Tag Archives: domestic violence

Fifty Shades of Grey…normalizing abuse

Well I’m blogging again. I planned to start blogging for NEDA (National Eating Disorder Awareness) Week next week but I’ve decided to start early and wade into the discussion on Fifty Shades of Grey (probably regrettably) but here it goes…

Many women celebrate Fifty Shades of Grey because it breaks barriers and says that sex is not bad and women can enjoy it. I’d be all for the book/movie IF this is the only thing they are saying. As a survivor of a relationship that was controlling, manipulating and abusive I see many red flags in Anastasia’s relationship with Christian Grey. So many things that were in my relationship with my abuser. The power, the control. The things that are perceived as sweet and protective but are really about ownership and controlling every detail in a woman’s life.  Yes, you man argue that Christian did it out of love. But love doesn’t excuse this type of behavior. If a woman arrived at a shelter describing a husband who controlled her finances, showed up at her place or work or recreation unannounced, utilized tracking devices on her phone, when she was unconscious undressed her and put her to bed (regardless of whether or not he had sex with her), and continued to have sex with her even when she said no many times it would be described as  abuse. In fact it might be enough to get a restraining order.

It doesn’t bother me one bit if a couple chooses to engage in BDSM and it wouldn’t bother me one bit if a book chose to describe this as long as the relationship between the two people was healthy. But the reality is that Anastasia’s and Christian’s relationship is not.  The type of relationship that is described in Fifty Shades of Grey is not healthy nor should it be perceived as normal and it bothers me very much that millions of women are buying into the idea that it is.

I worry that young people who see this movie (and we all know they will) will think that this type of a relationship is normal and wind up in abusive relationships themselves but excuse all of the behavior because they believe they are living their own fairy tale and can “tame the beast”. It doesn’t work that way. Relationships like this end with heartbreak and hurt sexually, emotionally and physically. It can take years of therapy to move past them. Fifty Shades of Grey normalizes abuse and this, not the sex, is what is so concerning. I wonder that if I had read the book or seen the movie six years ago would I have found the strength to break up with my abuser or would I have seen his behavior as even more normal and I even more as the one with the problem. I certainly think it’s more than likely. I wonder how many women will stay with their abusers in part because of this film. I don’t think I exaggerate when I say this. Films and books especially popular ones influence culture in many ways. And I think Fifty Shades of Grey contribution to society is to normalize abuse and that is extremely frightening.

*I know not everyone will agree with me. Many of you won’t in fact. Share your opinion if you would like. I’d love to hear it. I have a hard time comprehending that this relationship can be seen as anything as abusive but if you don’t think it is I’d love to hear why.

1 Comment

Filed under abuse, abuser, culture, feminism

lessons learned from Glee

I’ll admit. I’m a Glee fan. I love the show and you can find me every Tuesday sitting in front of my television at 7:00 waiting to see what songs the cast will sing that week.

The show  is entertaining and can be quite witty. However, I also like it because it has tackeled some of the biggest society/teen issues in the country each complete with a song and a heart wrenching story line. Here are just a few of the issues that the show has tackled.

Coming out.

Young relationships (both gay and straight)

Bulling.

Suicide.

Religion.

Teen pregnancy.

Alcohol.

However, the issue that has most effected me lately was the recent story-line on domestic violence. The way the show portrayed it was realistic and very true. On Tuesday’s episode the teacher who was being abused left her husband. The things he said, the way he intimated her and her reaction reminded me of my own experiences. I was watching with A. and as I watched the scenes unfold and the song (of course there was a song it’s Glee) I had tears streaming down my own face.  A. let me cry. She was okay that I didn’t want to talk and just let me cry. It was a moment I had needed for a long time (thank you so much A. so much).

It caused me to look at my past and mourn for some things that I have lost and have experienced. I know it’s only a TV show but it was a show that impacted me greatly. I don’t know what I’m trying to say except we can learn and grow from many different places. For me it was this episode of Glee.

This first song was sung in the first installement of the storyline when Biest (the teacher) chooses to return to her husband.

And the second is sung by Biest and Puck (who is my favorite male character) after she leaves for good.

4 Comments

Filed under bullying, coping skills, Identity, music, PTSD, Recovery, survivor, the past, trauma