There are so many great articles–both Christian and secular–out there about why the “erotic” BDSM novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, is wrong (you might be surprised by how many of these objections are coming from the secular feminist camp) and why the equally pornographic movie (if you think I’m exaggerating, consider that the director admits to its having 20 solid minutes of sex scenes out of its 90 minute run time) is the last thing our society needs.
I feel a bit redundant even bringing the subject up. Not to mention I’d rather give as little attention as possible to the book/movie/smut.
And yet, I feel like I’ve been given a platform–no matter how small or seemingly insignificant–to share truth. And the truth is: this book/movie are junk.
(And not even chiefly because critics have universally panned both as clunky and poorly written/executed).
Lest you think I’m being too harsh, let’s break down that innocuous sounding acronym: BDSM.
It stands for –
Ignoring all of the others for now, let’s just take a look-see at the definition of sadism, shall we?
Which is the…“enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain, especially sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone…a sexual perversion in which gratification is obtained by the infliction of physical or mental pain on others.”
Kind of blows that whole, “It’s just harmless fun” argument out of the water. (An argument that I’ve heard from many who identify themselves as Christians). The best I can tell, harm is kind of the point. And fun has nothing to do with it. Unless, of course, you’re the sadist. Any hands on that one? Anyone? I didn’t think so.
In case you’re wondering, I have not read the book, nor do I plan to. And I won’t be seeing the movie.
Mostly because of this:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
There are all kinds of warnings in the Bible against sexual perversion, against wrongdoing, against willfully choosing sin. (Right after I wrote this post, our morning Bible reading was 2 Peter 2, and I couldn’t help but cringe). They are enough.
But even if I were to attempt to justify sin by claiming that these standards are archaic or inapplicable to our modern times, or even that this particular offering is really “not that bad,” I would be hard-pressed to ignore the flip side, which is the encouragement to focus on true, honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy things.
Fifty Shades of Grey is none of those things.
It is, in fact, a mockery of them all and, outside of any Biblical argument, a source of serious concern for our society as a whole and the messages we are sending to our young men and women in particular.
This article is excellent and focuses on the far-reaching effects that normalizing violent behavior can/does have on the view our next generation has of sex in particular and relationships in general.
I love this question that the author of the article poses at the end of the piece:
“What does sadism and sexual torture (consensual or not) say to our culture about the value of girls? What does it say to boys about how they should treat girls? The youth of today are inundated with porn and sexually violent material—is nobody—nobody—at all worried about the impact this has on them? On the girls who are being abused by boys who think this is normal behavior—and think it is normal themselves?
Dr. Gail Dines relates that when speaking to groups of women who loved the book, they all grow deathly silent when she asks them two simple questions: Would you want your daughter to be in a relationship with Christian Grey? Would you want your son to turn into Christian Grey?
If the answer is yes to either of those, someone should call social services.”
Maybe I’m preaching to the choir, and you’re nodding your heads as you read this. Maybe you think I’m completely overreacting and have already unfollowed me. Maybe you’re on the fence and were planning on tagging along with some girlfriends because it kind of sounded fun.
Whatever your current stance, can I just encourage you to prayerfully examine your heart for any possible justification for supporting this sort of “entertainment” that falls so far outside the bounds of anything honorable, excellent, or praiseworthy? If you can find none (obviously, I’m going to argue that you can’t), please don’t go see the movie.
I have no doubt that crowds will flock to see it, either because of the buzz or because they read the book and need their imaginations realized by seeing it all acted out or because they believe the misleading packaging as a “romance” (excuse me while I snort).
They don’t need your ticket too.