50 shades of shame

This weekend saw the opening of the 50 shades of Grey movie in the cinema with mixed reviews pouring onto the internet. Pretty much every person that I know went to see apart from me. I’ve read the books and considered seeing it because Jamie Dornan, a local lad, was starring in it. But I decided against it in the end because I refuse to give any of my hard earned money to EL James. A woman who has not only glamourised domestic abuse but dismisses those who challenge her sad individuals who can’t appreciate a good book.

When I read the books I was horrified that this was deemed as the new sexy. How could people find this sexy? A controlling man domineering an innocent woman and manipulating her into acting out his sexual fantasies. There is nothing sexy about that and I’m not alone in my opinion. Psychologists and relationship experts are up in arms about the content of the book and film, which should raise red flags for most people, but when victims of abuse take to the internet and scream “this is abuse”, it’s clearly time to stop and think about what it is we are reading.

I’m a victim of domestic abuse and suffered at the hands of a man who claimed he loved me for years. I read the first book of the series and changed the name of Mr Grey to my ex’s name, it was pretty much our relationship without the massive bank balance. For this reason I will never see the movie or support anything to do with the franchise. And the fact that EL James dismisses the opinion of people like me, people who have lived that life and suffered, as nothing but a bunch of haters, well, she needs to get her priorities right. To dismiss those who have suffered is nothing more than a slap in the face after the pain we have had to endure. I understand that unless you have lived that life you may be unaware of what happens. You might not recognise that there is a fine line between taking charge and abuse. But EL James didn’t just walk that line, she skipped right over it and tried to make into something that woman should aspire to have in a relationship. And that is a dangerous game to play. What is even more dangerous is the fact that, as the books continue, Mr Grey changes and becomes clear why he is controlling. Do you know why my ex was controlling? He liked vodka, considered me property that he owned, and had zero respect for women. I always hoped that he would change but men like that don’t, they never change. Even in his next relationship after me he continued with his abusive ways. Mr Grey may have changed but he is a fictional character pulled from the mind of a woman who has no idea about abusive relationships. The thing that worries me about this is that those woman who are in abusive relationships and can identify with the books, they will now be doubting if they are being abused. What is happening to them is supposed to be sexy, right? They are in a relationship that most women are lusting after so it can’t be abuse. And Mr Grey changed so maybe their other half will change one day and the fairytale will begin. Wrong. Wrong on all accounts.

My advice for this entire situation is, if you want to spice it up in the bedroom, buy an actual sex book that can give you inspiration to try new things. Get fit to increase your endurance in the sack. And throw out 50 Shades. It’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. And to the ladies who are in a 50 Shades type of relationship, pack up your stuff and run. He won’t change so get your butt out of there before it’s too late.

If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, here are some places which can help you. If you are afraid, do not hesitate to contact your local police office.

http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/

http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-survivors-handbook.asp?section=000100010008000100310003

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