Since the 50 Shades of Grey movie was released on the 15th of February 2015, there has been a lot of controversy over whether or not its messages are saying sexual abuse is okay. From one side people are saying Christian Grey (Character) is abusive towards his submissive (Anastasia) but to many people sharing my opinion, it is BDSM. What do you expect rainbows and happy endings? It is a book about the sexual desire Anna has for Christian and the want he holds so deeply for her. Yes it can be seen as sexual abuse if you choose to view it that way. From watching the movie the other night it is quite obvious Christian does love Anna, but like the majority of the population, he shows his love in another way; through domination and submission.
What you have to understand is it is a fantasy and romance novel of someone else’s views and wants. Adding to that it isn’t real; its fiction and no sexual abuse actually occurred. Everyone needs to stop taking it to heart so much, it is what appeals to a greater audience and is what the author; EL James wanted it to be.
On the other side of the debate you find studies like this; Ohio State university researchers came to the conclusion that the fictional relationship between Christian Grey and his live-in submissive follows with common characteristics of an abusive relationship. The criteria involves things like “intimidating verbal and nonverbal behaviours” and “initiating sexual encounters when he’s genuinely angry, dismissing her requests for boundaries, and threatening her. This movie is fiction so although they have studies “proving” the movie/book has a lot in common with domestic abuse, it doesn’t really mean it does. Just because we see or read about bdsm/abuse/any other terms you choose to align with the film it doesn’t mean we are going to allow any sort of abuse into our lives without consent. On one hand, it’s a representation of a wildly under-represented community in the mainstream. On the other, many are voicing concerns that it’s the “wrong” representation:
“I love that something exists to push conversation about kink and alternate ways of having sex into mainstream discourse. I hate that it’s something as stupid, dull, and toxic as Fifty Shades of Grey. Stupid, dull, and toxic is not a very surprising combination in blockbuster filmmaking today, and yet this one was particularly infuriating.”-Gawker, film reviewer from rotten tomatoes.
I honesty cannot see how the film is stupid, dull and toxic, it is a play on the desires many women and men share equally. It is understandable that it may come across as an awful novel or book because it isn’t the norm in mainstream society, many people may shy away from the sex and the bdsm because it isn’t something to be so open and willing to discuss.
I feel like the media is trying to victimise women. “They will watch 50 shades of grey and expect a relationship to be that way”. We are not in any way that easily influenced that we would allow ourselves to be abused. We could consider the possibility of trying bdsm but we wouldn’t allow ourselves to be so easily led into an abusive situation.
“This is me, Ana. All of me...and I'm all yours. What do I have to do to make you realize that? To make you see that I want you any way I can get you. That I love you.” – Christian grey
As an extra back up to what I have to say, I have included this quote as proof of the love Christian does have for Ana. He would stop the sex, he would stop with the “abuse” and he would leave her if that is what she wanted from him. He loves her with his soul and if you read it as if you are him you can just feel the raw emotion. Yes, it is possible he is still abusive, because I am sure there are abusive people out there that do love the person they have abused, but the way I read the emotion in the statement makes me think otherwise.
To conclude, I could just shove my opinion down your throat but instead I can see how people believe that the book/film supports abuse, he is a strong dominate man taking control over an innocent woman. From my side though I do still believe that the love between the two characters is there and is a very true love. I care about this subject because people are making a snap decision about what domestic abuse really is and so many people are taking in all of these reports and studies. Before I conclude I would like to add that you shouldn’t be afraid to try BDSM simply because it is affiliated with domestic abuse.