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.
IT ROMANTICIZES ABUSE
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.
IT NORMALIZES PORNOGRAPHY
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.
IT SEND THE MESSAGE THAT WITH LOVE ABUSIVE PEOPLE CAN CHANGE
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.
IT SENDS THE MESSAGE THAT MEN CAN HAVE THEIR WAY WITH WOMEN
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.
IT IS DISGUISED AS A FAIRY TALE
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.