As a romance author, I'm constantly bumping up against a rather awkward subject. An elephant in the room, if you will. What am I talking about? 50 Shades of Grey. Yes, it has been a number of years since its release. Yes, it's absolutely relevant to the conversation on sexuality. And I'll tell you why.
Ever since the filthy-minded and now super-rich E.L. James made the surprise announcement that she was releasing the fan-requested (and previously teased both in her fanfic and at the end of Freed) Grey -- Fifty Shades as told from Christian's POV -- there was buzz. Which raises the question: Is it worth shelling out the $18.95 for the book ($11.99 ebook)? Decide for yourself.
On Valentine's Day, a film was released that is set to warp the minds of a new generation. 50 Shades of Grey, a film based on the bestselling book of the same name, is being portrayed as a 'date night' movie of romance and intrigue. Except that the movie (and the book) is about humiliation, degradation and the emotional and physical abuse of women by men. The fairy-tale ending of the film, just like Pretty Woman, is one that millions of victims of sexual violence never experience. As one survivor of sexual violence shared "50 Shades is a horrible reminder of my own abusive relationship, repackaged as a 'love story'."
I've seen many articles and reviews -- including those by women -- suggesting that women who see or read 50 Shades are incapable of distinguishing between an abusive and non-abusive relationship. To me, whatever consensual activities happen in the book or movie can't be as degrading to women as this patronizing sentiment.