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50 Shades of Ignorance and Abuse

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50 Shades of Ignorance and Abuse

Recently the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy has become popular among middle aged Americans and teenagers and has now gone on to the big screen. The movie seems to have captured the attention of many and has received criticism for its portrayal of abuse, BDSM (Bondage-Discipline-Sadism-Masochism), and romanticizing of the relationship between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Despite all of those factors, as of the beginning of March the movie has a worldwide gross of $527,664,325, currently making it the highest grossing movie of 2015 so far.

“I thought it was just going to be something romantic, I was wrong. After watching it I feel uncomfortable and I don’t understand why so many people love the movie. It’s gross,” said junior Hakim Tran.

Not only is the trilogy’s movie earnings shocking but so are its copies of books sold, the series worldwide has currently sold 100 million. The book has joined the Top 10 Bestselling Books. Many fans have defended the Twilight-style fan fiction and continue to ignore its negative aspects and abusive content.

“It’s just BDSM. There’s nothing bad about it, just how some people interpret it,” says Freshman Shariya Nadu.

Many fans have said similar things when told that the Grey trilogy was/is abusive and continue to say, in defense of their “guilty” pleasure. Although the series originally began as Twilight fan fiction, its author EL James ended up getting published and in turn her series has become one of the fastest selling paperbacks, beating J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Although popular, the relationship portrayed in the movie is troubling for some.

“ Isolation is one of the first red flags in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.” writes Lauren Bersaglio in “50 Shades of Abuse: 10 Signs of Unhealthy Relationships a la Christian Grey” for magazine website Everyday Feminism.

This can be found when Grey makes Anastasia sign a contract, in which he controls her eating habits, the birth control she uses, exercise, and her social life. He warns/tells her not to tell her family or friends about what she and Christian do. He even goes to the extremes and buys the company she works at just to keep an “eye” on her.

Out of 136 RCHS students when asked if FSOG was a) disturbing b) abusive c) romantic and d) “relationship goals”, 46% had picked disturbing, 27% picked abusive, and 16% had picked both disturbing and abusive.

“You need to learn to manage my expectations. I am not a patient man.” He’d probably like to beat seven shades of s*** out of me. The thought is depressing,” passage from FSOG through Anastasias point of view and Christian Greys words.

1/3 high school students will be/have been in an abusive relationship but only 33% will ever tell anyone. A movie that glorifies and romanticizes a relationship that most people can’t leave due to either dying or their circumstances make it impossible (i.e. homelessness, children, and health).

The highest earning movie of the New Year, is a fan fiction turned movie that’s become a joke or a way for FSOG readers to finally see their sick fantasy on the big screen.

BDSM is often portrayed in a negative light and is usually mistaken as abuse, but FSOG is not a Dominant-Submissive relationship. BDSM that is conducted properly is not what EL James put in her book, she wrote about abuse.

“No,” I protest trying to kick him off. He stops. “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet too. If you make a noise Anastasia, I will gag you.”

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About the Writers
Laura B. Valdez, Writer

I am sophomore at River City and my current interest are Nabeelah Tran, Feminism, makeup, thick people and Milky phone cases. The future is constantly...

Nabeelah Tran, Writer

I am a freshman at River City and my current interests are cute animals, flowers, and Laura Valdez follow her on Instagram @mixed.jpg. I don’t know what...

Kaitlyn Donoghue, Writer

I am a freshman at River City High School. My current interests include soccer, the internet, cheesy one-liners, pizza, and my cat. I do not know what...

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