50 Shades of Nope

Yes, this is going to be another piece about that infamous franchise 50 Shades of Grey. The book has now been adapted into a movie, hitting cinemas on the weekend of Valentines Day, ironically. Justifiably, it has created furor among both fans and those who hate it.

I say that it’s ironic that the film has been released for Valentines Day because it is anything but romantic. The whole franchise romanticises what is quite clearly abuse. A friend recommended I read the book when it first hit the shelves and lent me her copy. I read it with disgust. She was oblivious connotations and actually fantasised about the day she would met someone like Christian Grey. For me, that book was a warning and Grey repulsed me as I read it.

I have dabbled in kink and BDSM before and neither of the two are anything new to me. 50 Shades of Grey is basically a book/movie written by an ignorant asshole who knows absolutely nothing about real BDSM. I’m outraged about the implications of the book. Let me clarify some things that need to be said by someone who was involved in BDSM before:

  • Enjoying BDSM is a completely normal thing.
  • We are not damaged. BDSM isn’t something you do because you’ve been abused and would like to then go and abuse someone.
  • BDSM is not about abuse either. It’s about enhancing a sexual experience (although sex does not have to happen in order for BDSM to happen).
  • The sub has rights. When they say ‘stop’ or a safe word (which will be previously discussed with the dom), the dom STOPS. Just stops exactly what they are doing. They don’t ignore it like Grey does towards the end of the book/film and continue to do something that Anastasia has clearly said no to.
  • We respect consent. We love consent.
  • Real BDSM isn’t about contracts. It’s not a bloody job or anything where you have to sign stuff. It’s about a lot of discussion and respecting each other’s wishes and boundaries.

Christian Grey is controlling and abusive. He is not romantic. He is not a person that people should admire or wish they could be with. He is dominating — and not in a good way. He forces Anastasia to eat and forces her to do things she does not want to throughout the book. What kind of sane person forces someone to eat and actually writes down rules in a contract about that person’s diet? You would never hear of this in a real BDSM relationship. Most BDSM relationships only observe control in the bedroom and, believe it or not, the sub has most of the power.

It seems as though Anastasia isn’t even allowed to have friends. Grey controls that aspect of her life too. Yes, one of her friends fancies her. But can’t she just be friends with him and make it clear that she’s with someone else? Why does Grey have to assert himself in that situation? Also, how messed up is it if he doesn’t like her having friends of the opposite sex?

Anastasia is a flawed character in herself. She is weak. She is unhealthily obsessed with Grey. When she’s not with him, she is overanalysing everything about him and her, fantasising about him all the time. Does she not see that there’s more to life than Christian Grey? Talk about putting feminism back about 100 years. Saying that, what is to be expected from a book that was originally Twilight fanfiction? Twilight is dangerous; it teaches you that if your boyfriend leaves you, you should jump off a cliff and stop being a person, just become a shell. I’m shocked how either book became a success and then had movies based on them.

The suggestions and implications of 50 Shades of Grey are disgusting. People defend the plot by saying that Grey does this to Anastasia because he was abused when he was younger. The implication being that if you like BDSM, it’s because you were abused. Great. Now the whole BDSM community is being tarnished with the same brush when really, that’s not true at all. The other implication is that to enjoy BDSM, you must be damaged. Another outrageous generalisation. The truth is that neither of these apply in real life. People like BDSM just because they do. It’s like liking mushrooms or not liking mushrooms. It’s a preference. It has no significance other than people like it.

I could go on for hours about how wrong 50 Shades of Grey is. I admit that in this post, my emotions have gotten the better of me and this isn’t written as well as it should be. I am just livid that this book, which should be banished, has been made into a movie, making the author even richer and making people think that this is what BDSM is really like and that women everywhere should just continue to be with someone who ignores it when they remove consent and downright controls and abuses them.

If you decide to watch this movie, consider yourself disowned.

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