If you have friends or family who have fallen for the so-called “romance” in the sexually violent book and upcoming film, Fifty Shades of Grey, this new website provides useful talking points as well as more appropriate ways to fight violence against women in our world today.
The new website, which is named #50shadesisabuse, exposes the truth behind the story of a wealthy and domineering businessman named Christian who entices a virginal young college graduate named Anastasia into becoming his “sexual submissive”. He sweeps her off her feet, wooing her into his “red room of pain” where he regularly tortures her in what is being called a “love affair and erotic sex”.
However, what the film is really about is domestic violence incurred by a man who intimidates, coerces, humiliates, stalks, and manipulates his partner through a variety of controlling behaviors in order to keep her under his domination.
“The Fifty Shades of Grey book series and franchise promote torture as sexually gratifying and normalize domestic violence, particularly violence against women. This type of material cultivates a rape and sexual violence culture and is now permeating our society,” says the founders of the site, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly known as Morality in Media).
The site offers useful talking points to convince loved ones away from this graphic distortion of real love with straight answers to common misperceptions such as:
How can it be wrong if both adults consent? “Consent is not a black and white issue, but rather spans a broad continuum,” the site explains. “One’s ability or freedom to consent is often compromised by trauma, abuse, mis-education, lack of knowledge. . . . Consent does not remove the psychological and physical damage that was produced from that consent.”
What people do in private is their own business. “Simply because you participate in these sex acts in private, does not make them harmless. These acts are a simulation, at best, of abuse and violence that objectifies and exploits those involved.”
But the book had no effect upon me and helped my relationship. “Just like with other forms of pornography, the user often experiences a short term high personally and often in intimate relationships. There may be increased sexual activity right away, but the long term impact looks much different. Pornography, which this book is, desensitizes the user and disrupts the normal bonding that takes place between two human beings. The relationship may look good when you take a little slice of the moment, but when you look at the long term or whole picture – it doesn’t ever look like that.”
The site also encourages people to support shelters and other organizations that help women who have been victims of violence. In its #50dollarsnot50shades program, concerned citizens are urged to donate whatever they can afford to help women in real life crisis situations due domestic violence and provides a list of women’s shelters across the U.S.
They are also asking folks to use the hashtag #50dollarsnot50shades or #fiftyshadesisabuse on their social media networks to share the truth about this degrading film.
The film, which is based on the book by E. L. James, will debut on Friday, February 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
This is why it is more important than ever to spread the word that in real life, “women in these situations don’t end up like Anastasia – they end up in a woman’s shelter, on the run from their abuser or, sometimes, dead.”
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