice if Robertson, a late convert to the idea that marijuana should be legal and regulated, could get up to speed on this kind of thing in his old age as well.