Daughters

Anastasia Steele Could be My Daughter

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I know the books have sold over a 100 million copies and counting. I know the fan club has reached astonishing numbers. But I just can’t shake this thought from my mind: Anastasia Steele could be my daughter someday.  You see, I love my daughter more than life, and to think of a man ever daring to treat her even half as badly as the man named Christian Grey did to Anastasia…

I sat with my sweet girl as she fell asleep last night. I gently stroked her hair, taking in her innocent self. I tried to block such thoughts of someone like this man ever finding his way into her heart. But as I forced myself to think of only good, I found myself a bit numb. You see, the very thought that made me tremble was the exact thing that will be cheered in packed theaters everywhere.

“No.” I protest, trying to kick him off. He stops. “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you.” ~Fifty Shades of Grey

Throughout the story, Christian finds intense pleasure in Anastasia’s pain, in controlling and manipulating her. As Psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman states, “Fifty Shades of Grey teaches your daughter that pain and humiliation are erotic, and your son, that girls want a guy who controls, intimidates and threatens.”

“How did you feel while I was hitting you and after?” “I didn’t like it. I’d rather you didn’t do it again.” “You weren’t meant to like it.” ~Fifty Shades of Grey

Beyond the sex part of it, experts say almost every interaction between Christian and Anastasia runs deep with the signs of an abusive relationship. Psychologists at Michigan State University and Ohio State University concluded that its characters’ behaviors line up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official definition of intimate partner violence. Furthermore, throughout the book Anastasia “suffers reactions typical of abused women.” Even the BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism) group themselves claim this story is “about abuse,” and are protesting the film.

“You need to learn to manage my expectations. I am not a patient man.” He would probably like to beat seven shades of s** out of me. The thought is depressing. ~Fifty Shades of Grey 

I think of all the young girls out there, the 15, 16, 17 year old girls. You know they will find a way to watch it. Will they see it as just a fun, kinky fantasy? Or will they, like so many older women, begin to find their hearts in love with the narcissistic, sexy billionaire, and think this is what they too need?

What about the young boys? How will this play in their heads? Will sadomasochism, control, and dominance be found as something desirable? Will a girls’s request of “stop” be thought of as nothing more than a game?

What if we taught our girls that true sexy was not Christian Grey, but a man who puts them first? Who thinks of their needs and desires, and lives his life for his family. Who will encourage their dreams, and support them throughout life. What if we taught them that true love was mutual respect and adoration? What if we even went back real old school, where men were true gentlemen and would never hit a lady?

These are our daughters. This is my little girl with the curly blonde hair. Do we really want Christian Grey for them? Do we really want his face to be the one they idolize?

Dear God, I honestly hope not.

(Photo credit: jessieleighphotography.com)

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22 thoughts on “Anastasia Steele Could be My Daughter

  1. Ah, Sasha, I do love ya. It is so nice to see that someone else sees these stories the way I do. While everyone I knew was in a frenzy about the books, I was disgusted. As far as the sex-to each his own, that was not my problem. My problem was the way Christian wanted to control everything in Anastasia’s life and she was willing to agree to it even when she knew it was wrong. Even more insidious was the theme in the book that Anastasia could change Christian into a caring, loving man. What kind of message is that sending to our youth? I fear it will make young women more willing to put up with abuse because they believe that eventually they can change the abuser. Aargh! I was truly blown away that women embraced this story the way they did. The good thing is with a mama like you to teach her, your daughter will be so much stronger than that. 🙂

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    1. Thanks! I too fear this gives an in to more domestic violence which is already high enough as is. I read that 1 in every 4 women have experienced domestic violence in the US alone!

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  2. Thank you for this. Just another great motivation to be so so picky what we allow to enter this household, what message my sweet impressionable children recieve. I am here to tell you firsthand abuse is not sexy. It is demeaning, soul-crushing, and without the Lord’s healing, can drive you insane. I pray our sweet daughters never have to face that, our sons never perpetuate it.

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  3. Years ago, Collin Raye had a song that expressed much the same thing–“I Think About You.” The gist is every time he saw a woman being regarded as an object, he had the same reflection, and the refrain basically reminds us that every woman who’s objectified in ANY way is “somebody’s little girl.” If only our world would take that message to heart.

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  4. I haven’t read the books and don’t have any intentions of seeing the movie for these exact reasons. There’s enough warped images of relationships and what’s acceptable treatment without adding to it. I pray my sons never see or read things like this and view it as acceptable.

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    1. Thanks Tara! I understand it is a very touchy subject. I just think we need to make sure our kids understand the difference between one women’s fantasy and how women truly deserve to be treated.

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  5. I hope not, Sasha. I haven’t read the books or watched the movie, and nor will I, so technically I shouldn’t comment…but seriously sisters, come on. This so…last century. Where’s the goddamn self respect?

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    1. That’s exactly what I was thinking Sara! It seems to put all our work for equality and respect and throw it right out the window. Hopefully someone will write a better best seller soon! :-/

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  6. I have only read the first book so far, not sure if I’ll ever get to the others as I couldn’t stand Anastasia or Christian! Have no idea what the writer’s intentions were but for me they aren’t good role models and their relationship is not a good model for anyone, especially my own daughter!

    I think true heroes and role models are only known directly by us anyway.

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  7. I absolutely love this post. It’s worded perfectly. Although I don’t personally have ANY desire to partake in BDSM, I do have a background on it from a psychology standpoint and the books (and from what I’ve heard the movie as well) do a terrible job or portraying it anyways, rather reinforcing the stereotype of it. When done correctly, BDSM should be as safe and enjoyable as any other fantasy or preference, whereas 50 Shades as well as many other media references (think Rihanna’s song “S&M”) portray it as a preference that is highly abusive and controlling and HARDLY consensual for both parties, which is really what scares me the most for our future generations. I would never judge anyone for their preferences in their intimate lives, but if you are going to choose a more extreme style such as BDSM, it should be done correctly and safely, not how it is being abusively portrayed today as “acceptable”.

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  8. Geez, I hadn’t thought of how those stupid books may affect impressionable young women! I personally disliked 50 Shades because of how miserable and unhappy Anastasia was. She was wracked with anxiety and depression over Christian and always afraid of his temper and how he may punish her, that isn’t love and I don’t want my daughters to ever feel trapped and afraid like Ana does in the books. I tried to hang on through the series in hope that Christian would redeem himself and the whole thing would have a happy ending, but gave up at the beginning of book 4. Why do people love this stuff? I don’t want this kind of misery for my two daughters either.

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  9. Sasha, thank you for your post. This is a phenomenal read!! I have not read this book and chose not to since I knew it is mainly about sexual fantacies; however, I did not know the in depth abusive that it portrayed. It is frightening and scary to think we live in a society that idolizes such behavior and finds this acceptable. I am so glad there are others out there that want to protect and preserve morality, godly examples, and genuine godly love. Your posts about your family are so sweet. I use to know Jay really well in school and I am so excited to watch his beautiful family grow but even more excited to see how God set you apart for him. God is good!

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