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Fifty Shades of Grey glorifying abusive relationship

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The highly-anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey movie comes out on Valentine’s Day, and the nation will be subjected to another dose of what happens when someone writes about something that they don’t quite understand.

For those who have not read the Fifty Shades series, the author E.L. James set out to write a fanfiction based on Twilight series’ main characters, Edward and Bella, engaging in a BDSM relationship, but eventually James changed the novel’s characters to Christian Grey and Anatasia Steele. Whatever the reasons for the change, James should have gone read the Wikipedia page for a bit of a research on BDSM before deciding to push forward with the novel and movie.

The droves of people interested in this movie are going to be exposed to an abusive relationship, and, like many other movies that have come out recently, are going to want to base their own relationships, views and ideals on this relationship.

Going back to taking a trip to the BDSM Wikipedia page, the starting point of any BDSM relationship is sane, safe and consensual. There is very little that is sane or safe about the relationship in the Fifty Shades, and there are more than a few times in the series when you have to stretch the definition of consensual for it to fit.

In a world that should be moving towards one that has less outright abuse towards women, we must take Fifty Shades of Grey for what it is – abuse of a woman. It perpetuate abuse. It takes something that is nothing more but a way to enhance one’s sex life, misconstrues it and cultivates a belief that BDSM is violent and a way to control women.

Anatasia Steele is an introvert, has low self-esteem, abandonment issues due to her father, one friend, no self-sufficiency and no sexual history other than the one she abruptly develops with Christian Grey. She is forced to sign a lengthy contract that forces her to exercise with a physical trainer, only eat foods Christian supplies her with, get eight hours of sleep and regularly take birth control. While she negotiates a few of her own terms, they are all within the framework of Christian’s contract, and not hers independently.
Is this really something that we are going to call consensual? Are we really going to call something so controlling safe or sane? Just take a look at a few of the things that James wrote Steele saying in the series.

“I want him to stay because he wants to stay with me, not because I’m a blubbering mess, and I don’t want him to beat me, is that so unreasonable?”

“I don’t want to lose him. In spite of all his demands, his need to control, his scary vices, I have never felt as alive as I do now. It’s a thrill to be sitting here beside him. He’s so unpredictable, sexy, smart, and funny. But his moods…oh—and he wants to hurt me.”

“This is so…I want to think wrong, but somehow it’s not. It’s right for Christian. It’s what he wants—and after the last few days…after all he’s done, I have to man up and take whatever he decides he wants, whatever he thinks he needs.”

This is just a small cross-section of quotes that show just how abusive and wrong this relationship really is. There is nothing wrong with teaching ourselves to be comfortable with whatever type of sexual activities we wish to engage in, as long as they aren’t illegal or hurting others, but there is plenty wrong with showing society this as an accurate representation of anything that people should be engaging in.

Without a doubt, droves of people will be heading to theaters next Saturday and some will probably start formulating fantasies based on what they see, but society needs to be careful in what they consume in the media and do a bit of research before taking it in as canon.

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The student newspaper of Nicholls State University
Fifty Shades of Grey glorifying abusive relationship