Friday, March 4, 2016

The negative influence Fifty Shades of Grey has had on society

After having sex health educator, Dr. Celeste Holbrook, come to visit our class, I decided to do my own research on the effects books, such as Fifty Shades of Grey, have on society to give a false perception of BDSM and sex in general. The Time magazine article, Chicago Freshman is accused of using restraints and sexual violence without a woman's consent, is about a college male who sexually assaulted a female classmate to reenact a scene out of Fifty Shades of Grey. The male student, Mohammad Hossain, said he wanted to recreate scenes out of the movie, which included bondage and sadomasochism. He was charged with criminal sexual assault. It shocks me that a fictional movie could highly influence a college student to purposefully harm another student without asking for consensual sex. A study has shown that Fifty Shades has influence on partners being abusive in promoting violent behaviors. The study is called "Double Crap! Abuse and Harmed Identity in Fifty Shades of Grey." This study found patterns in association with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions of interpersonal violence and behaviors shown in abused women, such as Christian Grey limiting Anatasia's contacts, forcing her to eat, initiating sexual acts when he's angry to punish her, stalking her, etc. A lot of these acts seems in association with the behaviors of domestic violence. The film especially portrays sex inaccurately with BDSM. Grey has a "red room" where he keeps all his sex toys, bondage, and other bizarre sexual tools I have never heard of. Dr. Holbrook mentioned in our discussion that Fifty Shades of Grey is a false portrayal of BDSM, because the film makes it seem like Grey engages in these sexual acts based on his history of child abuse which is false. An Everyday Health article, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Controversy: The Difference Between Abuse and BDSM, said BDSM should be a playful arrangement between two consenting partners that pleasurable as long as boundaries are set by asking a partner's limit. The article also talked about how BDSM is not for everyone, because it can be damaging based on the theme of submission and dominance, which is highly prevalent in this film playin off of stereotypical gender roles of the woman being submissive and the man dominant. The role of dominance and submission is very prevalent in the case of domestic and sexual violence and this is why so much controversy surrounds this film based on the influence it has had. As a collective society, we should try to teach people about the true effects of all sexual acts and present it in a realistic way, especially through the media.


  1. I have read the entire Fifty Shades of Grey series and watched the movie more than once, so I am quite familiar with its plot and story line. It is weird to me that not once did i notice how sick Christian Grey's control over Anastasia was. The movie and the books make his way of treating her seem caring, sensual, and kind. However, now that i have been a member of this WGST class i now not only realize how unrealistic this movie portrays BDSM, but also how it glorifies the mistreatment of women and makes it seem if though that is the treatment that women subconsciously seek out and yearn for.

  2. I actually read both the books and saw the movie. When I read the movie it was surprising to me how detailed and explicit it was to each little detail. It was like I was seeing the actors without physically actually seeing them. The masochist behavior from Grey and Anastasia's "innocence" or portrayal as such really made me cringe in some of the details. To me it was like why would someone like to be treated as such no matter how innocent you are. The movie I felt like was also detailed but most definitely not as much as the book and although the scenes were strong they were nothing like the book. At one point I felt as though she was in some type of domestic violence case but in a sexual way in that although she experienced pleasure, part of her knew that was not exactly the way she wanted to be treated sexually.