I am going to tell you why I won’t be going to see that movie, and it’s more than just “I’m poor,” “I have better things to do,” or “Jamie Dornan isn’t hot” (because we all know that’s not true).
It’s funny it’s coming out on Valentine’s Day because this isn’t a romantic, intimate movie about love. It’s a movie about a twisted view of sex and abuse. And that is not okay for many reasons.
Last Thursday, I watched a Today show bit where Hoda and Kathie Lee interviewed elusive British author E. L. James on how she started writing the novel. They praised her because she wrote it during a mid-life crisis. It was also originally Twilight fan fiction that she self-published before it got discovered. A few reasons why I probably wouldn’t like it either way.
I remember when the book first came out. I was working as a cashier at a very busy Super Target, and I could have sworn 80% of women between the ages of 20 and 40 were purchasing this book. I had no idea what it was about, so naturally I turned to the internet and Wikipedia, where I found the book described as “mommy porn” and was horrified to read this sentence: “[Fifty Shades] is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM)” (Wikipedia).
Slow. Down. Think about this for yourself.
Religious convictions aside, is that really something you want to and should be reading, supporting, and now watching?
No it is not. Erotic fiction sounds and is nothing short of a form of pornography. It may be “different than porn,” and it may be what many women are tempted by because we are generally emotional/intimate beings rather than visual like men. But there’s no justifying it. Despite what the world may say, erotica and porn are harmful. They are harmful to yourself and they are especially harmful to relationships and marriages. And they are harmful to many, many others, BDSM aside!
I am aware that everyone believes different things about sexuality and sex itself. I am aware that I have not made this exclusively a Christian blog or blog for primarily believers. But regardless of my faith and biblical beliefs, I find it disturbing that our culture has accepted and praised this book so readily. And it honestly makes me wary of the future because this will inevitably spark more novels, books, and media about BDSM and other erotic fiction to be embraced widely.
Seems a little bit like our culture can’t make up it’s mind. Do we want to empower, or do we want to abuse? Each gets to decide.
As a feminist, I am not okay with this. As a believer, I am not okay with this. As a woman, I am not okay with this, with the plot, only about “a cold and sadistic millionaire and his seduction of a young, innocent girl into a world of sadomasochistic sex” (from Fight the New Drug’s article on why it’s wrong). I’m not going to get into more of the book, but you get the picture.
I simply want to say that I will not be supporting Fifty Shades, ever, and I want everyone, especially around my age, to be aware of the harm erotica causes. I am passionate about sexual issues like how porn is harmful to men and relationships, bringing awareness about sexual abuse (towards women and men), and ending sexual slavery. Abuse is a real thing, and BSDM is never okay and only fosters abuse down the road! This erotica only feeds sex industries and these problems, and I want no part of that.
Can’t we see how this all is related? Be aware of the small decisions you are making that are part of a bigger, more sinister purpose.
I don’t want to offend those of you who have read it, nor am I judging you and trying to make you feel bad. I just want everyone to think about this and not just be okay with it because our culture suddenly tells us we should.
I could back up much of what I’m saying with research, links, and studies, but many other bloggers are writing about this currently who know more about why this is emotionally, psychologically, and relationally harmful to you. Everyone has a different view on why the movie/book is harmful, and everyone is saying their opinion well.
I’m glad people are talking about this, because honestly the Church needs to be more vocal about issues like this and helping those who have already been affected by it.
Please think about those who are harmed by erotica/abuse before you think about seeing this movie.
See these recommended-by-me links for more information on bringing awareness to the harm of Fifty Shades, told by several different perspectives:
A Black and White Choice Not to Read Fifty Shades of Grey (7 Reasons Not to Read Fifty Shades)
50 Shades is Bad for Your Marriage (mainly for women)