Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of.
I recently did a blog post that reviewed the book of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and if you read it, you know I am not big fan of the book and that I in fact only read the first book because I couldn’t subject myself to any more of E.L. James’ drivel. I have not yet seen the movie version of the book but I came across this Australian review of the film. Spoiler Alert! The woman hated it, but what bugged me most was that she equated it with domestic abuse,
It’s domestic violence dressed up as erotica. And if there’s one thing this movie is not, it’s erotic.
Domestic abuse dressed up as erotica? Hmmmm…I have heard of this recent debate in the world about how people should be boycotting Fifty Shades because it promotes domestic abuse. I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Here’s why;
- The story is one of a man (the emotionless, boring, emotional train wreck that is the self-centered Mr. Grey) who has a penchant for BDSM (in case you don’t know, BDSM stands for An overlapping abbreviation of Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM)). BDSM is NOT abuse, it is a sexual practice between two consenting adults. End of story. Thank you and Good Day.
- To be fair…the boycott is not about BDSM but they claim that since the BDSM community disliked how they were portrayed in the novel, this movie simply portrays an abuser and his victim. I’m still not sure that makes for a very convincing argument.
- Don’t go around telling people to boycott something, that will only make them want to see it! Let the movie stand for itself. Either it will be terrible or it’ll be good. I, personally, have low expectations of the film but I am going to see it out of morbid curiosity and because I think it might actually make for an OK movie.
A lot of the criticism of our campaign is that there’s nothing wrong with BDSM – we’re not saying there is. But people within the BDSM community are outraged by how the book portrays their lifestyle. This book romanticizes a perpetrator of abuse.
In researching this post, I found a great blog post by a woman who engages in BDSM and has been accused of allowing abuse upon herself and others by having such a penchant for it. She states perfectly what BDSM means to her.
Obviously, I don’t think BDSM is inherently abusive! Exploring my personal BDSM desires has given me some extraordinary, consensual, transcendent experiences and connections. I also genuinely believe that BDSM has the potential to control, subvert, and manage power. BDSM can be a place where people learn to understand bad power dynamics in past relationships; it can be a place where people learn to manage or destroy bad power dynamics in their current relationships; it can be a place where people find glory, self-knowledge and freedom by manipulating their own reactions and responses to power.
She goes onto say that of course the BDSM community has their own issues and problems, people sometimes go too far and then berate the victim of their assault but that is a human problem, not one created because of BDSM proclivities. The idea that people engage willing in practice that cause pain and bruising is strange to those of us who do not engage in such practices but it needs to be made crystal clear that BDSM is not abuse. Nor does it promote abuse. If done without proper knowledge, yes, it can cause pain and suffering. If done by someone with a vile temperament who is doing it only to cause pain and suffering, yes, that’s a problem. But again, that is a human problem. Abuse happens every, single day in the world and we cannot go around blaming a book or movie for the problem. Nor can we blame the same book and movie for promoting violence against women when violence against women has existed since … forever.
Let’s all move on people, let’s focus on things that truly matter, victim shaming, rape culture and the like. These women are truly suffering.
I’ll let you know if I’ve changed my mind after I see the movie this weekend. For now, let me know YOUR thoughts. Have you read Fifty Shades? Do you think it promotes domestic abuse?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments.