Fifteen Shades of REAL Life

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, and 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 in 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.  No one can "complete" you, but yourself.

13. There is no Knight in Shining Armor.  Just imperfect men who are doing the best they can to impress the imperfect women that we are.   

14.  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.

15.  Fifty years of marriage is a better goal.


betty said...

Amen to all you said, Mare! Especially 50 years of marriage is a better goal. Never had any interest in the book and obviously neither the movie. I can only hope the movie bombs, but the book didn't seem to, so don't expect that to happen. Definitely won't be getting my time or money.


Mari said...

Very well said!

Ronda said...

I'm so glad you addressed this. It's breaking my heart today to see the excitement for this movie. Our local movie theater is showing it on the hour from 11am on.

Rita said...

Amen!! I had zero interest in reading the books or seeing the movie. Having been beaten and raped...are these women crazy!!?? I have been appalled and baffled that such a sick cruel unhealthy relationship has any appeal to women at all. It breaks my heart that our society has become immune to violence to this extreme. Totally agree with you.

Becca said...

Agreed! Sadly, so few women (and men too) realize #5. I like #15. :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

Twice in the past two days have I heard the book/film described as a love story. I really don't think it is! You make good points.

Jerralea said...

I love your list! In fact, I'm going to try sharing the link to your article on my facebook page. I want all my young adult friends especially to read it.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yes yes yes I am so with your here

Juli G said...

OKay... while I agree with your points here, I think what is also being missed is that it is meant as a FANTASY book. I liked the series (read way before it was the "thing" to read), much like I liked Twilight, and Dean Koontz and books about crazy wacko serial killers.... because it is so far from my reality that it's an escape.

That said, I think making it into a movie is a huge mistake, as it sensationalizes so many of the points you mentioned. I think many women have that "I can save him" thought when approaching an unhealthy relationship, which is VERY dangerous. Hollywood blowing it onto the big screen will undoubtedly bring on the next dangerous "craze" not unlike the vamp inspired raves and clubs from the Twilight induced era.

But there is an aspect of the book that is good... it gave many women to talk with other women about their personal prefaces. It allowed women the "freedom" to speak their mind, weather it be good or bad, regarding sex. And while I think many may say that's a matter left for the bedroom with the husband, what if THAT is the problem? It opened up the channels for women to openly discuss likes/dislikes in a "judge" free arena.... and also made it easier for the husbands and wives to discuss it.

So there you have it... my 2 cents, which apparently is not what's popular here. But hey... that's just me. :)

Empty Nest Insider said...

I agree that both the books and the movie send a horrible message to young women. Older single women with low self esteem, should also be advised to avoid men with these tendencies.


Deb said...

Such a great post! I totally agree with you. I am going to try and share this on FB because I think you are right on!

Joyce said...

Fabulous! So with you on this one! And movies no longer remain in theatres under the nose of someone checking for i.d. This will become a rental and I cringe thinking especially of too young girls viewing the film.

Brenda said...

Every young woman...every woman needs to read this post. May set some free!