(I’m working as a waitress and I need to get another enormous tub of ice cream. I’m very pregnant and can’t reach the high shelf it’s on in the walk in, so I bring another server back with me to help. The walk in is very deep with three doors on the way to the very back where the ice cream is kept. This section is the coldest. It’s kept at about 20 degrees. As we are leaving with the ice cream, the door won’t open.)
Me: “These don’t lock on their own, do they?”
Coworker: “No, they have padlocks. Otherwise they just push open.”
(We both shove against the door as hard as we can, but it won’t budge. We start banging and yelling for help, but there are three closed doors between us and the rest of the staff. We are locked back there for at least twenty minutes before a cook comes back. He opens the door laughing.)
Cook: “Haha, you should see the look on your faces! That was rich!”
Me:*shivering* “You locked us in? On purpose?!”
Cook: “Yeah! I didn’t mean to leave you in so long. We got busy. By the way, the manager is looking for you two. Your tables are pissed that you’ve been gone so long.”
Coworker: “You idiot! She’s nine months pregnant!”
(The cook walked away. We reported him to the manager, but the manager still blamed us for going back there in the first place. I proceeded to go into labor and have my baby four hours later. I would hate to think it was from the stress of being frozen and then written up!)
E.L. James knows as much about BDSM as she would have found in a five minute Google search, which is to say that she knows precisely jack shit.
50 Shades of Grey does not depict a realistic kinky relationship, nor does it depict a healthy relationship of either the kinky or vanilla variety.
It is a Twilight fanfic, and has all the elements of Edward and Bella’s abusive relationship with kink added for extra flavor. Just as Edward and Bella are not a healthy or realistic couple, neither are Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
Christian Grey is an abuser who manipulates a young woman with zero knowledge of BDSM into a relationship with him. He knows she is ignorant of what a healthy BDSM relationship looks like, and uses this to:
ignore and override her attempts at negotiation,
play without a safeword (since she doesn’t know that they exist),
create a false dichotomy of “either we’re kinky my way or we just don’t have sex at all,”
threaten and stalk her,
prevent her from discussing her relationship with anyone other than him,
and control aspects of her personal life, including what car she drives, what medications she takes, and how she spends her free time.
This is not BDSM. This is not sexy. This is abuse.
Using 50 Shades as your basis for how a kinky relationship works (for critical or practical purposes) is like treating Titanic: The Legend Goes On as a historical documentary. Don’t do it.
(I’m at the gate, about to board a flight. I had really long hair when my passport photo was taken, but I recently got a mohawk. The flight attendant checking my documents looks at my photo several times, very confused.)
Me: “Oh, I cut my hair.”
Flight Attendant: “Bad decision!”
Me:*sarcastically* “Thank you!”
Flight Attendant: “No, no. I mean you looked better before. I don’t like you now…”
Although the two are related, they are not pronounced the same and don’t mean the same thing. The states are not closely related, have very different histories, and belong to different regions so you can expect different foods and dialects.
What is 50 shades of grey about? And what's so bad about it?
50 Shades of Grey was originally fanfiction based on the Twilight series, which was then published as a novel (along with 2 subsequent books). It sold over 100 million copies around the world and topped best-seller lists everywhere. It’s about to be adapted into a film, set to come out early next year.
It follows a college student named Ana Steele, who enters a relationship with a man named Christian Grey and is then introduced to a bastardised and abusive parody of BDSM culture.
While the book is paraded as erotica, the relationship between Ana and Christian is far from healthy. The core mantra of the BDSM community is “safe, sane and consensual”, and 50 Shades is anything but. None of the rules of BDSM practices (which are put in place to protect those involved) are actually upheld. Christian is controlling, manipulative, abusive, takes complete advantage of Ana, ignores safe-words, ignores consent, keeps her uneducated about the sexual practices they’re taking part in, and a multitude of other terrible things. Their relationship is completely sickening and unhealthy.
Basically, “the book is a glaring glamorisation of violence against women,” as Amy Bonomi so perfectly put it.
It’s terrible enough that a book like this has been absorbed by people worldwide. Now, we have a film that is expected to be a huge box-office success, and will likely convince countless more young women that it’s okay not to have any autonomy in a relationship, that a man is allowed to control them entirely. It will also show many young men that women are theirs to play with and dominate, thus contributing to antiquated patriarchal values and rape culture.