With all the brouhaha swirling the social media about "that" movie to be released this weekend, I feel I just need to get my thoughts out in black and white. Never would I have thought I'd be discussing this on the blog in any other terms but in reference to choosing paint color. And truth be told, on the blog, I tend to avoid the controversial in fear of being too vulnerable but at this point I just have to sort out my head and heart.
And my heart, well, it is grieved. On so many levels. While I have not read the Fifty Shades of Gray books, nor do I ever plan to, I do think I have read enough of the debate and seen enough of the constant trailers that I am bombarded with on every channel of tv during prime time over the last two weeks, that I have some thoughts on the matter.
While I can get on the band wagon about the apparent explicit nature of the bedroom scenes within the book, and the whole issue of pornography and it's effects on families, I know we all have read all of that. What boggles my mind and grieves my heart the most is from everything I have read about the books and seen in the movie trailers is that it deals with domination, subservience and inflicting pain in a dating and sexual relationship. That women have crossed that border and are soaking it up in droves makes me shudder. What concerns me is that while we are getting our jollies and thrills reading this stuff and are now about to flock to theatres to see this stuff, are we not thinking beyond that? What has happened in our culture that we now as women, find it acceptable to be smacked and whipped and dominated, even if "only" in our reading and entertainment material? And much as we rise up and make a great outcry against abuse, let me say this... when we purchase the books and the movie tickets we are speaking loud and clear to authors and Hollywood that we as women are cheering on their perverted view of love and accept that that is how it now is. Let me repeat that ladies: we are speaking loud and clear with our $$$.
Here in Canada, we just spent a year watching a very well known and popular radio broadcaster, fall from his pinnacle when women started coming out and accusing him of abuse in their relationships. His excuse was he liked it rough and it was his business and it was consensual. Not so the women said, it started consensual but didn't end up that way. We all jumped on the side of the abused and cheered when this guy was brought down, lost his lucrative job and charged with 7 counts of sexual abuse and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. And yet, on the same token, in the very same time period, we are telling authors and movie makers, yes please, give us more of this titillating, scandalous stuff for our reading and viewing pleasure. How hypocritical are we being?
What concerns me the most and grieves my heart the most is the very mixed message we are sending our young people, girls and boys alike. We are telling them it's ok and it's the norm to bring violence and "roughness" into your relationships, that it's normal and ok to be dominated and hurt in the bedroom because that's how he likes it. We are letting our children know it's okay to get our thrills reading and watching it even if we don't participate in it ourselves. It has nothing to do with our "real lives" and absolutely nothing to do with our church lives. Yes, I did bring church ladies into it because I know lots who are reading it. (And that is a whole other post on what the bible says about our thought life and what we let enter our hearts). What is the message we are sending our daughters? Do we want our daughters experiencing that kind relationship and thinking that is what a Godly, loving sexual relationship is? That's it ok to experiment with violence and get pleasure from it? What are we voicelessly telling our sons? That pornography is ok and causing another person physical pain is normal and acceptable? We are kidding ourselves and have bought into a lie. I just shake my head and want to cry to think of my daughters in that kind of situation or my son perpetrating that onto a woman in the name of love.
Well in my household I am saying it's not okay. Just as we all shook our fists and said it was not ok when the radio dude tried to say it was in real life, we are saying it's not ok in fantasy either. We are shouting out that what we speak with our dollars speaks louder than words. We are making our stand so that our kids hopefully will have good and pure relationships that last them a lifetime. While I will certainly not be participating in any kind of picketing or anything like that at theatres I will keep our conversation open at home and not let the books or Hollywood have the only say.
I guess what I'm hoping with putting myself out there on this topic is that we as women pause to think beyond the moment and open our hearts to what is really going on in our culture and really think through if this is the way we want it to go. So now that I have dusted off my soapbox and got all of that off my heart and mind, I know you all are itching to comment. Please keep it civil and clean. Any comments with swearing, smut talk, or the personal tearing down of another commenter will be deleted.