Culture Magazine

Fifty Shades of Mixed Messages

By Grace Peterson @GracePeterson3
I don't have enough space to list all the reasons why I haven't read the Fifty Shades of Grey series and you can probably guess that I won't be seeing the movie either. In fact, I've pretty much ignored the whole Fifty Shades enterprise until recently when I saw a post stating that The Journal of Women's Health examined themes in Fifty Shades and found extensive instances of emotional abuse, sexual violence and most importantly, reactions by the victim (Anastasia) that are typical of abused women.   
Oh lovely. I've been down that road and it's not a pretty one. People who are manipulated in whatever way, get psychologically messed up! 
Like I said, I haven't read the books. But from my research it appears that Fifty Shades of Grey is a simple love story--NOT. It's actually the story about a young man (Christian) who claims to care about Ana (Anastasia) but his actions depict a man more interested in domination than unconditional love. 
I did a bit more digging and found this interesting and informative five minute video. My notes are below it. (Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Covenant Eyes or its practices or beliefs.) 

Four Lies About Sex in Fifty Shades of Grey
1. Violence is sexy. Christian's violence scars Ana. Apparently she tames him in sequel books but the first book concludes with her crying because she knows she's fallen for a man who is deeply disturbed. 
2. Sexual brokenness is sexy. Christian worships Ana. He's wealthy but he's messed up and even admits he is. He was sexually abused at fifteen then began a dominant/submissive relationship with his mom's friend. Is the victim-state-of-mind--perpetuated throughout the book--something to celebrate? 
3. Women should put up with stalkers. Ana gives full consent to Christian but she still suffers emotional damage. The book blurs the line between consent and coercion/control. Ana is a victim of "intimate partner violence." Emotional abuse is evident in every scene. 
4. Consent is a secondary concern when lust is involved. Ana compares Christian to a fictional villain from a book he gives her. 
And because I haven't read the book and can only go by what others have said, here is an excellent summation of abuses in the book. 
Fifty Shades of Domestic Violence 
LifeSTAR of the Central Valley, is an organization that helps people affected by sexual abuse. On their blog, they list suggestions on how those of us who oppose sexual violence can do our part to stop it, including a Pinterest  page. 
Thanks for reading! 
Fifty Shades of Mixed Messages

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