The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is joining a global boycott movement calling upon women to reject the normalization of violence and abuse against women portrayed in the upcoming movie.
The campaign Facebook page, highlights how the Fifty Shades franchise which is based on the bestselling book series by E.L. James, attempts to normalize and even romanticize sexual and domestic violence.
“Hollywood is portraying the Fifty Shades story as a risqué, passionate romance, but it’s actually a story of sexual and domestic abuse,” said the NCOSE in conjunction with the London Abused Women’s Centre, Collective Shout, and Culture Reframed.
“Christian Grey, the male lead, consistently displays the traits of an abuser through possessive, manipulative, coercive, and violent behaviors, including frequent stalking. Anastasia Steele, his ‘lover’, is consistently isolated, threatened, and manipulated, yet she comes back to Christian time and time again because she thinks her love can change him. As the story progresses, Ana, who was first fearful and disturbed by Christian’s controlling behaviors and dark sexual practices, gradually becomes desensitized to his harsh treatment.”
They continue: “The Fifty Shades series is permeated with graphic scenes of violent sex and sexual abuse. Its lead male character exhibits classic hallmarks of a sexual and domestic abuser, and yet Hollywood is portraying his relationship with Ana as a sexually titillating Cinderella story.”
For example, in a 2012 case referred to as “a real life 50 Shades,” 22 year-old Brittany Killgore was killed in 2012 after refusing to engage in violent sex with Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Perez. Perez was living in a home with two other women who were reportedly engaged in submission, sadomasochism and domination. Killgore
In 2013, a 31 year-old Swedish man was charged with killing his 28 year-old girlfriend in a Fifty Shades of Grey-style sado-masochistic sex game. The man claimed the woman was a willing “sex slave” and killed her after hitting her 123 times with a wooden blackboard pointer while she was bound with nylons and condoms.
In 2015, just 10 days after the first movie debuted, A University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) student was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault after allegedly re-enacting scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey with a 19 year-old female in his dorm room. Prosecutors said the man found the woman’s hands and legs, covered her mouth with a necktie, repeatedly hit her with a belt, punched her and sexually assaulted her, all the while ignoring her cries asking him to stop.
It’s irresponsible to promote such behavior in film and downright dangerous to present it as “romantic,” especially in light of statistics showing that North American girls born today have a 50 percent chance of being physically or sexually abused due to the “pornification” of our culture.
For this reason, women everywhere are banding together to protest this film, the violence it promotes, and how these degrading portrayals of women strip them of their inherent dignity.
Even though the movement may be small when pitted against a best-selling book and movie series, but Jennifer Dunn of the Abused Women’s Centre in Ontario told LifeSiteNews it will be worthwhile “if we just help one woman who feels she is alone” to avoid or fight her way out of an abusive relationship such as the one depicted in the movies and books.
She said campaigns against drinking and driving and smoking began small with consciousness-raising but grew to have a major influence on public behavior and on laws.
“This is a public health issue,” she said.
While it is certain that not all girls and women who watch 50 Shades Darker will enter abusive relationships any more than all people who drink and drive cause accidents, but that doesn’t make either issue a personal one only, she said.
“Consider the impact of one driver who drinks and then causes an accident, not just on his own life and health but on the lives of many other people.”
The campaign webpage, FiftyShadesisAbuse.com, offers several ways for supporters to spread their views, including a Facebook group and several memes such as one that states “The Lie: 50 Shades Darker is about a love affair. The Truth: 50 Shades Darker is about abuse, violence, and grooming a young girl for sadistic sex.”
The site also provides links to women’s shelters and counseling agencies as well as a hashtag, #50DollarsNot50Shades, to encourage donations to these groups.
Click here to get involved today and support women’s dignity!
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