50 Shades of Calm Down, Everybody

9 Feb

EDIT: It’s a couple days later, and I’ve continued doing some research and just want to point out what I’ve learned: this is not just an overly sexual book. It’s straight up abuse. I haven’t read the book, so I was uninformed. Check out this great post detailing the horrible behavior that is being glamorized in this book and (presumably) the movie.

My Facebook feed has recently been full of people decrying the upcoming movie adaptation of Twilight fan-fic 50 Shades of Grey.

This movie has the unique ability to piss off both hardcore conservative religious folk and diehard liberal feminists. I’ve seen people post links to petitions promising to boycott the movie (? why do you have to sign a petition to not see something?), post angry screeds about how it’s demeaning to women, and inquire whether or not it is our job to educate people about what this movie says about relationships.

Now, I have no interest in spending $12 to go sit in a movie theater and watch a weird film version of what is basically soft-core porn. This movie will not be getting any attention from me because it’s not the kind of movie I like watching.

But, I do believe that consenting adults have every right to read and watch whatever they like. In fact, I think the fact that we have multiple war-movie blockbusters every year is more concerning and says more about out culture than one movie that speaks to suburban housewives’ secret fantasies (or at least that’s the idea, I guess?).

Also, as a side note – I read an article in Time magazine in which director Sam Taylor-Johnson (a woman, for what it’s worth) talked about adapting the movie to give the female lead more agency and power, and make the storyline less abusive. We all know that movies never hew exactly to the books they’re based on, and while I still won’t be seeing this one, I am glad to hear it’s going to have less of a demeaning slant.

In short, calm down about this movie, guys! And if you insist on doing something about it, go to the movies on opening day and see something else. The only way we’re going to get more of the kind of movies we want to see is if we spend the money to go see them.

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