A Penny Candy Rebuttal to Travis Leamons’ Review of the ‘Fifty Shades’ Movie

Fifty Shades of Grey-1

Travis’ Review of Fifty Shades of Grey

Final passage of the review – “Face it: Fifty Shades of Grey is catnip for soccer moms looking to have a girls night.”

Um…. no. Just no. Fifty Shades is not erotic catnip, nor is it about real BDSM. It’s about a gaslighting rapey stalker grooming a naive woman to accept his abuse while making textbook excuses for it. That so many people are gullible enough to be fooled by the marketing sickens me, and your review is depressingly ignorant of the sick realities of the story. I suppose that’s because the filmmakers tried to downplay those realities by removing the rape scenes and letting Ana have a bit of an actual spine, but all those elements are still there. A man you met ONCE and gave only your first name to showing up at your place of work the next day is not romantic, it’s STALKING.

Also, I have 20 years of experience with real BDSM, and it horrifies me that so many people are using Fifty Shades of Grey as an introduction to it. In Fifty Shades there are no safewords, no discussion, no respecting of hard limits, no aftercare. He just assumes she will comply with his desires and gives not a single flying fuck about hers. And again, Christian Grey’s character is a textbook abuser. He pressures her, stalks her, tries to possessively and jealously control her, threatens and intimidates her, all before they’re even dating. He grooms her to accept the abuse he wants to dish out. That isn’t BDSM. It isn’t love. It isn’t romantic. It’s abuse. End of story.

An example from the book, (in a scene the movie left out, which is both good because it’s horrible and bad because without it it’s easier to fool the audience into thinking it’s romantic), as taken from an excellent blog dissecting the abuses of Christian Grey.

Christian turns up uninvited. He proceeds to try to seduce Ana, given that that’s pretty much all he ever does. Ana tells him that she doesn’t want sex and would rather talk. “‘No,’ I protest, kicking him off.” But this is Christian Grey. The abusive scum bucket who only considers his own desires. So, upon hearing the woman he claims to care for saying a very definite “no” to sex, he replies with these words: “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet, too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you. Keep quiet. Katherine is probably outside listening, right now.” He then proceeds to have sex with her, in spite of her trying to kick him away and saying “no.” I don’t understand how people aren’t getting that this is at the very least sexual assault, but apparently, because EL James writes that Ana enjoys the sex that Christian forced on her, we’re meant to ignore the fact that she asked him to stop and he didn’t. I don’t even know how anyone can happily defend that scene, but I promise you, I’ve had plenty of Fifty Shades fans try.

This is the blog in question; it should be required reading if you want to discuss Fifty Shades.

I suggest that Travis go read that, and then rethink his review. Because just dismissing it as dull erotica for bored housewives isn’t enough. People need to understand that this is really a psychological HORROR FILM, and understand just how deeply broken and wrong it really is.

And I know. Because my ex was a Christian Grey, and I still have scars. It’s wrong to ignore or downplay this reality about this horrible story. While Travis IS correct in pointing out the very accurate flaws with Fifty Shades purely as a film, (bad pacing, boring shots, tame sex scenes, laughable dialogue), the real horrors of the story need to be discussed also. Young men and women are going to see this movie and with discussing as often as possible the truth about what they’re seeing on screen, will walk away thinking “This is romance, this is how a relationship should be.” And if you think that sounds silly, you haven’t had to spend half your life dealing with hundreds of creeps hitting on you relentlessly because they think romcoms where the hero gets the girl in the end by repeatedly pressuring her to say yes even though she spends most of the movie saying no are dating manuals.

Fifty Shades is not catnip. It’s horrifying.

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