I’m going to be honest and tell you I’m disappointed Fifty Shades of Grey was made into a movie. I had hoped the books would recede in the culture’s memory. The books do not portray true love, nor healthy individuals. Sadly, enough women found them enticing, and today, the movie will be released. The story will be told again, in vivid, disturbing color.
I understand free speech, artistic expression, and Hollywood’s greed; there are lots of movies made that do not honor women, marriage, or healthy relationships. The frightening thing about this storyline is that so many women embraced it; the abusive, narcissistic (but apparently wounded) male, the sexual manipulation and assault, the willingness of younger Ana to invite all the degradation, and her misguided belief that accepting Mr. Grey’s abuse will somehow help him.
Women have tried to escape these types of relationships since the beginning of time. It’s disheartening to see that so many women invested in this trilogy ($95m worth) and will undoubtedly see the movie. Some men are observing this phenomena, and the danger is that they are now wondering if women might secretly enjoy the treatment Mr. Grey doles out to Ana. Do women not realize this?
I offer a few footnotes to the seriously dysfunctional relationship in Fifty Shades, along with some other points we women need to remember. We have come too far to continue to be seduced by the Mr. Greys of the world.
1. Every female college student should be wary of becoming involved with anyone five years older.
2. Sex and erotica are enticing, but they’re not love.
3. Any woman who is tempted by a relationship that involves being beaten with a belt needs a friend to repeatedly scream in her face that she was created for better things.
4. For all the gains of the women’s movement, women are still tolerating sub par relationships. We need to knock it off.
5. Girls, we cannot obtain our self-worth from a man. God gave us intrinsic, inalienable value the day we were born. It’s up to us not to misplace it.
6. Love is about service and sacrifice. It is never about power (sexual or otherwise.)
7. The only entity we should “submit” to is God.
8. A truly good man will not want to tie you up, or tie you down.
9. A truly good man will propose.
10. It’s OK to wait for a truly good man.
11. If you invest in your appearance more than you invest in your mind, you are giving men permission to focus on your body more than your ideas.
12. Men and women are different. This is not a weakness, a mistake, or automatic grounds for resentment, distrust, or competition. It’s our first introduction to diversity.
13. No one can “complete” you, but yourself.
14. There is no Knight in Shining Armor. Just imperfect fellas who are doing the best they can to impress the imperfect women that we are.
15. Fifty years of marriage is a better goal. (And here are some tips on that.)