Another week has come to a close, and this week left me wondering about the state of many people’s minds. The big news this week is that the controversial film Fifty Shades of Grey is finally hitting the cineplexes. While dozens of women are flocking to the cinemas to check out the film based on the E.L. James, all this journalist can say is, “No, Mr. Grey, I won’t be seeing you.”
As someone who has read the entire Fifty Shades trilogy (yes, I jumped on the bandwagon, and yes, it wasn’t my finest hour), I first and foremost say this: If any woman I know comes out and says they want a Christian/Ana type of love, I can’t be her friend. The books, at best, are a cautionary tale. It’s the ultimate DON’T guide for establishing what constitutes a healthy relationship.
One who is fond of the series might say that I’m being judgmental about the whole bondage/kinky sex aspect but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The BDSM aspect doesn’t bother me. I studied it in college. It’s the other stuff that happens, the emotional manipulation, which is abuse in this woman’s eyes. It’s totally every woman’s dream to be stalked down by the man she loves, manipulated/coerced into giving up her free will, and being stripped of choices, right?
Luckily for me, I am not alone in my thinking. I opened up this week’s letter to my other editors here at 4YE, and this is what some of them shared with me.
Becky Fuller – Executive Editor
I have a daughter. I want her to grow up to know anything is possible. I want her to be strong, independent and capable of thinking and acting for herself. I do not ever want her to think that it is okay for a partner to abuse her. To make her dress how they demand, behave in the way they say or to comply with sexual acts which debase, degrade and humiliate her. I want her to know she is a person, with valid thoughts and feelings,and I want her to know that NO MEANS NO.
I have two sons. I want them to know that you treat women with respect and courtesy. I want them to understand that you never use other people’s weaknesses to exploit them or to gain control. I want them to treat all sexual partners with decency and to honour them. I want them to know that NO MEANS NO.
50 Shades glorifies abuse, plain and simple. It teaches audiences that it is okay to shame women, to treat them as second class citizens and that it’s okay for a man to take control, not just in the bedroom.,but in all areas of her life. Christian Grey exploits women for his own gratification and personal gain, and that is never, and will never be, okay.
Melissa LoParco – Senior Features Editor
No, I have not read 50 Shades of Grey. No, I will not watch the movie. No, I will never reconsider.
No, it isn’t because the books are horribly written (though that is definitely up there).
No, it isn’t because of the BDSM nature of the book because yes, I have done my research and know that the books don’t give a proper representation of it.
I won’t be watching or reading this series because it glamorizes and romanticizes an abusive relationship and I won’t compromise my morals to ‘see what the hype is about.’
I won’t be seeing this because you shouldn’t be terrified to do something not up to the “expectations” of your significant other because there is an underlying threat that he could hurt you.
I won’t be seeing this because when someone says no it means no not that the person is “over thinking” something.
I won’t shame you if you do watch and or read this story, but I do encourage you to try and not be manipulated by the ‘love story’ presented to you and see that it doesn’t, in any way, represent a healthy relationship.
Bec Heim- Senior Editor
This was a Twilight AU BDSM fanfic that had the names changed around to be a novel. It ignores the tenants (aftercare, respect of the safe word being the two major sins) of a healthy relationship within the BDSM community. Christian Grey is a stalker and a abuser of the highest order. What he says to Ana and does to her is abuse and psychological torture. It is not romantic or sweet or anything of the like, this is a terrible and domineering man tormenting someone. This is not a good relationship in any sense of the word. And as a person who fully supports people’s decisions to do whatever makes them happy, it sickens me that this has become popular. It preys on misconceptions of an entire community (BDSM), makes fanfic writers and readers look terrible, and, worst of all, makes this abuse okay.It is never okay to be with someone like Christian Grey. He is not someone that you should want anyone you care about to be with. And it terrifies me that a lot of people seem to hold him up as this perfect man, it really does.
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