Arguing "Hollywood doesn't need your money - abused women do," the online campaign #50dollarsnot50shades is urging people to donate $50 to a women’s shelter rather than go see the much-hyped, critically-panned, soft-porn film about a sadistic predator sexually targeting and abusing a young woman. Organizers charge the film "tells lies about women's lives...You might think this is a romance story (but) in reality it’s a horror story for most women.”
Are we to be shamed into not seeing a movie ?
Instead of shutting down the conversation about the film and human sexuality and Power Relationships, perhaps opening the conversation with the tens of millions who Will see the film and could perhaps use its lessons as a means to Empowerment.
Nevermind… I looked at some reviews and don’t want to look like I’m defending what is apparently an atrociously poorly done movie. I’ve never seen such unanimously scathing consensus from the reviewers on IMDB. But to be clear, none of them has anything to do with Abby’s issues with it.
Chris Hedges has commented that tolerance is word that Martin Luther King never used. The people who criticize Zimet for criticizing the movie are really invoking that we should be tolerant of all art forms, all ideas, all movies. Though I have struggled with this when Hedges wrote it (originally), I have come to see this as a critically important stance. Not all ideas, subject matter etc are worthy of tolerance.
I will be truthful. I’ve not read the book. But when sexual relationships become about “power over” another they are almost always toxic.
The fact is that the themes of the books are just two heartbeats away from cheap novels that portray the romantic rape. And in practice, the romantic rape does not exist. I guess some children who are drawn into sexual relationships are made to feel special but in the end, they all realize they were just used.
While I have a pretty large acceptance for what can be done sexually between two consenting adults, I suggest that for every one person who would say something like, “My partner and I did something like this and it was mutually satisfying and contributed to our growth as a couple,” there will be very many more who will say, “In the end, I realized I was just being used.”
So, go to the movie if you want. And be sure and ask yourself if it would be okay with you if your hypothetical daughter would be involved in a relationship like this.
It doesn’t feel like shaming, to me. More like “this is a major waste of money, time, and stomach contents. To keep your dinner inside and spend your time and money less regrettably, consider donating to a women’s shelter instead. You won’t have missed anything more meaningful than, say, watching two drunks boaking in an alley”.
Though I am sympathetic to this article it fails to address the fact that the majority of the buyers of the book are female. I can’t post a link here, but if you do a web search you will find that in the US between 70 and 80% of buyers are women.
Last night my-20 something son joined us for dinner while his 20-something girlfriend went to see the movie with friends. What is the story’s appeal to women? Is it just erotic fantasy? Can woman here help me understand?
When I first heard that Disney was manicuring little girl children’s stars into young adult sluts in order to draw MILLIONS of impressionable pre-teen girls along, I thought it was hyperbole. But then I watched several You Tube documentaries. In all of the music videos, the girls dress like whores and often are placed in cages or restraints when they are not “self-sexualizing” in ridiculously cheapening ways.
This is being marketed to young girls AS power and “being in touch with their sexuality.”
I would imagine that the audience (If the figures are true, and I state that knowing that so much that passes for news is fabricated ENTIRELY) purchasing this misogynistic series comes from this “control group.”
I’ve been doing some research on Serial Killers and most of them use porn. An intelligent detective made the point that not all men who use porn act out violence. He went on to say that those who do (employ violence against women) find their penchant FOR violence normalized by porn’s portrayals.
In a climate where young Black males are too often unapologetically gunned down, war has become a banal norm of life, and 1 in 5 women encounter sexual predators on their college campuses, promoting this type of sado-masochistic stylized sexuality AS something positive or mutually satisfying is yet another means for normalizing The Rape Culture.
People like Mairead and Jane Hanson could use the Libertarian argument for “personal taste” were it not for the fact these images pollute mass culture the way oil pipelines inevitably break to thereby poison entire communities.
Personal taste–and the argument for it–only deserves consideration in a fair, balanced and NON-VIOLENT society. Since ours drastically departs from those standards, pouring more porn into the collective consciousness will succeed in aborting LOVE before it has a chance to be discovered. Many young people will mimic what they see on the big screen. Love is the fruit of mutual respect. It doesn’t come from insecure females who think their worth comes from the validation of a male and therefore do self-negating undignified things to “win” his species of affection.
I had this same insight brought home when I visited family in Puerto Rico at Christmas and someone put the “Twilight” series on (from Netflix). I was aware of the books and their popularity to teens, and in fact had attended a writer’s seminar in California where the agent who represented the series gave a glowing report for its content. I’d never gotten around to reading it. It’s possible that some of the author’s intent was lost when her work was adapted into film. Nonetheless, the dominant message was that the beautiful young girl who falls for a vampire must–out of love–endure a bond where she wakes up battered from his animal side expressing during intimacy.
