Amanda Knox's Memoir Is Not The Next "50 Shades of Grey": Sleazy Coverage Masks Real Story, Again

"Waiting to be Heard"

From the very beginning, the tabloids dubbed Amanda Knox (who was twenty at the time of her arrest) "Foxy Knoxy." Last year, lad mag Maxim, even awarded her the dubious honor of being on their "Hot List" of the world's sexiest women. Her new book, Waiting to Be Heard, which includes a frank discussion of the fact that she had casual sexual encounters as an exchange student in Italy (as well as smoked pot), has once again tweaked the libidos of the press who are treating it less as a tale of destroyed youth and entrapment in a terrifying web of judicial incompetence and more as the next installment of "50 Shades of Gray."

Knox was arrested in 2007 (along with her Italian boyfriend) for the sexual assault and murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy. Prosecutors portrayed the incident as a botched Satanic sex ritual. She was convicted in 2009, and her sentence was overturned in 2011—only to be reversed in late March this year. Her own account of the events was released today.

"Plenty of Sex, Marijuana in Italy Study Abroad" drools the headline of the New York Daily News's review of what it calls her "steamy memoir." Never mind the book also chronicles Knox's labyrinthine trial, four years of imprisonment in a strange country, her love of the Beatles, sexual harassment by her prison guards, and her contemplation of suicide. ""I felt like after crawling through a field of barbed wire and finally reaching what I thought was the end, it just turned out that it was the horizon," Knox told Diane Sawyer of the ongoing ordeal in an interview that will be aired tonight. "And I had another field of barbed wire that I had ahead of me to crawl through."

Slate points out that even the highbrow New Yorker Magazine back-handedly judges Knox for being a sexual young woman who should have been able to "say no" to "contemporary pressures" while at the same time condemning her "slut shaming" by other media outlets. "Most women who have a few one-night stands don't end up…embroiled in internationally publicized murder trials, like Amanda Knox," writes Slate blogger Jessica Grose, "In fact, if none of this had ever happened, I imagine that Knox would have looked back on her Italian bed hopping as fun jaunt, instead of a life-altering nightmare."

Would the media have been as titillated by her alleged offense, trial, and now memoir if she weren't a young photogenic female? We may never know the true story of the Amanda Knox ordeal, but one thing is for sure: she was damned for the crime of being both sexually active and a woman.