Fifty Shades of Grey… What’s The Fuss?

After the first showing of Fifty Shades of Grey, I watched people on the news being interviewed as they walked out of the theatre. When asked what they thought, women gushed over the movie and stated that they were going out to “look for their own Christian Grey.”

REALLY???

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Recently another news story caught my attention and quite honestly horrified me. A very bright University of Illinois student (studying bio-nuclear engineering) who was involved in several campus leadership programs, and is a student ambassador to the alumni association, was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a female student. He claims they were re-enacting Fifty Shades of Grey’s BDSM scenes.

The above victim of the sexual assault, I would imagine, is wishing she never submitted herself to being tied up. And I suspect she wouldn’t agree with the movie goers. With university rape cases being referred to as ‘epidemic’, this movie is likely not going to help the situation.

The introduction of the internet and its availability of porn to this generation has caused many popular views of real love to be drastically altered to begin with, without the added effects of raunchy movies. Now I know, the vast majority of young people out there have healthy relationships, but a dark undercurrent is rising. Women have fought so hard in our culture to be regarded as more than just baby-makers and sexual toys. And yet so many women have embraced this movie as a new fantasy. Perhaps a few years spent in men-dominated cultures would cure them.

I was so excited to hear that a movie called Old Fashioned was to be aired at the same time as Fifty Shades of Grey. However, of course, it wasn’t aired in any theatre near us, even though I was determined to go out and support Old Fashioned. Only a few theatres in B.C. decided against showing Fifty Shades of Grey. And that sickened me.

It is interesting to note, however, that even though the movie has grossed over 300 million worldwide, popularity has diminished, quickly. And rumour has it that Jamie Dornan, the male lead could pull out, as well as the director Sam Taylor-Johnson. Apparently the author E.L. James wanted the director to make the sex scenes even more explicit, closer to what happens in the book. And she may be at the helm controlling the content of the next movie, Fifty Shades Darker. 

Whether the books are right or wrong for the big screen in the first place is not E.L. James’ concern. But it is ours now. That in my opinion is what all the fuss is about.

The next two books in the series are scheduled to come out, and are likely going to be raunchier than the first. And could this be only the start to having full-out porn movies on the big screen and available to ‘accompanied’ teens? I hope I’m wrong, but profits speak louder than morals.

As a parent, I feel it is my responsibility to try and be as effective as I can to steer my kids toward the right movies, books, and mode of thinking as far as sexuality is concerned. Now more than ever, they are receiving so much that I can’t filter. So communication has to be constant.

But enough about what I think. Do you feel all this negative hype is warranted? Are we overreacting?

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16 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Grey… What’s The Fuss?

  1. No, I don’t think we’re over-reacting. My niece is in college for forensic science and I help her with her term papers. One paper she sent me was a research paper about rape on college campuses. The stats are staggering. If women allow men to go to back to the thinking that women love being raped, that it’s their right, and that no doesn’t mean no, imagine the consequences. I have grown daughters and I’m scared for them. I also have an 8-year-old granddaughter and am terrified for her.

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    • Pam, you are striking at the heart of the reason I wrote this blog in the first place. Universities are a different environment now, and the problem is rising. Now I don’t think it’s just the men’s faults, when so many girls come out gushing that they are so attracted to that fantasy. It’s a sick cancer that is growing in our young peoples’ world. And this movie encapsulates everything that I feel is bad about what is happening on the campuses. And elsewhere…Thanks for the comment. I hope this blog will help others to perhaps formulate better choices about what to watch and support.

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  2. I feel this is a complete over reaction to this book/movie. I have not seen the movie because the writing in the book was so terrible, I didn’t want to support it. I will probably watch it on DVD when it comes out. I just don’t see what the big deal is with the whole franchise. It’s really not that raunchy, in the scheme of things and those who have experience erotica probably don’t think it’s all that bad either.

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    • Hi, LJ. I think it’s the BDSM that’s more of a problem than the sexuality for most. The idea that it’s ok to beat up a woman even when she says no. How did that come across in the book?

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      • I don’t think it portrayed the lifestyle correctly. I think most who subscribe to the BDSM lifestyle have found fault with that issue.

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        • Thanks so much LJ Fleming for stepping forward with your comments. I really appreciate them and honestly do want to hear the other side of the arguments.
          I too have heard that the writing is not at all good, but somehow that didn’t stop it from being movie material, which shows to me that a good story and good writing are not needed for a movie to be considered. I am curious about your comment about the lifestyle. Can you elaborate?

