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Fifty Shades of Violence? A response to anti-porn groups’ claims that E.L. James’ bestseller romanticizes BDSM

By Christine M. Sellers,

To be honest, I really don’t understand all the hype behind Fifty Shades of Grey.

I’ve never read the book. I don’t plan on seeing the movie. And if I were asked to try and sell someone on the idea of delving into the erotic romance, I’d politely decline.

An unpopular opinion in comparison to the millions of fans who are eagerly awaiting the commercially successful franchise to hit the big screen, is in my belief, warranted, nonetheless. As an aspiring novelist, I have nothing against “love stories,” however I don’t exactly fancy the idea of one being fashioned around BDSM.

Apparently, I’m not the only person who feels this way.

Since the Fifty Shades trailer debuted on the Internet, it has received even more buzz than ever before, though, inevitably not all of it is positive. Backlash from anti-porn groups has especially been a hot topic in the media recently, reports the Washington Times. Anti-porn groups are so upset that they claim E.L. James’ bestseller-turned-motion picture "desensitizes society to violence,” by trying to make it look “sexy.”

Still, those who support the film seem relatively unfazed, and believe it or not, the kinky affair between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele continues to be a hit. Just this week, Media Bistro noted that the novel continues to sell like crazy in the U.S., topping the list of Apple’s most popular iBooks. And if that wasn’t enough, now fans can really capitalize on Fifty Shades’ success by participating in a fictional “internship” at the legendary Grey Enterprises, according to the IB Times.

Of course, those who find the film “dangerous” are still rallying to discourage moviegoers from lining up outside theaters on Valentine’s Day 2015. Enter Old Fashioned, an independent flick that examines romance from a religious angle. The film also pairs up an innocent woman and (former) bad boy, reports the Daily Beast, except this production is devoid of BDSM. There’s no telling how Old Fashioned will rank in comparison to Fifty Shades upon its release, though the filmmakers are hopeful their story can reach some audiences.

I’d also like to think that a cleaner, more family-oriented film could take down Fifty Shades, but it would require a lot of momentum. And if there’s one thing Fifty Shades has, it's momentum.

But isn’t that true of any material aimed at generating “sex appeal?”

Forget that Fifty Shades began as a continuation of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, also known as fan fiction, as PhilStar.com points out, it’s “hot.” And what’s “hot” is what’s “profitable.”

Even if it’s about BDSM (aka whipping people and then tying them up in order to somehow improve one’s sex life).

If it wasn’t clear enough, I’m still completely repulsed. I also agree with the anti-porn groups one-hundred percent. Violence in today’s culture is already extremely prevalent in video games and action-based thrillers. It was only a matter of time before violence became intertwined with sexuality.

And even though BDSM is admittedly not my thing, I won’t judge you if it’s yours. I think we can simply agree to disagree.

Image courtesy of ACE/INFphoto.com

 
 

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