Jul 29 2014
The trailer came out this week for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. It will of course be released on Valentine’s Day. (May romance never die.) I never read the books but I watched the trailer. It made me queasy.
Both Matt Walsh and Jonathon Van Maren wrote good pieces about the Fifty Shades phenomenon. I included some portions of their articles below.
The fact that the series is a bestseller is very depressing. What will future generations think about this one? Our bestsellers aren’t literary masterpieces. They are poorly written BDSM filth. And how poorly written? Walsh includes a few shocking examples here.
I can just imagine how those books or movies would have seriously screwed me up had I read/watched them as a tween or teen. (‘This is what guys expect? This is what sexuality is all about? This is normal?’) I don’t think my parents would have ever let this kind of garbage into our house, but you’d be surprised what is laying out in the open at friends’ homes or a babysitting clients’ homes or…how many young kids and teens are going to be exposed to this?
It might seem sadistic and rapey, but hey, sexual freedom has allowed us to celebrate “bondage” and sexual liberation has allowed us to liberate our darkest demons from the recesses of our skulls and allow them out to play in the bedroom. Boys used to get taught that they shouldn’t hit girls, but now the culture is telling them that it’s actually a turn-on.
I genuinely feel sorry for many teenage girls trying to navigate the new, pornified dating landscape. I genuinely feel sorry for the legions of fatherless boys, exposed to pornography before they even had a chance to realize what it was, enfolded by the tentacles of perverted sexual material before they even realize what, exactly, they are trifling with. It brings to mind something C.S. Lewis once wrote: “Wouldn’t it be dreadful if some day in our own world, at home, men start going wild inside, like the animals here, and still look like men, so that you’d never know which were which.”
As you may have noticed, the first 50 Shades of Grey preview debuted this week. Apparently it premiered on the Today Show at 8AM, which surely enchanted the millions of parents who might have made the mistake of turning on network television in the middle of the morning while their kids were in the room. Silly moms and dads, what makes you think you can do something like that without being greeted by a nice dose of sadomasochism and stylized sexual violence? Besides, why do you even have problem with a trailer for a movie based on a book that romanticizes a sociopathic pervert who sexually dominates a young, impressionable woman? Puritans. Your kids are in preschool now, it’s about time they learn about this stuff. [...]
This isn’t really a film. Film is art. Art exists for a reason. It speaks to us. It communicates a truth. Art is beautiful, moving, real.
This is a business decision. It’s about as artistic as the end cap display at the grocery store. It’s a marketing gimmick. It exists to be consumed, and for no other reason. It will enter into your mind — your medulla oblongata, if you will — and lessen you. It will steal another piece of your humanity. It’s the opposite of art — it’s a complete inversion. It is to art what a black hole is to the sun.
Nobody responsible for this movie ever at any point said to themselves, “Geez, now this is a story that really needs to be told.” It doesn’t need to be told and it isn’t a story. It’s loveless sex and degradation. No narrative, no message, no redemption. If that’s all you want, you’ll find plenty of it at the strip club down the street.
What are these materials good for? I’d say a fire pit. Planned Parenthood would disagree. Apparently Fifty Shades is good sex-ed material. The Colorado attorney general is now investigating Planned Parenthood. One of their counselors recommended to a Live Action actor, posing as a 15 year old girl, to engage in 50 Shades activity:
The anonymous female employee suggested the investigator read the book Fifty Shades of Grey or “even do some internet research on it,” such as viewing porn on her phone so her parents would not see her search history.
“It can be really fun,” she said.
The employee asked if the investigator and her boyfriend had ever gone to a sex shop. “They have whips, ties, everything,” she said.
“That would be a good place for you guys, I think, to go together,” she said, “and get educated together.”
It is illegal for minors to enter sex shops, and in many parts of the country intentionally facilitating a young teen’s access to pornography violates laws against corruption of a minor.
What a world. I’m off to cuddle my kid and pretend we live in a world where we act like we have some kind of moral responsibility towards each other.