Fifty shades of fucking grey. Who knew a film about sex, whips, power imbalances and emotional instability could cause such a fiery debate and controversy in 2015? While some of us were underwhelmed, it seems others were deeply angered and disgusted by the apparent abusive nature of Christian and Anastasia’s ‘interactions’.
I don’t really feel like adding another review to the exhausted list, but I do want to explore to reasons why my gal pal and I experienced a sense of appreciation for our viewing experience a few Tuesdays ago.
I can’t help but question why the construction of Mr Grey: A sexy man with the emotional intelligence of a gold-fish; a damaging/ abusive childhood and a resulting host of insecurities with women, sex and control, was so disturbing to many.
While the mans inability to court Miss Steele in the traditional way (as promised by Hollywood romcoms) was clearly lacking, he tried his best to be the guy he believed the girl he loved, deserved.
Yes it was fucked up. I could never see myself settling for a contract involving but plugs and separate bedrooms, but I wouldn’t say no to a helicopter chaperone or new computer. The wine also looked delicious.
My point however, is that being the complicated creatures that we are, with our perceptions and relationship styles so heavily imbedded in our experiences and interactions; a little bit of dysfunction, (sometimes a lot) is healthy and natural. Why? because it’s real– it means we are being ourselves.
I liked the authenticity. I also appreciated the vulnerability shown by Anastasia, particularly as a virgin. The fact that the consenting intercourse was deemed as violent I thought was uncalled for, however regardless of our positions, the fact that FSOG sparked debate over the topic of sexual/domestic abuse is bloody grand.
In Australia, one women dies weekly at the hands of a past or present partner. From 2002 – 2012, more women were killed by DM in America that everyone killed in 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq. This shit is horrific and real and needs to be addressed for so many reasons on different levels, including the shame victims feel.
It’s the kind of shame and inferiority that should not, but definitely does exist (on a not so illegal level) in many different forums where dominant and submissive roles are defs present.
Power is used and abused in politics (dah) the class room (why can’t we call teachers by their first names?) and by doctors and specialists allll of the time, as experienced by many friends, and myself.
From the time my age deemed me capable of making a baby I have been invasively quizzed; with a shit load of unnecessary judgement and intimidation.
Those who know me well are aware that I’m a rather confident person, and I am not easily affected by other people’s positions. [Peas do get degrees after all!]
However I dread visiting doctors and their surgery and here’s why;
[Problem: Anything shitty]
Doctor: “Isabelle?” (my name is IsabellA. A . AAAAAA)
“Come through.” (turn their back, march in front of me, then guides me to their clinical, smelly, fluorescent white room featuring awkward dusty family photos I don’t care about).
Doctor: (without making eye contact, directs me to take a seat while they search my private file).
“Lets have a look here. When was your last pap smear Isabelle? I see here that you’ve been prescribed __ form of contraception. Are you still using that?
Doctor: (swiftly swivels to stare at me as though I’ve told them I am half dog.) Have you had un- protected sex? If so are you in a loving relationship? (WHY AREN’T YOU MARRIED YOU SLUT?)
Doctor: (provides a seriously un comforting and disapproving raised eye brow glance and waits for me to guide myself to some idealistic solution to my unruly ways).
Doctor: “So what can I help you with today?”
Me: “well I have been feeling……..”
Doctor: “Mmm, I think you’re probably stressed and it is viral. It will go away with a lot of paracetamol.
Me: “I am allergic to that.”
Doctor: “How do you know that? I can’t find the evidence.”
Me: “Mate, I’m 23, I think I know my body by now” (said in a submissive, naughty school kid manner).
Doctor: “You need to get tested for every type of sexually contracted disease and take better responsibility of your life. Bye.” (said in a professional manner).
And it seems I’m not alone. One my good friends is a very knowledgable nurse in a committed relationship with a man she lives with. She often leaves the docs feeling humiliated and belittled, she recent left her usual doc crying.
There seems to be a major power imbalance that I can’t help associate with my given genitalia.
While I am yet to hear of similar experiences from males, I’m sure there are some negatives ones had- my own father refuses to visit the GP after all.
However, considering it is International Women’s Day today, I would like to acknowledge the power imbalance and sexism we (ladies) experience all the time.
As much as we try to avoid the uncomfy, gross environments or men who feel permitted to touch our bodies when it’s not wanted; provide unwanted comments about our bodies (including gross wolf whistles and tooting), and be bigger than sexism, it’s still alive and kicking.
The gender pay gap its an absolute insult and needs to CHANGE. Women everywhere on this planet, regardless of what we wear, say, do or do not do, deserve to be respected and not objectified. unless we ask OR FULLY CONSENT to sex, we are NOT PERMITTED TO ENGAGE IN IT.
So, hears to my irrational, hormonal, dramatic, moody, needy, dependent, demanding, slutty, whiny, frigid, crazy, smart, caring, loving, giving, independent bitches everywhere– lets fight this shit like the warriors we are. NO ONE knows better than we do- in relation to our bodies, our intuition and our value.
That’s enough preaching for one day. I’m over this power shit. If we want chains and whips, then SnM we will do! and if we don’t, then that’s A-OK too.