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‘50 Shades of Grey,’ other media promotes rape culture

A woman agreeing to sex out of fear, is not the same as consent. We are living in the midst of a rape culture.

Sex has become even more so belittled by a countless amount of erotic films, novels and televisions.

We must stop supporting a society that won’t label “making profit off of movies that are centered around sex” the same as slavery experienced in human trafficking.

Take for instance this commercial: A handsome man is standing in the distance, he begins to look up dominantly at the woman before him, like a lion ready to pounce on prey.

The scene shifts, he is slamming the woman up against the elevator wall, another scene and they’re ruffling through sheets and as his hand unlocks the door he says, “I don’t do romance.”

This brief synopsis of the trailer for the first installment of E.L. James’ trilogy “50 Shades of Grey” lures audi- ences in to explore the story centered around Christian Grey, who is interviewed by a young, virgin journalist.

Grey’s secret is soon revealed to the journalist, Anastasia, that he par- ticularly likes a type of sex known as Bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism, masochism, or BDSM. She becomes his own person- al love doll, a slave available to take his fantasies out on.

What is even worse than this poorly written soft porn novel, is the fact that the trailers for the film have been coming on during any time of the day, on any channel.

Potentially, one could flip the channel but would most likely run into an inappropriate condom com- mercial or a bikini-wearing model eating a giant cheeseburger.

Either way unsuitable material is inescapable.

The character of Grey suffered a traumatic childhood filled with memories that vary from the abuse he suffered from his mother’s pimp, to the experience of living in a fos- ter home and losing his virginity at a young age to the woman who introduced him to BDSM.

Throughout the novel, Anastasia agrees to pain-inducing sex that she is uncomfortable with, out of fear of losing Grey. A common trend in abusive relationships, and even considered to be rape in most instances.

According to the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network, 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime. Yet as a society we label things such as “50 Shades of Grey” a guilty pleasure, rather than calling it what it really is: an invitation to further our rape culture.

Women Against Violence Against Women define rape culture as one that “condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm”

The Rape Crisis center further explains that this culture “includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable.”

There is a bigger problem at hand here when young girls in our lives are at risk for being raped, because of the actions we refuse to stop sewing now, there is a bigger problem when males of this society have slim pickings of role models that respect women.

“The Loft” is another anticipated film to be released this year.

For those who are unfamiliar with the plot of “The Loft,” it is a thriller, focused around the finding of a murdered, unidentified woman in a loft purchased by five married men in order to “live out” their sexual fantasies with women other than their wives.

These newly released films promote sex on impulse, and sex with anyone, anywhere.

The pressures to live this type of lifestyle show no signs of letting up in the future.

Sabrina Weill of CBS News writes “many teens do not have the maturity, judgment, or sophistication to make possibly life-changing decisions regarding sex without the input of an older, wiser adult.”

Exclusive National Survey Results found that teens are becoming sexually active as young as age 14. This statistic should awaken us to preventing the promotion of these types of movies.

According to a research study conducted by National Eating Disorders “Numerous correlational and experimental studies have linked exposure to the thin ideal in mass media to body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal, and disordered eating among women,” as well as the “Pressure from mass media to be muscular being related to body dissatisfaction among men.”

The objectification of a person’s body is something that we as a society have control over. It currently steers the way our adolescents are headed as well as what we believe of ourselves.

We are a generation that complains of both anorexia and obesity, moral and immoral, yet we are further poisoning the minds of generations to come.

We need to make the first move in taking a stand against this trend of never ending body dissatisfaction, and over sexualization found all around us.

We are living bodies, not objects for sale.

The current pressures we face in this sense, are creating a new generation on its own: Transforming humans into sex-crazed, body-obsessed monsters.

The only way to end this mistreatment that we condone is to stop buying the songs, the movie tickets and watching television shows that promote the objectification of the human body.

It will only get worse from here.

Image Sources

  • Fifty Shades of Grey 2015: Photo courtesy Universal Pictures/TNS. | Used With Permission
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