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Fifty Shades of Grey
. What can one say about this franchise that hasn't been overplayed already, really?
It's trite. It's groundbreaking! It promotes domestic abuse. It promotes a woman's right to embrace her own sexuality! On and on, ad nauseam
The film adaptation is set to hit theaters this Friday, and it has been recently announced that many domestic abuse groups, as well as, unsurprisingly, the religious right, would be protesting
the theaters in which the movie will premier. That's where I come in.
Anyone who knows me knows that I consider myself a staunch feminist. I want equal pay. I want equal treatment (the good and the bad). I want equal opportunities. I want respect. I want my two young daughters to grow up in a world better than the one we live in now. So please don't confuse what I am about to say with me taking an "anti-woman" stance because it absolutely could not be further from the truth. It is BECAUSE I am pro-woman that I write this.
I read the Fifty Shades
books for the same reason I read the Twilight
series: to see for myself what in the hell everyone was all in a tizzy over. Both were equally disappointing. And it wasn't all because of the content. It's because Stephanie Meyer and EL James are just not talented writers, period. The content matters not when you cannot effectively translate your thoughts to paper. And sitting at a computer with an open thesaurus does not a writer make.
The sexy stuff? Well, it wasn't really all that sexy. If you want sexy, you go and pick up any book by Karen Marie Moning
; that'll REALLY get your juices flowing. But was I offended by it? No, I wasn't. Well, other than the fact that I wasted a good couple weeks of my life reading the insipid series in the first place.
Is Christian batshit crazy? Yes. Maybe he even exhibits stalker tendencies. He certainly isn't the first flawed anti-hero we've ever seen. I have a feeling that a lot of the women that are up in arms over this book also love Breaking Bad
and, specifically, Walter White. A man who constantly lied to his family, killed people and made meth so pure it turned blue to be sold to kids, all while telling himself he was doing it for the right reasons. And you're raising your hackles over a man who likes to tie his woman up and buys the company she works for? Puh-lease.
Is Ana a weak, floundering character with no backbone and no real substance? Absolutely. Did she consent to all of the dirty activities that took place in the red room? Pretty much (there were a couple instances where the safe word came up and she stormed out crying, but she went in there of her own free well). In fact, she ASKED him to "enlighten her."
So what do these protests say to me? They say that this group of women is comprised of nothing but prudes. No no, I'm just kidding. It means that they don't feel that we, women, and especially meek women, have the ability to make our own sexual decisions. Does that sound familiar? It sounds like two thirds of the Republican party, who believe that they have the right to make my own bodily choices.
BDSM is taboo, I get it. But so what? It's what some people LIKE. It's not deviant. It's a gentle balance between pain and pleasure that some people live for. LET THEM LIVE FOR IT. Let the lonely, oppressed housewives have their two hours of escape into a fantastically sexual world.
And, furthermore, what about Christian's issues? This man has deep-seeded psychological issues that most people would consider worthy of treatment. And yet, all we do is demonize him. Why? Why hasn't anyone said, oh this character shouldn't be shunned or scrutinized, he should be recommended to a very expensive, highly educated therapist?
I'm going to close with this: If you don't like or approve of Fifty Shades of Grey
, stay away from theaters this weekend. It's honestly as simple as that. And perhaps, instead of protesting MOVIES that are FICTIONAL, these groups could focus on ACTUAL victims. You know, women and men who are actual SURVIVORS of abuse or are suffering from it now. Or, as my husband pointed out, maybe the Catholic church could start fixing its fractured reputation if it spent as much time and effort decrying pedophile priests as it does, again, FICTION.
If we could all just leave everyone alone, and stop trying to dictate what each other likes/wants/fantasizes about, the world would be an infinitely happier and better place. So if your friend tells you she's going to see Fifty Shades of Grey
this weekend, just smile and tell her to enjoy. Do not go into a self righteous diatribe about all the things wrong with it. That's not the feminist way. Feminism is about acceptance, not judgment. So keep that shit to yourself.
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