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50 Shades of Ughhh

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50 Shades of Ughhhhh…..not really my thing.

He stalks her, taps her phone, he’s manipulative and intimidating, he’s not big on gaining true and informed consent and even though he’s a hot billionaire, he does not float my boat, for all of the above mentioned reasons.

I don’t care if he’s kinky and not phased by tampons. Don’t care if he has a hot car and a helicopter. Not even a little bit impressed. He’s a jerk. An abusive, creepy jerk.

And her. Oh my, *bites lip*. Please.

You can probably tell that 50 Shades of Grey was NOT my favourite book and I doubt it’s going to be my favourite film. There’s a good chance I’ll see it and an excellent chance I’ll complain about it beforehand, afterwards and probably even during. The things you do for friends, am I right?

But should it be boycotted? Should we feel bad if we like the steamy scenes? What exactly is the problem with it?

Namely, it’s the themes. This book is about an essentially abusive relationship. Christian Grey is the hot billionaire who is also a stalky creep who takes advantage of a younger and very inexperienced woman. He’s intimidating, threatening, possessive, manipulative and controlling. The Rambling Curl lists 50 abusive moments from 50 Shades here if you need convincing and I also came across this analysis, which identified “patterns of pervasive intimate partner violence” throughout the story.

Some say we should boycott the movie and donate our ticket fees to a charity that helps survivors of domestic violence and it’s not a bad idea since the reviews I’ve read and seen have been underwhelming at best and it certainly can’t hurt to make better use of your cash. If you know of any really good ones, please link them in the comments on on my facebook page and I’ll share them around.

50 Shades is not without it’s positives. Well, as a story it is, but I’m talking more about the response to it. Some people have credited the book with rekindling their romance, like this Melbourne woman. Which is nice! Go her!  And others have been inspired to explore their sexuality- fantastic! Go them!

While it’s not ideal as a guide to such things, it can and has helped start conversations for many people and if you have teen kids, there’s no doubt it’s going to spark their interest- especially if they were Twilight fans, as this series started out as Twilight fan fiction. This article talks about using it as a springboard to talk to your young folk about issues like boundaries and consent, so if you can use it to spark discussion then that’s a definite positive.

Do I think it should be banned or boycotted?… No. What I do think is that it shouldn’t be marketed as some sort of revolutionary erotica for women. It should be billed as what it is- a story of a manipulative and abusive man who involves himself with a naive young woman and takes full advantage of her.  This fabulous article explains the 6 main myths about BDSM that 50 Shades manages to perpetuates and it’s well worth reading because BDSM it is not, and that’s an important point.

There are some pretty disturbing parts of the story, like the one detailed in this column that, frankly, reads like rape- that’s generally how I define sex that has taken place after a person has said no. I don’t pretend to know what the author was thinking- did she mean to write what is essentially an abusive relationship that was then re-interpreted by a clever marketing department? I don’t know. Did she just somehow not see it the same way as many others are? No idea. I do know that there’s far too much questionable behaviour by Mr Grey in this story for it to push my personal buttons.

Whats your take?

Originally published on HandbagMafia.net

About Amy Ahearn

Amy is mum and step mum of 4 awesome kids ranging from 18 months to 12 years old. She successfully co-organising a nurse-in demonstration in response to the comments made by a prominent television personality about breastfeeding in public. This saw her appear on national tv, in newspapers and on radio to discuss her thoughts on the matter. The experience made her want to continue to have a voice.

Her life is hectic as a part-time shift worker, full time parent, partner and social media addict but she still finds the time for cloth nappies, breastfeeding, baby wearing and saving the world one online petition at a time.

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