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)