Monday, November 9, 2015

50 Shades of Black and Blue

I know that I'm a little late on this with domestic violence awareness month having come and gone in October, but I still wanted to address something that I told myself I was going to stay away from commenting about this whole 50 Shades of Grey movie that was released some time this year. Everywhere I turned, I saw commercials, social media posts, and news commentaries about the overnight success of this supposed, runaway hit, which was equated to that of Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal, and other raunchy flicks. Recently, I saw 50 Shades promoted on Redbox when I made a pit stop to my local grocery store. Something about the way it was displayed really irked me, and I simply couldn't understand its allure to the film. 

The reviews lump this type of literature into one simple genre: Mommie Porn. The books are riddled with a young woman's apparent eye-opening and enlightening experience with BDSM upon getting involved with a very powerful and wealthy man Christian Grey. Some in the media have even gone so far as calling it empowering for women. Umm...what? Quite frankly, I JUST. Dont. GET it, ladies. 

There is no denying that sadomasochism has been around forever, even before the Marquis De Sade popularized it. But what I don't understand is that while we have thousands of women suffering under the domineering hand of sexual exploitation and abuse worldwide, we are, as a society, contributing to encouraging this type of behavior by romanticizing and glamorizing violence against women. Unfortunately, many young vulnerable teenage girls are sipping the 50 Shades of Grey kool-aid, believing these types of relationships are healthy. That can lead to a very dangerous road towards toxic relationships.

If you have daughters reaching their teens, I highly encourage you to read with them, Lundy Bancroft's book, "Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men." He details many of the characteristics exhibited by Christian Grey that are indicative of your classic, emotional physical abusers, such as: threats, isolation, intimidation, stalking, humiliation, and pressure. In real life, this is not a book of consent. Most Anastasias of today don't survive a Christian Grey character. Many of them end up in battered shelters, or worse, dead.  

The underlying reality of this novel seems to detail a grooming process that takes place by a typical abuser who preys upon vulnerable women like Anastasia, hence leading to a relationship that would eventually lead to abuse, had this been the real world. 

While I don't believe in censorship, I do believe in making our children literate to a better understanding about what it takes to value themselves enough so that they are not so easily swayed by the current trends of a world that encourages violence against women. In my opinion, and you can take it for what it's worth, 50 Shades of Grey should've been titled, "Sleeping with the Enemy: The Prequel."

And that's all I'm going to say about that!


  1. A interesting and thought-provoking insight on the book of 50 Shades of Grey. I never read the 50 Shades of Shades,or two sequels of it, because, I have no real interest reading the books. I agree with your insightful take on the issue of domestic abuse.