Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Why I Refuse To See 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

*TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL, PHYSICAL (DOMESTIC OR NOT) OR EMOTIONAL ABUSE.*




This blog normally isn't the place for this kind of topic, but I figured since I've covered eating disorders/body image issues, feminism, and why it's okay to wear or not wear makeup, I can talk about everything that is wrong with Fifty Shades of Grey. If my blog isn't the place, what is, really?

With the impending Valentine's Day release date of this trash movie, tweets with dozens of heart emojis and heart eyes emojis following the statements proclaiming excitement are more prevalent than ever. I'm a huge proponent for loving whatever you want to love, but there's a catch: if that thing you love hurts or harms others in some kind of way, then it's no longer okay. 

But Francesca, what's wrong with an innocent, romantic film? 

An innocent, romantic film is Princess and the Frog and others of its kind. Fifty Shades of Grey is a terribly written bit of Twilight fanfiction gone wrong (not hating on fanfiction here, most of it is better than books sold in stores) that glamorizes and romanticizes abuse. That's it, that's all. It's not a love story with a distant man that needs to be won over or fixed. Not about a mousy girl seeking love in a powerful partner. It is, to put it simply, a dangerous relationship that should be in no way replicated or  is something worthy of envy or praise.

I could talk endlessly about everything that's technically wrong with the book, but that would involve a long conversation about the horrendous lack (or just embarrassingly bad examples) of various literary elements, the lack of an actual plot besides glorified abuse, and the misuse of large words in general. The book is a shameful example of a novel (it pains me to even reference it as such). The sex described in the book is unrealistic and just plain harmful, lacking any elements of a real relationship (even one just powered by lust).

Onto the characters...I'm going to by-pass Mary Sue Anastasia because she is a flat character (thanks for making a strong female character, E.L. James. How kind of you), contributing nothing besides a vessel that Christian Grey can use as his personal toy.

Christian Grey, the hunk that so so many want to woo them, is not something to strive for, ladies. He exhibits stalker like tendencies, ignores safe-words (you can Google what this is, if you're not quite sure. I'm not exactly in the field to be defining these sorts of things), takes advantage of his Ana while she's intoxicated (I should not have to explain why this is wrong), becomes obsessive and manipulative (THIS IS NOT SEXY), threatens Ana and tries to control her life, and all most of these happen on multiple occasions throughout the book.

But Francesca, aren't you looking to far into this?

NO. 
NO. I AM NOT LOOKING TOO FAR INTO THIS. Because abuse, whether it is physical, sexual, emotional, or any form is wrong on every level, but it isn't taken seriously.

The idea of a man being possessive over you or dominant has become so romanticized that people cannot see how dangerous that sort of relationship is. Relationships are an equal partnership. You should never feel scared in their presence or intimated. Those are surefire signs that this person is not good for you and you are no longer in a safe relationship.

On Sunday night, Obama gave a PSA during the Grammys talking about the importance of recognizing rape and domestic as topics of discussion. Ironically, Chris Brown was in the audience during this PSA, followed by a moving speech by a survivor of domestic abuse. I cannot even imagine how that woman felt pouring her heart out on stage with a known domestic abuser AND his victim in the crowd. There's something inherently wrong with that situation.

But Francesca, hasn't Chris Brown suffered enou—

NO. 
NO. Because anybody who dares to lay a finger on their partners does not deserve seconds chances like that. Abuse is a serious thing and if we excuse somebody for it because they're "really sorry" or "it happened like forever ago," or because they're a celebrity and have a reputation to upload, then we're saying that it's actually okay and not a big deal at all. Abuse is not excusable.

Chris Brown gets a lot of the attention for being a domestic abuser in Hollywood, so I found a more extensive list of male celebrities that have physically or sexually abused their partners. If you're curious, I'll link that list here.

On Friday, a movie based on a book that idealizes the terrifying truths behind an abusive relationship morphed into weak erotica to peek the interest and curiosity of readers/viewers premieres in theater. On Friday, millions of people will watch a problematic gender stereotypical relationship play out on screen, expertly (not really) tweaked to seem even the slightest bit romantic. On Friday, the worst nightmares and experiences of victims of abuse will come to life on screen, but portrayed in a "sexy" manner.

It is truly upsetting and disheartening that Hollywood values quick money and success over standing up against an issue as serious and as prominent as domestic, sexual, and emotional abuse.

If you still want to see this film, I can't stop you. If you want to read the entire trilogy, I can't stop you from that either. You are your own person and can choose how you spend your time or money, but I highly encourage you to rethink supporting a franchise based on a glorified unrealistic and abusive relationship.

*Since I have not read the books nor will I ever, here is a list of all of the sources for the information about the book. I highly recommend reading through these, as they can shine a light on the facts far better than I ever could:
Thank you for listening.

4 comments:

  1. I LOVED this post! I love when bloggers are brutally honest about their opinions on matters, even if they don't share the most popular opinion. Thats the reason I think people love blogs so much, people appreciate honesty. I agree with the majority of what you said in this post. I too thought that book was terribly written but anyway YESSSSS girl. Continue to share your opinions, it was a joy to read what you had to say.
    Kelechi
    thekelfix.com

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    1. Thank you! This is...definitely not something I normally do, but sometimes the unpopular opinions need to be share! I really appreciate this comment. It's always a bit nerve-wracking to go against your normal format/talking points and post your opinion online.
      Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  2. There is a vast difference between an abusive relationship and the relationship between two consenting ADULTS that happen to like BDMS. Call down get off your high horse and rethink what your're posting.

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    1. I agree! There IS a vast difference between abusive relationships and a consenting relationship! Couples who consent to participating in acts of BDSM are free to do so! More power to them!

      However, the acts portrayed in the book were inaccurate representations of such acts (if you took a gander at any of the links I listed) and there are multiple accounts in which consent was not given or minds were changed.
      Thank you for sharing your opinion!

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