5 reasons to skip 50 Shades of Grey

I know you have heard the buzz, 50 Shades of Grey is being released nationwide on Valentine’s day – bring your spouse, bring your date, or just go with friends for a “harmless love story”. Hollywood is aggressively pushing this so called love story. I tend to not write about such polarizing and controversial topics here but I do think too many people will blindly walk into this film and take home a message that is far from healthy. Today I want to share with you five quick reasons why I think you should skip 50 Shades of Grey this Valentine’s Day and watch something else.

I saw someone’s retweet in my feed the other day from 50 Shades of Grey- “You said you didn’t do romance…” and it encouraged people to buy tickets for a new kind of romance. This is not a romance movie. This is a movie about abuse. I know the big thing is that it was consensual but even if consensual, abuse is still abuse. Not to mention alcohol is a heavy factor in the manipulation and result of her decisions. Under state laws, no one is deemed to consent to partner abuse and violence (resource.) This is a made up story which if happened in real life, has severe consequences for both participating parties.

I am not going to get into the huge hole of pornography, but it is not something that should be normalized. It is harmful to the men & women who watch it, it is harmful to the men and women who participate in making it, and it is harmful to the relationships of those addicted to it. Fight the New Drug is a wonderful website that shares lots of great information, statistics, and resources on pornography.

In the end, after all the abuse and the dark path Ana is taken down by Mr. Grey, he learns to love her. Apparently Ana’s love changed his abusive behavior – this is not the case in most relationships. It sends the message to women that by being obedient and loving they can “fix” men who are controlling and violent. The cycle of abuse is heartbreaking and too many women are already caught in the cycle. If we are passionate about empowering women, this is not the way to do it. To read more about the Cycle of Abuse and other information and resources, check out Love is Respect.

Another prevalent message is that men can do as they wish with women and they will like it/ always come back to them. Unfortunately, this can be the case in many abusive relationships but not in a healthy relationship. Intimacy in healthy relationships is based on trust, understanding, safety, and security.

Hollywood wants you to think this is the new fairy tale story. Girl meets boy. Boy is into sadism and sleeps with her right away. She is given alcohol and manipulated into signing a non-disclosure agreement that she won’t tell other people about his abusive behavior. After many steamy sex scenes and manipulation, her love somehow softens him and they get married and start a family…. And everyone lived happily ever after. The end of this story is fictional. I’ve already touched on it a bit, but the real world holds many legal, emotional, and physical implications.

For more information about this topic, check out these sites
The Danger of 50 Shades of Grey to your Son
The Danger of Fifty Shades of Grey to Your Daughter
Fight the New Drug 
End Sexual Exploitation
Love Is Respect

I say this all to encourage, empower, and inform you. You have the right to have a healthy and functional relationship. You are so valuable, loved, and cherished. and you can make healthy and informed choices. If you are hoping to see a movie this Valentine’s day, I suggest Old Fashioned if you are in the mood for a good love story or just go with a classic like  Big Hero 6 or the the Hobbit

Author: Oak & Oats

  • Elizabeth, thank you for writing this post! Really, I'm so tired of all the commercials about this film. They started the pre-sale of the tickets last December here in Italy, they sponsorize it like something romantic to watch with your partner on Valentine's Day, and it's horrible, because it send all the worst messages to young girls and boys out there. I refused myself to read the book and I refuse to watch the movie. I don't want to encourage and contribute this kind of 'culture' of love.

  • I'll definitely be skipping this movie. I couldn't get over how poorly written the book was- surely the worst piece of writing I've ever read! Not sure how it got published but aside from the writing I just hated the story line. Typical of Hollywood to be pushing this as a romantic movie to try and do well at the box office. I'm just so not interested and I hope it doesn't do all that well so we never have to see a sequel!! Haha!

  • It makes my heart hurt for people who have no clue what they're really watching/reading with this series. People say it's harmless. You might THINK you can watch it and not be affected… so not true. And great thoughts and truth here… not just another "don't watch this movie!" post.

  • Elizabeth – this post is SO WELL DONE. Somehow, you perfectly hit the line of being honest, gracious, and lovingly cautious, without being overbearing, judgmental, or sounding crazy. I completely agree with you, and think that your "disguised as a fairy tale" explanation is perfectly explained. Thank you for wrk

  • Agreed! I find this entire story absolutely disgusting. When the movie trailer came on tv the other night my husband mentioned that it sets a really terrible precedent and it glorifies violence toward women, especially if they are mentally and/or emotionally broken first. It's a sexually charged glorification of Stockholm Syndrome.

  • Yes. yes. and yes. Yet another great post from you, speaking the truth!

  • Great post, I'm so.so.so. glad you wrote this xx

  • YESYESYES. Thank you for sharing this Beth! I've been so encouraged reading everyone's posts about this movie and encouraging people not to see it.

  • Bailey

    YES!!! It seems like the anti-50 shades posts are taking over blogland… and with good reason!

