Thoughts on 50 Shades of Grey… Is It Empowering?
I have never been the type of woman who goes along with the crowd. I was always the one who stood up to bullies (even if it put my own safety at risk) and to question potentially oppressive theories about women (why does the woman always have to be the one to be submissive or compromise for her male counterpart?).
Which is why I must go against the grain and present what may be an unpopular view of the movie 50 Shades of Grey. Something’s not quite right that I can’t really put my finger on yet…
I have not read the books and have seen some long clips from the movie. From what I’ve observed, the story is about a young, naive, plain-jane woman who falls into the romantic "snares" of a rich, attractive man. He introduces her to BDSM, which is bondage, disciple and submission while having sex.
So beyond the obvious arousing elements that advertisers are using to promote the movie, I think it’ s important to take a step back and look at the (potentially dangerous) messages that this movie may be sending.
1) If you are a "less attractive" woman, you don’t say no — especially not to an attractive, wealthy man. The woman cast is an average "plain jane" type who would pretty much do whatever Mr. Grey says. Yet some say this movie is about woman empowerment… how is that dynamic *empowering* for the female character?
2) If you are a "good girl" and just do what you’re told, you’ll get married and live happily ever after (Spoiler: I’ve heard that this is how the story ends, I may be wrong on this point).
3) Some say that the movie plays on the line of violence, oppression and date rape being "ok." I’ve read that there is a scene where the female character says she’s not comfortable with what’s going on and uses a "safe word," but he pushes her to go along with it anyway.
4) A sex-centered relationship, dominated by the man, will eventually lead to love. Is this the rule, or the very rare exception? Unfortunately this movie will likely lead young, impressionable women to believe that this result (true love based mostly on sexscapades) is commonplace.
To sum up my thoughts, 50 Shades of Grey is as problematic as your standard Hollywood romantic comedy. It’s loaded with questionable ideas and finishes off with an unlikely fairy tale ending….
But if you enjoyed the book and look forward to the movie, I don’t want to rain on your parade. Have fun with it — just PLEASE be informed of the possible messages it could be sending that *could* have an impact on your future relationships with men.
The media messages that we absorb every day can step into our lives in the most unexpected ways.
Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.
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