The 50 Shades of Grey Dilemma

50 Shades of Grey: another hyper-sexualized, popular book series has been made into a big-budget film. I’ve been struggling with whether to see it or not. I mean, the Twilight books were the same way. They were poorly written, displayed emotionally shallow characters, and were sold on the classic forbidden love plot. In the case of Twilight, I caved. I read the books, I watched the movies, and actually, over Jan Plan break, I watched them all again. Don’t judge. It’s a guilty pleasure. But this time, with the release of 50 Shades of Grey, I’m debating boycotting this movie because it goes too far. Let me explain.



Abusive Relationship

The relationship between Anna and Christian is the definition of an abusive relationship.

  1. He buys her company, just so he can have control over her workplace.
  2. He tracks her phone.
  3. He makes her take birth control just so that he doesn’t have to wear a condom.
  4. When Anna’s friend takes photos of her for an exhibit, Christian buys all of them. Not because he wants to put them in his house and gaze adoringly at them, but because he doesn’t want anyone else to see or have them. 
  5. His first words after getting married were “Finally, you’re mine.” Uh, that’s a red flag right there.
  6. He literally stalks her. That’s so romantic, right?
  7. She goes out with a friend one night, he flies across the country in the same night to make her stop. Really? Flying across the country because your girlfriend leaves the house? That’s a little controlling and overreactive.

Their relationship is based on Christian’s need to objectify and control another human being. Anna only wants to be with him because she doesn’t have any confidence without him. This is not a romantic relationship, it’s abusive and dangerous.


The BDSM Community Rejects It

Let’s be honest. The real reason we all want to see 50 Shades of Grey is because of all the hot sex scenes. However, the BDSM community has lashed out against 50 Shades as being unrealistic and extremely dangerous, stating that many of the things Christian and Anna do would not be okay in the BDSM community. Anna signs Christian’s BDSM contract without even looking over it or having lawyers look over it, and it essentially states that Christian can do anything to her, whenever and wherever he wants. That doesn’t sound very safe or consensual. Also, multiple times Anna uses the safe word – a word that couples use in bed when things are getting too intense that means the partner should stop immediately – and Christian completely ignores her and keeps going. Hm, doesn’t sound very consensual. BDSM is awesome if you’re into it, but there are still rules. 50 Shades of Grey completely ignores those rules and portrays BDSM incorrectly and dangerously.


Its theme:

  1. If you’re hot and rich or just great in bed, being abusive is totally okay.
  2. Carrying a baby to term even if the parents aren’t ready to be parents is totally okay, and is actually expected. Plus of course, pregnancy is always the woman’s fault.
  3. A virgin can save a crazy, abusive guy; she just has to stick with him no matter what.


All three of these things are completely untrue, but 50 Shades of Grey promotes these tenants. 


So despite the hype around 50 Shades, I will be boycotting it because of the dangerously abusive relationship it promotes and romanticizes, its inaccurate portrayal of a BDSM relationship, and the disgustingly misogynistic and oppressive themes it communicates to audiences. Instead, I’ll be watching The Notebook while surrounded by chocolate and blankets. Not your deal? Here’s 25 things you can do instead of watching 50 Shades of Grey