50 Shades of Grey: glamorizes sexual violence


I don't think I need to remind any of you that "50 Shades of Grey" (book and movie) should be avoided . . . completely.  It is pornography and as Christian women, we must stay away from this sort of literature. But what disturbs me even more is the fact that millions of women around the world love this book (over 100 million copies have been sold in 50 languages) and they find it erotic and exciting (many say it has improved their sex life no end), when the truth is . . .  it glamorises sexual violence and tells men it is ok to dominate women in an abusive manner.  

“While millions of women are fantasizing about the controlling and abusive Christian Grey of fiction, there are many other women dealing with the horrors of actually living with men like him.” (source: Bible Society)

Australia, like the USA and other countries around the world have a major problem with domestic violence. Some men think it is perfectly acceptable to emotionally, psychologically and physical abuse women . . . to threaten, batter, humiliate, degrade, entrap, isolate, coerce, manipulate and torture. The statistics are both tragic and sobering; in Australia: 
  • 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violences
  • 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse
  • 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence
  • 73% have experienced more than one incident of violence
  • 61% had children in their care when the violence occurred

One woman every week in Australia dies as a result of domestic violence and that figure is unacceptable. This year is following the same pattern as every other year . . . with women still dying every week. One woman was hunted down at her workplace and killed in the carpark. 


As the Bible Society say on their webpage . . . "What have we done to ourselves as a society that tying a woman up and beating her till she's bruised and bleeding is a popular thing to watch?

What have we turned into? 

Hollywood continues down the path of normalising violence and saying it is ok. However this film goes a dangerous step further, it says it is ok to do this to women without consent and for sexual pleasure.

The film is about to be released and both younger and older women will flock to see it and without a doubt teenage girls will also watch it (and be influenced by it) even though it has a R rating. It tells women that "mummy" pornography is acceptable in society. 

It isn't, no matter how you package it and what you call it.

Porn is addictive and dangerous for both men and women. However, porn, as found in "50 Shades", is twisted and abusive. Violence is violence and sexual violence is unacceptable in society. It tells men that women enjoy this sort of sexual behaviour as exhibited in "50 Shades" and without a doubt some men will think it is acceptable to treat their wives, girlfriends and one-night-sexual encounters in this manner. Considering the level of domestic violence we already have in society, men need to learn to respect women and when participating in sexual activities to show love, care, thoughtfulness and tenderness and certainly not what is portrayed in "50 shades" which is SO wrong.  

"The popularity of "Fifty Shades of Grey" among women also sends a message to men that unrestrained domination is what women want.  This is glamorization of violence and abuse. Society pays a price when we teach men to be turned on by women in pain. As a result, sexual violence is on the rise in our military, colleges, families and on the street. When violence is made to be sexy, it is no wonder that these are the consequences." (source: Fox News)

As the Fox News article says "this is not entertainment or a fairy tale, as Hollywood is claiming. This is the glamorisation of violence and abuse". So why on earth would any sane woman choose to watch it (or read it)? And to make it even more scary, books two and three of the series are being planned for the movies. 

There are many things wrong with "50 Shades of Grey" . . . but my biggest dislike is the normalisation of violence against a young woman. That makes me feel ill. This film is not about empowering women, it is not about romances or sexiness and has nothing to do with love. It contains rape and violence, humiliation and degradation. it is toxic to say the least. A sexual relationship should never be based on these things, and whilst I see nothing wrong with discussing sex and making it a conversation rather than hiding it away, lets not make it ugly and nasty. 

Girls . . . ladies, men; when looking for love and what it SHOULD look like, turn no further than 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. This isn't found in "50 Shades of Grey". 

I will end this with a quote from a non-Christian website (Mamamia): ". . . It’s also about an incredibly disturbing and manipulative emotionally abusive relationship. So, about half an hour into last night’s screening, I found myself doing a horrified double-take. I quite suddenly realised that I was watching a film that glorified domestic abuse."


*****

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

(Philippians 4:8)

******

Comments

  1. Thank you for this direct discussion of this topic. I posted an article on Fifty Shades today and linked to several of your blog posts. I just added this one as well.

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    1. I think this is a popular topic at present - its interesting what angles bloggers have taken but all raise the same message - this isn't is good film no matter how you look at it.

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  2. I have talked about this briefly too. I was quite shocked when our local kindergarten had this movie as their annual movie night fundraiser. Unfortunately, it will be a box office success, and there will probably be more movies made like it to try and cash in on that success. I suppose we just have to not conform to the world and keep away from it ourselves.

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    1. Nothing surprises me anymore :( But why this film, the one film that is likely to have some people not wanting to see it. Many more will probably watch it on DVD in the privacy of their own home - over and over again :(

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  3. Certainly, I would describe this film as "repugnant", it's so sad that the film industry had no other consideration than raising money

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  4. I have not read these books or seen the movie, but thoughts on 50 Shades of Grey seem to be blowing up the blogosphere. I have been reading some of them to get a better idea of what it's all about...and it sounds disgusting. You may feel like your once voice won't make a difference, but I am confident that you are convincing many women not to go see this movie.

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    1. I haven't read the book and won't be watching the film (my husband wouldn't be happy if I did) but there is so much on the net about it, it isn't hard to work out what it is like. What worries me is the teenage girls that will go off and watch it as it is SO inappropriate for them .

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  5. Once again you have written a very powerful post that all should read. I haven't read the book, and I have no intention of doing so or seeing the movie, really I don't know a lot about it, but we need to stand up as Christian women and tell it as God sees it. I especially like the Philippians passage. Thank you for being a stand up Christian women. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. Thankyou Terri, Whilst it is a topic that has been well covered I feel very passionate about domestic violence and sadly we aren't seeing much change in the number of murders or abuses against women and these sorts of books and films do not help, in some ways it normalises something that is very sad and tragic .

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  6. These kinds of things just speak loudly of where our society is and where it is heading - and none of it is good. :( It should come as no surprise to us considering the fact that the world is full of sin and hatred of God and all things pure and holy. I think that people who watch/read and 'enjoy' these kinds of things have absolutely NO idea of the pain and grief caused by abusive behaviour. Pain and grief that stays with the sufferer for life. It's not just an hour on a screen or in a book - this is LIFE for some people... and those who 'enjoy' this as a form of entertainment are so deceived by it into thinking it's sexy and fun. This grieves my heart greatly, and I have no doubt that it breaks the heart of our God and Saviour. It is for this that He suffered and died. The sins of the whole world.

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    1. I know a number of women who have suffered from domestic violence abuse (both physically and emotional) and you are right, it has a life time of pain and suffering and it affects their children as well. For anyone to sit through and watch a film that shows violence towards a woman is . . . well . . . questionable and has no idea what that sort of grief it really does to a woman. When a man dominates a woman as portrayed in these books (and one doesn’t need to read the book as so much has been written about it/plus the many film and book reviews) this is the sort of relationship that is never normal.

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  7. Dear Jo, I have not read this book or feel comfortable commenting! But it is very sad that women have to be warned that this is not good in any way for young or older women! These kinds of things truly are upsetting!
    I will steer clear of any more topics of this book or movie, from any angle, christian or such...
    I heed this as a warning Thank You as I feel alerted to not get into any discussions about it!
    Blessings, Roxy

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    1. Roxy, whilst I will never watch this film or read the book, I feel very strongly about domestic violence and the consequences of this form of violence against women and their families. But I understand why some people do not wish to get into a discussion on the topic and I respect your views.

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