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          • I think it takes liberties with how a BDSM lifestyle actually is. I fear I am not well versed in the lifestyle but know it is far more mutual than the book portrays. It is also not usually “forced” on those with little to no sexual experience, if done correctly.

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          • It IS interesting that the movie has the BDSMers also criticizing it. Its hard to imagine that kind of ‘lifestyle’. But then in our city, there are those who are spouse-swapping for the weekend. I forget the label they use, is it swingers? It’s like someone telling me about living on Mars, so totally foreign to my thinking.

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  3. It makes me think of the movie 9 1/2 weeks that came out when I was in high school. I don’t know that it got all the hype that 50 Shades has gotten, but I remember watching that movie and thinking it was really weird and disturbing. I would hope that would be the reaction of most people to this movie as well. Based on its content, I’ve had no interest in the book or movie. I wish it would just go away. I don’t think there’s anything sexy about a man beating up a woman. And I can’t believe there’s 2 more books in the series. Yeesh.

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    • Yes, I do agree that it needs to die and go away. Some talk about the real story that is about how poor Christian is hurting inside and is damaged emotionally. But how he deals with it is to dominate and demoralize other women? And wasn’t it wonderful how one of those ‘heals’ him. This is supposed to give us warm fuzzies?? When you saw 9 1/2 weeks, you at least had the advantage of having had an upbringing that would make you feel disturbed. But what about those who haven’t, or are from a machistic culture, wouldn’t they feel as if perhaps there was some merit to the actions Christian took? Scary…

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  4. Here is something that is worth considering, even negative publicity is still publicity. We need to remember that the makers of the movie don’t care whether its good or bad, only that people pay to go see it. Even negative publicity sells tickets, and controversy will extend the public life of a movie, novel, or tv show. Sometimes, saying nothing and not fueling the publicity is the best way to let something die a natural death.

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    • Oh Tim, I do agree wholeheartedly and really, I did try to keep quiet. And I did, for almost two weeks. But the news stories and the articles threw me over the edge. I hope that the fact that the sales have already plummeted by 74% from the opening weekend, says that people are already catching on that it is just a bad movie, whether it is about something risque or not.

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  5. It’s absolutely warranted though a sad side-effect of all the negative publicity is it’s still publicity. The content itself may not be any worse than other garbage out there but it’s receiving attention the other filth doesn’t get either. It’s becoming mainstream and warping what women define as romantic and that’s when it becomes something that deserves attention.

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    • Thanks for your comment Sparksofember. Yes, I too am disturbed by how any publicity is good for marketing, but still there was only so much I could stand,and when I saw the news story, I felt I needed to say something. It’s all over the news anyways, so if I could just get to one person, or one parent that and change their mind, it would be worth it. It may seem rather trivial to some who are into that sort of stuff, but for those who aren’t, do they really need to see it? Trash is out there, but do we need to spotlight it? Perhaps one good thing that has arisen from this, is that it has gotten people talking about what is right and what is wrong about relationships. I just fear of the effects it will have on young men who are perhaps not brought up in our culture and are from a machistic culture. This will confirm what they were taught in their culture…

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  6. It’s true that even negative publicity can be an advantage–it’s an unavoidable scenario. However, I for one can’t be quiet about 50 Shades. Even the co-stars of the film have shared their misgivings — Dakota said she hoped her family wouldn’t see it as “it’s inappropriate” and Jamie Dornan admitted he had to shower before going home to his wife and baby because he felt dirty. YAY for his rumored consideration of not returning to the role — YAY for the director too.

    I get the whole free speech thing but put waaaayyyy too many impressionable hearts and minds are being told this is how love and romance and sex are supposed to work. That is a blatant LIE.

    I would LOVE it if the two remaining books do not end up on the big screen. Surely enough negative press will have an impact on that decision. Oh if only NO ONE would agree to produce or act in the sequels. If only…

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    • I have been out all morning, but also really wanted to weigh in after a few comments showed up. And showed up they have!! I’m with you Beth. I do understand and appreciate that we live in a culture that has freedom to express whatever they wish. But there are times when this freedom bites us in the butt. And this is in my opinion, where it happens. This movie shows a blatant disregard for how it could and will affect our younger population. (as evidenced by the university students news story) Now I know there are things like this already going on, but doesn’t it confirm what some sick minds are already thinking, and will it push some who are presently sitting on the fence over the edge to be more aggressive?
      I too am encouraged by the fact that the actors themselves feel it’s not something they want to share with their families. Thanks Beth for your comment.

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