Commenter SomethingToSay argues that the immense success of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise is hardly surprising from a Darwinian viewpoint:
What do women want? Let’s look at their sexual fantasies. In my long years, I’ve known large numbers of women with drawers and e-readers full of “romance novels”. The story lines and characterizations are generally all the same. They are the Cinderella story recast:
There are one and more women between Cinderella and the Prince, who is handsome, charming, and has lots of money, status, and power. Cinderella acts to remove the female competition between her and the Prince so that she can take her rightful place as the Princess of the realm. The story line is generally consumed by scenes of females going at each other as they compete for the Alpha Male. The “bodice ripping” at the end of the chapters are thinly veiled rape fantasies. The Prince eventually finds Cinderella so “hot” that he cannot control himself. His lack of control excites her … because, it represents her final victory over the female competition who are unable to drive the Prince to sexual frenzy. The final scene fades as Cinderella takes her rightful place on the throne next to the Prince. Cinderella and the Prince live happily ever after.
What do little girls (in waiting) want? It appears to be much the same, given the success of the Princess movies and the paraphernalia in the Princess Industry.
The feminist assumption of female solidarity appears to be more of a lesbian fantasy than a characteristic of the real world.