Here the young girl is given the message that love of male partner involves personal battering… that THAT is part of what love is.
And if this premise romanticized in film and through this series–popular to teenage girls–reaches millions of young females, at least some will internalize (and later actualize) the premise.
In short form–what I’m saying is that SICK is in; and SICK is what this society has become in everything from the insane investments in war and armaments (instead of human need) to its empowered agencies RAPING the natural world from sea to shining sea, and ecosystem to desecrated ecosystem.
Bernays opened the door to this horror by using the power of the Big Screen’s hypnotic allure to plant messaging into the least examined portions of the human psyche… and by extension, the collective consciousness.
I find the prudishness of the Abby and the commenters here pretty surprising. Bondage and submission, sometimes the male, sometimes the female, or at least fantasy of such things, is is a form of sex play that is fairly widespread and sexually healthy.
Now, the way the woman in this film finds the man man irresistibly sexy, and submits to his wishes primarily becasue he is a typical arrogant rich man is pretty offensive to me…
Is that woman having a real orgasm in the above picture? I find it pretty hot…
You ask a very good question. I work with middle aged women who bought and were tittilated by the book. I cannot explain it except by invoking the romantic rape idea, which when I last looked was alive and well in the romantic novel genre. I think it is a witless denial of the facts on the ground. But sex sells. It’s a proven formula. I also think we live in a culture that endlessly pursues the sensational. Perhaps respectable women like watching a hapless woman caught up in a lurid situation and thinking that their moral superiority would never let this happen to them…while feeding a voyeuristic appetite. I remember long ago watching the movie “Looking for Mr. Goodbar”. It defined horrible movie for me for a long time. But there was no illusion about the self-destructiveness of that characters choices.
Yes, you really wonder who the intelligent [?] people who dish out: ‘What --are you telling us to feel guilty about seeing a movie?’ are really stu[pid enough to be fooled by such stupid and lurid advertising and waste of money anyhow?
Guilty to not having read the book. If you want to make the case that the sexual relationship between the two characters was some how life giving and turned them both in to better people, be my guest. Knock yourself out. But as for spending time on a book described as “mommy porn”, no thanks. I don’t read much fiction and when I do I, want more from it than this genre has to offer.
I work with teenage girls who are trying to recover from abusive relationships formed with teenage males who have bought into the rape culture. These young women don’t think it’s sexy, or fun, or healthy, or emotionally satisfying. They think it’s violent, vicious, disrespectful, painful, and something to be avoided at all costs. That there is a group of women who fantasize about being dominated by some sick bastard and forced into sex just says they have never actually experienced brutality at that level, and have no clue whatsoever what it means. And that they have somehow bought into this society’s perversions.
The descent through ‘getting through the advertising clutter’ will be more sexually violent - any way to slam into the sphere of human emotions assailed by the plethora of sales pitches
Advertising and the End of the World
Media IS ADVERTISING and the link provides an explanation of our descent in the method and impossibility of it being anything other than short term.
“Are we to be shamed for seeing a movie” well that would be a give-away because you probably think you might learn something watching a grade-3 porno flick, or better called a dick-flick?
Ms. Hanson, you sound like just a slightly new-agesh version of the right-wing priests at my church and my sexually dysfunctional right-wing abusive (especially to my mother) Irish Catholic father when I was a kid - who laid it down on no uncertain terms that the sole purpose of sex was making babies in the context of a heterosexual married couple. Sex in any contest (even, or particularly, masturbation), is a grievous, grievous sin, that will send you into the fires of hell for all eternity!
Sex is not about being "life giving and “turning them into better people”, it is about the mind-blowing pleasure of pursuing an orgasm. Period. Any other expectations always leads to disappointment.
My wife works with battered women, incest victims, sex addicts… We are both concerned with “normalizing” abusive behavior. That is why I am sympathetic to the article. LewBob
I have one kid so only rarely has sex been about procreation. Sex can be fun. It can be unitive. It creates a unique story and history. Yunzer I’d like to say that maturity might broaden your view of the whole thing but I don’t sense that you are just a kid. And for you, your statement is your truth.
One obscene subject that will never make it to the big screen, at least not by a major studio, is 50 Grades of Pay, the examination of the huge gap between the pay of a CEO and the CEO’s employees. That is certainly an abusive relationship rife with power inequalities.