Saturday, 21 February 2015

50 shades of hogwash.

Seriously, free women of the 21st century, make up your minds!!! Do you want to be treated as respectful equals in society and the work force?  Do you really want to take control of your life and sex, and all of that great sounding 'Women's group' stuff? Do you honestly even mind being sexually objectified?

What you do you really think of womanisers like Dominique Strauss-Kahn or the sleazy Berlusconi? Is their demeaning behaviour towards women and misuse of power to live out their sick sexual fantasies really abhorring to you? Because it didn't seem much like that with the cooing and giggling hordes of women flocking to read and watch the 'Shades of Grey'. The picture of an innocent virgin college girl being sexually dominated to submission and violence by the success and wealth of a cocky young disturbed man is a massive success, and it's because the WOMEN love it!! So basically, if the despicable conduct of old, wrinkly men came instead in the package of a well built, dashing man with power and success to boot, it would be completely different.

Let's pretend for a moment that the story line wasn't the flat cliché it is, that the book, which sold over 100 million copies, wasn't just smut and poor writing which probably took all of 10 minutes worth of work. An introverted college girl of low self-esteem, with obvious abandonment issues from her father and a bully of a friend is literally swept off her naive feet with simple minded gullibility in helicopters and planes, by the protagonist. Falling prey to the flashy wealth and success, her sexual identity only starts to exist when she becomes his subjugate sex-slave. But of course it's all consensual - as if consent even counts between two people in social classes so far apart. As we recall, it didn't do much for Clinton? Even so, how much better is violence if you ask first and then hit?
At the very least, it's about love! Still suckers to riding into the sunset with the fairytale prince. Still not ready to find that sunset on the merit of your own smarts. Well, then at least loose the act. His possession and control of her reflect not his love but his need to 'own her', for her to obey him. Which, infuriatingly, is exactly what she does. None of what she eventually is, comes from within her. Her job, her home, her way of life or self-esteem - all rewards for pleasing him or demonstrating her love for him. Among the most disturbing scenes in the movie, was the supposed pleasure on her face as she get's spanked and another time she gets struck by a cane, stripped nude and kneeling. Popular opinion is going on the barricades protesting against the blatant condoning of matter-of-fact violence, but in the mainstreaming of pornography it's glorified.

The most dangerous of messages is that to the real perverts. Lurking in the shadows of society, they now get a clear thumbs up to go for their kill, women love it - just bring along enough bling. But the world is not hollywood. Perverts won't be converted for love. Teenagers and adults will go home with this glossy image of violence and sex, encouraged to try the forbidden. It will cause real physical pain, and it won't be stopped by calls of 'Red' and 'Yellow'.
The commodity that women have publicly approved and popularised is no better than regular porn that reduces women to sexual objects, portraying them as passive recipients of degrading and/or violent acts which pressure them to 'consent' to things they find demeaning, taking away the intimacy of the experience. Men will be further empowered and encouraged to believe such control can be easily gained over a woman, for her own pleasure.

Why this abuse masquerading as romance with such unfortunate societal implications is so popular amongst the women folk is just absolutely baffling. For the moment, forget the '1 Billion Rising' hogwash of double standards. True comfort and identity for women still seems to come through submission.

The final idiot check should be, is this a message I want my daughter to take away? She might just be better off watching 'Frozen' for the umpteenth time.

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