Tuesday, February 24, 2015, a news article came out saying that a college student has been charged with sexually assaulting his 19-year-old sex friend after he allegedly attempted to recreate Fifty Shades of Grey. This guy, Mohammad Hossain, also 19, tied the woman’s hands and legs with belts, covered her eyes, and began beating her with a belt. The woman started to cry and begged him to stop.
People, this is where you stop. This is rape. “Reenacting Fifty Shades of Grey,” is the sorriest cop-out.
Fifty Shades of Grey, released this past Valentine’s day, still remains at the top of the box office and has engrossed millions of readers and fans since the release of the first book in 2011. Since then, this series has stirred up much controversy, so much that thousands even tried to boycott the movie. Especially after the release of the film, many people would argue that this book series encourages rape and abusive relationships.
I am so tired of hearing this. This book is about a BDSM relationship where in which both parties consent to everything being done. That is not rape. The judgment people are placing on BDSM relationships is almost as rude as judging people who choose to be in same-sex relationships. Some people like rough sex. Let them be.
Sure the couple falls in love, and the guy who initiates the BDSM has a terrible past, is a billionaire, and is supposedly Greek god hot. This is where the fiction comes in. It’s made up. This series is based entirely on fan fiction. The fact that it is so unrealistic adds to its attractiveness.
I agree with many of the conversations about the problems with society’s rape culture that this book/movie is stirring up. Yes, those issues need to be addressed. But doing it through Fifty Shades of Grey by claiming that this story is about rape and abusive relationships is not relevant. In fact, what this book/movie did a really good job at was making it a point to have safe sex. Throughout the series, up until they are married, E.L. James always addressed the fact that Christian Grey uses a condom. Grey also makes Anastasia see the best OBGYN doctor in order to get the right birth control for her. Practicing safe sex is poorly portrayed in the media and is an entire other issue that should be addressed. But no one is giving a thumbs-up to the fact that Fifty Shades of Grey did this.
All acts of “abuse” in this book/movie were done with consent from both parties, which again, is not rape. I am so annoyed with seeing articles using quotes to support their claims about this story being about rape and an abusive relationships. Quotes such as:
“‘No,’ I protest, trying to kick him off. He stops. “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you.”
“Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you. I can track your cell phone – remember?”
“He narrows his eyes, and then seems to remember himself. Releasing my hand, he takes my elbow and leads me out of the room. ‘This conversation is not over,’ he whispers threateningly.
I’m not saying that I would allow anyone to speak to me like this in particular. But articles that use these quotes in defense of saying how abusive Grey is are taken way out of context. To be honest, all the quotes used in articles such as this one found on Upworthy, were either used in foreplay or were followed by an intense orgasm. Fucked up, sure, but definitely taken out of context.
Overall, I am completely exhausted from reading articles about how this movie is solely “Teaching people that rape and abusive relationships are okay.” My reaction is always “Oh, hell no.”