Skip to comments.To the Christians who think 50 Shades is all sorts of awesome: Please, stop and THINK
Posted on 07/31/2014 1:54:53 PM PDT by Morgana
Its pretty depressing when you realize that, in 2014, many people seem to think that destruction of human dignity is a small price to pay for an orgasm.
I suppose when I write a column about a book that just sold its 100 millionth copy I shouldnt be surprised when I get a bit of a kickback. But I have to sayI wasnt expecting hundreds of commenters, many saying they were Christian, to come out loudly defending the porn novel 50 Shades of Grey, often tastelessly interspersed with details from their own sex lives.
People squawked that we shouldnt judge those who practice bondage, domination, sadism and masochism (BDSM), and informed me that no one gets hurt and that it isnt abuse and said that it was just fantasy (as if we have a separate brain and body for fantasy).
Meanwhile, not a single commenter addressed one of the main arguments I laid outthat with boys watching violent porn and girls being socialized to accept violence and torture inside of a sexual relationship, we have created a toxic situation in which people very much are being hurt.
In response to the defenders of this trash, let me make just a few points.
Not all consent is equal.
People keep trumpeting this stupid idea that just because someone consents to something or allows something to happen, it isnt abusive.
But if someone consents to being beaten up, punched, slapped, whipped, called disgusting and degrading names, and have other things done to them that I will choose not to describe here, does that make it any less abusive? It makes it legal (perhaps, but it certainly doesnt make it any less disgusting or violent.
Anyone who works with victims of domestic and sexual assault will tell you that just because someone permits something to happen or doesnt extricate themselves from a situation doesnt mean it isnt, in fact, abuse. Only when it comes to sex are people starting to make this argument, so that they can cling to their fetishes and justify their turn-ons. Those women who defend the book because they think it spiced up their sex life are being incredibly selfish and negligent, refusing to think about how this book could affect other women in different situations, as well as young and impressionable girls. Advertisement
In the words of renowned porn researcher and sociologist Dr. Gail Dines:
In his book on batterers, Lundy Bancroft provides a list of potentially dangerous signs to watch out for from boyfriends. Needless to say, Christian [Grey of 50 Shades of Grey] is the poster boy of the list, not only with his jealous, controlling, stalking, sexually sadistic behavior, but his hypersensitivity to what he perceives as any slight against him, his whirlwind romancing of a younger, less powerful woman, and his Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings. Any one of these is potentially dangerous, but a man who exhibits them all is lethal.
The most likely real-world ending of Fifty Shades of Grey is fifty shades of black and blue. The awful truth in the real world is that women who partner with a Christian Grey often end up hightailing it to a battered women's shelter with traumatized kids in tow. The less fortunate end up in graveyards.
50 Shades of Grey normalizes intimate partner violence
and sickeningly, even portrays it as romantic and erotic. Amy Bonomi, Lauren Altenburger, and Nicole Walton published an article on the impact of 50 Shades last year in the Journal of Womens Health. Their conclusions are intuitive and horrifying:
While intimate partner violence (IPV) affects 25% of women and impairs health, current societal conditionsincluding the normalization of abuse in popular culture such as novels, film, and musiccreate the context to support such violence.
Emotional abuse is present in nearly every interaction, including: stalking (Christian deliberately follows Anastasia and appears in unusual places, uses a phone and computer to track Anastasias whereabouts, and delivers expensive gifts); intimidation (Christian uses intimidating verbal and nonverbal behaviors, such as routinely commanding Anastasia to eat and threatening to punish her); and isolation (Christian limits Anastasias social contact). Sexual violence is pervasiveincluding using alcohol to compromise Anastasias consent, as well as intimidation (Christian initiates sexual encounters when genuinely angry, dismisses Anastasias requests for boundaries, and threatens her). Anastasia experiences reactions typical of abused women, including: constant perceived threat (my stomach churns from his threats); altered identity (describes herself as a pale, haunted ghost); and stressful managing (engages in behaviors to keep the peace, such as withholding information about her social whereabouts to avoid Christians anger). Anastasia becomes disempowered and entrapped in the relationship as her behaviors become mechanized in response to Christians abuse.
