I might very well be the only person on the planet who has not read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy and has no plans whatsoever to see the movie. (Actually, that’s not true. My husband has no plans to do those things either, so there are at least two of us.)
Opening on Valentine’s Day, huh? I would rather see the new Spongebob movie. I’m not a prude…. for reals. I just happen to be a fan of healthy relationships. I also happen to be a fan of strong, mentally and emotionally healthy women.
Where are the extremists who are so ready to bristle at anything that could even slightly be construed as portraying women as weaker than men, as victims of men, as being taken advantage of by men? (Gloria Allred? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie… ) I’m so very confused by this cultural double standard. For example, the current university culture seems bent on persecuting young men, often with little evidence, or even after recanted accusations. Of course there should be consent, but the new norm on college campuses seems to be that of constant reaffirmation of that consent: Yes, I give consent. Yep… still consenting… yes. Yes, just reconfirming consent…
So if that’s the new normal for college campuses these days, it seems strange that 50 Shades of Grey is portraying the opposite (a young college student put in the position of being dominated by a man) and that it is so wildly popular and well received.
Dave Barry is one of my favorite writers and I just came across this year-old piece. I think he is hilariously on point.
So anyway, Anastasia and Christian meet, and he is of course attracted to her, although because of her walnut brain she can’t believe this despite the fact that, as I have already noted, every freaking person she meets is attracted to her. Christian starts stalking her and pressuring her to engage in—and I do not mean this to sound in any way judgmental—sicko pervert sex. He wants to tie her up with ropes, handcuffs, shackles, tape, etc. He wants to blindfold and gag her. He wants to spank her, whip her, flog her, cane her, paddle her, put nipple and genital clamps on her, bite her and use hot wax on her. We know this because he asks her to sign a contract agreeing to let him do these things to her. Yes! To be fair, the contract clearly states that there will be “no acts involving fire play . . . urination or defecation and the products thereof” and “no acts involving children or animals.” Because that’s the kind of old-fashioned cornball romantic Christian is.
What do you think Anastasia does when she sees this contract? Do you think she gets herself a restraining order and an industrial-sized drum of pepper spray, which would be the response of a normal sane woman or reasonably intelligent cocker spaniel? Not our Anastasia! Crap no! She decides to go right ahead and get into a sexual relationship with Christian even though she thinks he is a moody weirdo pervert.
I love you, Dave Barry.
Anyone else think this is an odd double standard and that the movie is a celebration of dysfunction…?
***UPDATED 8:30 pm PST 2/11/15: This is getting quite the dialogue going on social media. Based on a few of the comments, I feel the need to really clarify my point. Sexual assault is bad. It is bad whenever and wherever it happens. Whether it happens on a college campus or in a fictional character’s kinky playroom. Bad.
If Christian Grey did these things on a college campus, he would be charged with sexual assault before you could say “the safe word”. Additionally, if he did these things and she was a consenting participant, she would need to constantly reaffirm her consent.
My question is this: why the cultural double standard for this movie? I found these promotional movie posters where someone actually put text from the book onto them. It’s a creepy mash-up.
Please imagine a college student saying that to his date. It would never fly. How can society be so ready to both condemn and to glorify sexual assault in the same breath?