by Calico Rudasil at Sssh.com Porn For Women
If you’ve read any coverage of the upcoming release of the 50 Shades of Grey movie, you’ve probably also run across a grassroots movement encouraging people to donate $50 to shelters which provide help and support to battered women, rather than going to see the movie.
Using the hashtag #50DollarsNot50Shades, the campaign certainly has generated plenty of attention; hopefully it has generated a lot of actual donations, as well.
Don’t confuse my support for the notion of people donating to women’s shelters (something I find hard to object to any context, whatever their impetus) for agreement with the movement’s premise that 50 Shades of Grey is leading us all on a slow march to sexual perdition.
Just to be clear, I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, and I don’t plan to do so in the future, nor do I plan to see the movie.
As someone who has spent half her life working in the adult entertainment industry, it should go without saying I’m not abstaining from the Shades phenomenon for reasons of prudishness, nor have I avoided it because its depiction of sexual violence might shock my delicate sensibilities.
I simply don’t think the story sounds very interesting, and from what I’ve heard from friends who have read it, I think I would just get frustrated by the presentation of BDSM offered therein. Plus, any story centered on a confused young woman who falls for a mysterious, sexy billionaire just sounds like a recipe for several hours of exasperated sighs, face-palms and eye-rolls on my part.
Frankly, if I want to read about a young woman falling for a rich guy, I’ll dig up my copy Jane Eyre. (Who knows; even without any sex scenes, it may still be a more realistic depiction of BDSM….)
Having said this, I just think it’s silly to treat any work of fiction like it’s an imminent threat to society at large.
Remember when Bret Easton Ellis was going to destroy the world because he had provided no moral recompense for Patrick Bateman, the narrator/serial killer/protagonist of American Psycho? Such concerns were inane then as applied to Ellis’ novel and they’re equally stupid now when applied to 50 Shades. The real problem with American Psycho (which I have read, unfortunately) is it’s just not very good.
For some reason, a certain percentage people who themselves have not been turned into thoughtless robotic murderers by reading American Psycho, and people who have not been turned into sadistic, abusive monsters by reading 50 Shades of Grey, are always convinced other people will be thus transformed by their own reading experience.
I hear this sort of reasoning all the time applied to porn, to video games, to violent sports, to the celebration of irresponsible spending by celebrities – applied to virtually any behavior which is depicted publicly and of which some folks really don’t approve, in other words, whether it’s real behavior, or behavior of fictional characters.
For some reason, though, many of these same very concerned people rarely complain about stories like the one quoted below:
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead. Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the Lord spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.”
The above story involves a truly omnipotent character, one who inarguably has far more power over his subjects than does Christian Grey over Anastasia Steele, commanding his followers to kick sick people out of town, so they can go die in the desert. The people do as they are told, and their master is happy about it.
Nice story, eh? A real heartwarming tale filled with lessons on morality, ethics and divine benevolence, to be sure.
If I wrote a book wherein a BDSM master commanded his submissive to put her invalid child out on the street because the master didn’t want a sick kid hanging around “whereof he dwells,” a nationwide boycott probably would be organized before file-sharers even had a chance to list my book on the torrent trackers. Have “The Lord” do the same and His oppressive, controlling behavior is somehow A-OK.
Funny how that works.
At any rate, the real point I’m taking an awful lot of time to get around to here is that it’s actually possible for someone to read (and even enjoy) 50 Shades of Grey and not be a callous, commandeering hyper-asshole when it comes to his or her personal relationships.
Seriously, I promise this can be done. People really can separate reality from fiction and distinguish their own daily lives from those of the fictional characters they watch for entertainment.
For that matter, if you work with them long enough and you’re really, really patient with them during the process, some men even can be trained to separate bright colors from whites when doing laundry!
I know this is true, because my husband watches WAY too much pro football and yet he has never once tried to sack me on the way to the bathroom, even when he really needs to urinate.
So, if you’re inclined, have your fun: Go see 50 Shades of Grey.
Just remember its depiction of the BDSM “lifestyle” likely is to actual BDSM what the Fast and Furious films are to actual driving – and your date probably doesn’t want to be tied up and flogged when you get home, any more than she wants you to drive 140mph on two wheels to get there.
Oh – and I almost forgot: Don’t make people put their sick kids in the streets, either; that’s strictly the Lord’s department.
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