  • This is so great Beth! I think you covered this topic to gracefully and so beautifully. I love the facts you covered and all the different points. So proud of you for sharing this! You are spot on! Love you friend!

  • Perfection. Never read the books, won't see the movie, this whole thing is absurd. Love this!

  • Thanks for speaking up on this!! Sharing it now on my personal fb page…

  • AMEN! Seriously thank you for writing this. I've been thinking about writing a post about the same thing but you said it so well I'll just share yours :). But seriously why do women think this is okay? Why do men think this is okay? What is happening to the world?

  • Yep. I will be staying FAR, FAR away. Thanks for this post. Short & sweet, you highlighted what needed to be said.

  • You hit the nail on the head. I'm glad you wrote this post – I've been debating writing one for a week or so now but I don't think I'd have done it as well as you just did. I'll share and spread this post instead.

  • Abigail Fennema

    This is so good Beth. Seriously.

  • Kim Ridings

    Wow Beth! Very well said! Your 5 reasons were thoughtful, factual and articulate. Now I have better reasons to explain why I won't see the movie than, it would make me feel yucky.

  • Nothing to add- you said it all!

  • You did so great with this post. Every bit of this is spot on and wonderful! <3

  • Great post! You hit the nail on the head with every point. Thank you for sharing this! -Jess
    P.S. We're seeing the Hobbit 😉

  • Leia Johnson

    Elizabeth – I know next to nothing about the movie or books but for what I do know you perfectly, truthfully, and lovingly spoke into why it's just not okay. Thank you for writing this piece!

  • So clearly laid out! I love this. Bravo Elizabeth!

  • Such great reasons!!!

  • This post is perfect and so well written!

  • Those are all great points! I haven't read the novels, but I don't think anyone can miss the gist of the content by now. Your last point is especially great, I think, because I hear so many people justify and dismiss the dangers of it as "oh, it's just fiction." Well, I think that "just fiction" is a powerful tool. People have been using novels and satire for great social change for hundreds of years–like pointing out social and political injustices. Fiction, writing, and art are all powerful tools for good, but also for bad. And in this case, rationalizing the consumption of this movie/book as entertainment just isn't a good argument, anyway! Thank you for writing this and sharing the other resources.

  • I agree with this 100000000% and you presented the case so well. Thank you for this.

  • Amy

    all i can say to this post is: amen.
    you've presented this with such grace and love. <3
    our culture is so overly sexified (new word ha!) that most people don't have a problem with things being so out there because "to each their own"…well when my 8 year old cousin talks about sex in a way that they should have NO IDEA what they are talking about it makes me want to throw all the tvs, computers, magazines, movies, etc into a huge fire and watch it burn. 🙂
    hahaha – that escalated quickly.

  • Love Love Love this post! this needs to be spoken about more often. Thanks for stepping up and sharing these truths.

  • Your last point can really apply to so many movies. Well said.

  • YES. Thank you so much for your approach to such a heavy topic. I agree completely!

  • AWESOME succint and straight forward approach to talking about 50 shades of gray! it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach to think about this movie and how many women will buy into the lies it tells. where the h*ll has feminism brought us after 50 years? i am not a hardcore liberal feminist but i am shocked at how women can still think this kind of relationship is ok!

  • Alice, I so agree! I am hate that they are marketing to our youth!

  • Thanks Meg. My heart does break for those who think they are just seeing another romantic movie – and also don't think the movie will have any impact on them. I am encouraged by your sweet words – this was a hard post to write (well, more like a hard post to push publish!)

  • Thanks! I my heart was really to just expose some truths about the movie without getting too emotional (because I do have a lot of emotion 😉 )

  • I love that one!! haha. I am glad you are seeing it!

  • Thanks Nora! You are so kind. I have been wanting to write this for awhile now too – I knew I needed to mention it somehow.

  • Thank you for your SWEET words!.

  • I know! It kinda really blows my mind that this is allowed in theaters – but at the same time doesn't surprise me.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement! This one was a hard post to write (I mean post 😉 )!

  • I know. I could talk forever about it. But I am glad that what I wrote makes sense 🙂 Thanks for your kind words and encouragement!

  • Amy,
    Thank you so much. My heart was to come at this with grace and truth – more factual than preachy 🙂

  • Annelise Joy Seupule

    Thanks so much for writing this! I shared it on Facebook, and so many people commented and agreed with what you had to say, because I fully agreed with you also! Hope you're doing well, feel free to check out my blog, http://thenextcoffee.blogspot.co.nz // Annelise xx

  • Way to be brave, lady! 🙂

  • Thanks Madison!

  • I really wanted it to be more fact based 🙂 So thank you!

  • Thanks Whitney! I think a lot of people are blind to what the movie/ book really presents. 🙁

  • Haley,
    Thank you so much! You are so wonderfully encouraging! I really wanted it to come across well!

  • Annelise,
    Thanks for doing that! You are so sweet and encouraging!

  • Good thing we live in a free country where people are allowed to make of THEIR own minds huh?