Our analysis identified patterns in Fifty Shades that reflect pervasive intimate partner violenceone of the biggest problems of our time. Further, our analysis adds to a growing body of literature noting dangerous violence standards being perpetuated in popular culture.
I notice that commenters rarely break down what the acronym BDSM actually stands for: bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. If they did, they could no longer make the repulsive claim that love or intimacy have anything to do with it.
The definition of sadism is enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain, especially sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone a sexual perversion in which gratification is obtained by the infliction of physical or mental pain on others.
As one of my colleagues noted, we used to send sadists to a therapist or to prison, not to the bedroom. And 100 million copies of this porn novel have been unleashed on our society informing people that getting off on hurting someone is romantic and erotic. It is a brutal irony that people who scream about water-boarding terrorists are watching and experimenting with sexual practices far more brutal. As one porn researcher noted, some online BDSM porn promotes practices and behaviors that would be considered unlawful under the Geneva Convention if they were taking place in a wartime context.
It seems the Sexual Revolutionaries have gone from promoting safe sex to safe wordsjust in case the pain gets too rough. And none of them seem to be volunteering information on just how a woman is supposed to employ a safe word with a gag or bondage headgear on.
But who cares, right? Just one more casualty on our cultures new Sexual Frontier.
Its just fiction and fantasy and has no effect on the real world!
Thats total garbage and they know it. Ive met multiple girls who were abused like this inside of relationships. Hotels are offering 50 Shades of Grey packages replete with the helicopter and private suites for the proceedings. According to the New York Post, sales of rope exploded tenfold after the release of the book. Babeland reported that visits to the bondage section of their website spiked 81%, with an almost 30% increase in the sale of things like riding crops and handcuffs.
I could go on, but I wont. As Babeland co-founder Claire Cavanah noted, Its like a juggernaut. Youd be surprised to see how very ordinary these people are who are coming in. The book is just an explosion of permission for them to try something new in the bedroom.
What does this book and the BDSM movement say about the value of women and girls?
Id like the defenders of this book to try stop thinking with their nether-regions for just a moment and ask themselves a few simple questions: What does sadism and sexual torture (consensual or not) say to our culture about the value of girls? What does it say to boys about how they should treat girls? The youth of today are inundated with porn and sexually violent materialis nobodynobodyat all worried about the impact this has on them? On the girls who are being abused by boys who think this is normal behaviorand think it is normal themselves?
Dr. Gail Dines relates that when speaking to groups of women who loved the book, they all grow deathly silent when she asks them two simple questions: Would you want your daughter to be in a relationship with Christian Grey? Would you want your son to turn into Christian Grey?
If the answer is yes to either of those, someone should call social services.
This book and the sadism it promotes are an assault on human dignity, and most of all an assault on the worth and value of girls and women. Please consider the impact you will have on your daughters and the vulnerable and confused people around you when you read and promote this book. Anastasia Steele is, thankfully, a fictional character. But real girls are facing these expectations and demands from a culture that elevates a sexual sadist to the level of a romantic hero. Ask yourselves if you want their love and intimacy to include sadism and domination, or real respect.
Because you cant have both.
100 million copies? GOOD LORD!!!!
Yea it’s on the best seller list. I have no idea why. There is not a sodium bicarbonate strong enough for me to handle that book.
As one who has been on dating websites fairly recently, you wouldn’t believe how many women list that book on their profiles as a favorite.
They’re doing a film adaptation, so it will be even more in our faces next year when it’s released.
I haven’t read these books because even what I have read about them has been disgusting. My daughter abandoned a book club that wanted to read one after she took a look at it.
I didn’t realize that the evil person’s name was “Christian.” Wow, how cute is that.
There’s no way anybody Christian should be reading stuff about degradation and submission and torture.
Christ has made us free; Islam enslaves. Maybe these ladies would really be happier in an Islamic book club, where they can read about the joys of brutal mistreatment of women.
