With the new “Fifty Shades Freed” movie out in theatres, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has been protesting the trilogy in the wake of the #MeToo movement. They stated that the “Fifty Shades of Grey” book series and film franchise cultivates and normalizes rape myths, psychological grooming for abuse and sexual violence. In the age of the #MeToo, the messages of Fifty Shades are not only in poor taste but socially irresponsible. Although I have never seen the movies or read the books, I would not want my own personal romantic relationship to look anything like Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey’s relationship, if you even call it that.
Christian Grey’s idea of sexual pleasure is inflicting pain onto Anastasia. Pain releases endorphins and other hormones, but I am aware that some people experience pain as pleasure. The relationship between Grey and Steele is consensual, so she is choosing to engage in BDSM and other kinky, sexual behavior, but that’s not a healthy relationship. So where do we draw the line? Obviously, I personally don’t agree with what this movie stands for, but it is just a movie. You choose how you interpret and choose to let it influence you or not.
Just because one partner in the relationship is wealthy and reputable does not give that person the right to do what they want with them sexually. The “Fifty Shades of Grey” series portrays a relationship where the man subjugates the woman and controls her everyday life. Because he is wealthy and showers her with elaborate presents, why would she want to leave? Does that sound like an ideal situation? I definitely do not think so.
If Christian Grey was not so wealthy, Anastasia would not give him the time of day. He dominates her and controls her in a way that demeans her. That is not a healthy and loving relationship. The Fifty Shades Series turns intimacy into lust, and not love built on trust and respect. The submissive person is now a trophy, even a toy. You can throw around a toy and own a toy, but you can’t fall in love with it, be hurt by it or even betrayed by it.
At the end of the day, a loving and healthy relationship is made up of two individuals with different opinions and perspectives on life. Genuine love is based on love, trust, honesty, and (one of the most important) respect. It takes two to tango.