50 Shades Of Grey Promotes Sexual Abuse, Not BDSM

It would seem that the big thing this Valentines Day is going to watch a film about sexual abuse, sorry, I meant to say ‘romance’ movie.

The massively popular ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has just been released as a film, which will result in this terrible piece of work reaching a whole new audience that would not normally read the book.  That’s bad news.  Very bad news.  ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ isn’t a romance story, it’s not even a story about people in a BDSM relationship (as it likes to make out), it’s a story of a young woman becoming the victim of sexual abuse.

The BDSM community has been very upset by the work of E.L. James because she paints their community in a bad light, gives out misinformation and makes people who practice BDSM look like abusers, because that’s what Christian Grey is.  The BDSM community is a group that believes strongly in safety and comfort.

Consent is always given, no one is forced to do something that they are uncomfortable with or do not want to do.  After acts of role play partners will comfort each other, physically and emotionally.  They tend to any wounds, they cuddle and comfort each other.

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ features none of these elements.  Christian Grey uses psychological and physical abuse to dominate a young virgin girl and control her actions, doing things that are much, much closer to rape then being a dominant.

For example, during the story Christian Grey at one point refuses to listen to Anastasia when she denies him sex.  ‘‘No’, I protest, kicking him off’.  His response to a woman saying no to sex?  ”If you struggle I’ll tie your feet, too.  If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you.  Keep Quiet”.  Yes, some people do engage in role play, and that can include rape fantasy, but that’s not what happens here.  This is someone refusing sex and someone else forcing themselves on them.  That’s rape.  Pure and simple.  But because the author goes on to have Anastasia enjoy the sex that follows we’re supposed to forget that it’s rape.  I’ve even seen female fans of the series defend this scene, which frankly sickens me.

Listening to consent and stopping when a partner tells you to is a core belief of BDSM culture.  Every act that takes place must be at the agreement of all parties involved, ignoring that consent, or lack there of, of a participant goes against the concept of safe, sane and consensual.

Now, that was just one example, and I wish I could say it was the only one but unfortunately the book is full of abusive behaviour that is in no way romantic but abusive.  He stalks Anastasia, he doesn’t give her full information on what she’s agreeing to, he isolates her from family and friends, he emotionally manipulated her.  The whole thing is a glorified representation of domestic abuse.

But the readers are made to forgive everything that Christian Grey does, because he’s rich, he’s attractive and because Anastasia loves him.  E.L. James takes a character that should be hated and tries to twist him into a character that we either love or feel pity for,

Take away the money and the glamour and think carefully about the things Grey does and can you honestly say that it’s romantic, that it’s appropriate?  All ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ does is encourage men to abuse women and women to put up with that abuse.  ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ encourages rape culture just as much as guys telling rape jokes, yet it has women supporting it.

People need to stop supporting these books and films, they need to stop glorifying rape and sexual abuse otherwise the world won’t begin to improve.

Amy.

I’m on twitter @Amazing_Amy_W, I use Tumblr, blog at Trans Girl Writer and check me out on Facebook too!

Amy is a journalist and editor contributing the websites Planet Transgender, Gay News Network, The Bottle Episode, The Retro Box and Claire Channel. Amy is also a published comic book writer and letterer.

In addition to her writing Amy has also worked with the Centre For Hate Crime Studies in Leicester and has worked in the capacity of an advisor to the United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women.

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One Response to 50 Shades Of Grey Promotes Sexual Abuse, Not BDSM

  1. Sammy June 24, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    It´s not sexual abuse, common! It´s passion .)