I grew up in a home where we didn’t talk about sex. We were given strict instructions on how to be a lady. My Southern mother would often instruct us, “ladies don’t sweat, they perspire. Ladies don’t fart, they poof.” So words like “vagina” or conversations about sex were taboo.
A few years ago I was listening to a radio program where the hosts were talking about an amazing book they read. I have this weird thing with books, I never read the blurbs or the back covers. I like to be surprised. Sometimes I will pick a book simply because I like the cover.
I heard them discussing the book and how good it was and later downloaded it on my kindle. I somehow missed them talking about the sexual domination between the mega-millionaire and young impressionable student.
The book was Fifty Shades of Grey. This was before it became the “mommy porn” of the year.
I was sitting in a hard metal chair at the airport innocently reading my kindle, when I came upon…oh how do I describe it any other way than porn. Yes, words I had never heard, describing body parts I had never heard. I looked to my right and to my left while my face became hot. I picked up my phone and called my husband, “Oh my gosh. You won’t believe this. I downloaded this book and I think it is porn!” I whispered very quietly so no one would know.
I was a christian reading porn! A lady, reading porn!
So, yes I read Fifty Shades of Grey. Judge away.
Did it change my life? No. Did it open my eyes? Yes. Was it a literary masterpiece? No way.
But, yesterday as my Facebook page was flooded with re-posts of the trailer with orgasmic sounds reminding me of When Harry Met Sally, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of deep dread. I have not been sexually abused and have had a very simple experience with sex. One that is good and beautiful.
This isn’t about me.
This is about what this movie promotes, and the lines are very very blurred here.
Sure, Christian Grey doesn’t harm his girl and she is consensual about it. Is that how we justify it?
Is that how we justify this tying up of hands and feet, of using whips and other tools to seek and find pleasure?
Tell me, what happens in the book when in the middle of an encounter in the “red room of pain” Anastasia decides she doesn’t want to play anymore, and Christian is filled with enough testosterone to move a car? Do we think he will be able to stop? Do we think he won’t possibly force himself upon her? They don’t put that in the book.
Sex sells. We all know that, but I am outraged by the fact that sexual bondage and dominion over a woman is slated to be a box office best seller.
50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James—Snowqueens Icedragon to her fans—is purportedly making an estimated $1.34 million a week off her quaint little country romance novel. Having sold 20 million copies and counting, the trilogy is calmly and methodically shattering every previous sales record in the world.
Maybe you haven’t had any trauma and maybe you are saying, “aww it is just a movie!”
I plead you to think about the other side of this.
Millions of women and men have experienced horrific sexual abuse. Pornography is a problem not only in households, but in our churches. Every night I hear yet another story on the news of a priest who has been convicted of sexual misconduct. And yet, this trailer in one day received over four million hits on the Internet.
Can you honestly say this is no big deal?
Where it hits home most for me is with my patients who struggle with eating disorders. Did you know, “It is believed that 30% of individuals with an eating disorder have been sexually abused.” – NEDA
“In my eating disorder practice, 40 to 60 percent of the men and women who come to therapy for an eating problem have been sexually or physically abused. “It was my father’s best friend.” “It was my father.” “It was my brother.” “It was my mother’s boyfriend.” “It was my mother.” “And so I starved myself.” “And so I binged and purged.” “And so I got fat.” “And so I started using laxatives.”
“What is the connection between sexual abuse and developing an eating disorder? The answer is guilt, shame, anesthesia, self-punishment, soothing, comfort, protection and rage.” - Edrefferal
The stories I have heard from women and men would rock your world as it has mine. The stories I have heard are unfathomable! The amount of sexual abuse in this country is staggering. The amount of pornography addiction is also staggering. Some call the pornography in America a public health crisis
Morality in Media, a group devoted to fighting porn and indecency, blasted out a statement from its executive director, Dawn Hawkins, condemning the newly released trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey. The trailer, she says, “deceives the public with a visually appealing melodramatic love story that romanticizes and normalizes sexual violence.”
I would encourage you to think of this other side. To think of these women and men, and choose as I will, to not support a movie such as this.
God did not create sex to be something in a red room of pain. He did not create us to use and dominate over one another. I imagine the God I love being so sad that something He made, something that is supposed to be so beautiful, has come to this.
You won’t see me in that movie and I hope you will join with me in supporting the women and men in our society who this is harming as well as the message it is perpetuating.