Leftist wymmin seem to enjoy defending Mohammadanism. Quite telling.
If we’ve decided that LBGT relationships are none of our business we have absolutely no justification getting in the way of someone elses adult consensual BDSM relationship just because we think its weird and creepy. Frankly most of the anger toward these books is from puritanical feminists who feel every single woman, even all the fictional ones must behave like their idea of an assertive brash dominant ‘real woman’.
“I didnt realize that the evil persons name was Christian. Wow, how cute is that.”
It’s not how cute that is but how deliberate that is.
The reality is that the whole concept behind this movie is banal and pathetic. Hollywood would never show a truly controversial movie about sex. So you get this nonsense that is silly in its attempts to be suggestive. They did it back in the 1990s with Exit to Eden. Does anyone remember that laughable bomb. It was so bad that it wasn't even unintentionally funny.
The right reaction to these types of movies that hype sexual “edginess” is to call them out as pathetic attempts to market something that isn't there. There is nothing liberating about what the book describes and the movie suggests. Its just boring once the titillation wears off. But for the brief moment that the titillation exists, they are going to try to sucker the public into paying to see it.
From everything I have read it is very badly written rape fantasy and the main character might as well be a child she is so immature. Maybe that is the point.
Isn’t this just another “The Story of O” but with worse writing?
“Frankly most of the anger toward these books is from puritanical feminists who feel every single woman, even all the fictional ones must behave like their idea of an assertive brash dominant real woman.”
False. Not sure where you made that one up but I assure you, it is grossly incorrect.
Neither my friends or myself are ‘puritanical feminists’ and we all see this ‘story’ as weak and pathetic and NOT because of how we believe real woman should behave. It has to do with common sense and dignity. Nobody gives a flip what you do in your bedroom, we do give a care that such idiotic stories like this land in the hands of very young women.
Read the book, get back to me. The author writes like a 12 year old.
I have no desire to read this porn novel, but I did read Dave Barry’s humorous review of it where he essentially rips the book to shreds: http://time.com/3030375/dave-barry-50-shades-of-grey/
At this site which discusses body language, the expert discusses the actor’s portrayal of the main character whom he describes as a sociopath: http://www.bodylanguagesuccess.com/2014/07/nonverbal-communication-analysis-2895.html
Had no idea what book was about. First time I heard of it was 2 years ago and some wit had referred to 50 Shades of Mitt Romney....and they’re all white. Yuck,yuck. Nothing worse than being white.
Now excuse me, didn't we just experience the Clinton-Lewinsky fiasco?
Same thing, same raunchiness.
Not all books are meant to be empowering tales of virtuous role models for young people just like not all foods are meant as desserts and not all vehicles are meant to drive on the beach. FSG is red meat fantasy for certain women to get horny off of. Thats its purpose, of course you wouldn’t want to bring it into an elementary school classroom or a selfesteem seminar. And you know what? With all the other things we accept...beating each other to a pulp in the ring drinking our guts out and people sawing off their private parts whats so bad about some women are allowed have their fantasies? If you want to protest against moral laxity in general fine, but FSG shouldn’t be the 1000th thing on your list to single out. Oh and don’t fool yourself, feminists are the ones leading the charge against this since they can’t stand that even one single fictitious woman doesn’t behave ‘properly’.
The “book” is based on fan-fic. Fan-fic sites allow users to collaborate on writing more episodes to series which they follow. For example, fans of Twilight wanted more of Edward and Bella after the movies ended so they create Fan-Fic episodes which they all write together but, given the copy right issues with Twilight,they changed the names and settings of the Twilight series from Bella/Edward to NY Billionaire and Christian etc. And so talentless groups of people got together to continue their fantasies. And someone in publishing came along and, realizing that fan-fic was not copyrighted, collected the postings from the website and had it professionally edited and marketed. So the “author” didn’t actually write this...stuff...but collected it and sold it. Obsessed fans worked together to spit up this “gem” of literary success.
To all those who post before they read for context, I think the 100 million number is attributed to sales of the Bible, the best-selling ‘book’ of all time.