Domestic violence in Fifty Shades

Fifty Shades of Grey has come under fire for glorifying domestic violence.

Domestic and sexual violence has become a hot-button topic of late, and the arrival of the Fifty Shades of Grey film has sparked heated controversy.

Dealing with the consensual but sexually violent relationship between a controlling and troubled billionaire and an innocent and inexperienced young woman, the film stunned some viewers for its portrayal of an all too realistic abusive relationship.

Viewers, domestic violence groups, women's rights advocates, social conservatives, and religious leaders in Australia and overseas have slammed the film for glorifying domestic violence. In the same way that pornography and video games are said to negatively influence society’s behaviour, these groups claim that the film will lead to an increased prevalence of domestic and sexual violence against women.

It is not just the violent bondage and dominance-style sexual relationship between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel that viewers have said is the most disturbing, but also the psychological manipulation of Ana by Christian.

Christian is an attractive, rich and intelligent man – the antithesis of how we commonly think of domestic abusers.  However, he is also emotionally tormented, displaying the controlling and obsessive behaviour of a stalker. He manipulates Ana and draws her into his world of emotional turmoil.

The Journal on Women’s Health identifies the relationship in Fifty Shades of Grey as one that is rife with domestic violence. The emotional abuse, humiliation, intimidation and isolation, in addition to the sexual and physical abuse, are unlike the average Hollywood film.

When Fifty Shades of Grey opened in cinemas around the world, it grossed over $30 million dollars in the first day. The film, which followed a phenomenally successful book, had a long lead-up, with countless trailers, ads and posters plastered on every screen and billboard.

Despite the film selling out quickly, reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey tell of its underwhelming delivery. The film received a measly four stars out of 10 on Internet Movie Database (IMDB).

Read more at CNS.  

Read a review at Mamamia.

What did you think of the film? Did you feel it glorified domestic violence and therefore promoted this behaviour in society? 


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    18th Feb 2015
    Filthy Shades of Grey !! :-)
    Gee Whiz
    18th Feb 2015
    Only read two chapters of the book before i put it aside never to pick it up again.. Boring,puerile and senseless. Definitely wont bother seeing the movie.
    18th Feb 2015
    TWO Chapters ? WOW !! :-)
    18th Feb 2015
    I thought it was more erotic than anything else. He was not beating Ana up due to drugs or alcohol or rage; it was all consensual - Yes he was controlling but that was due to his background - if you'd read the whole book you'd understand. The movie does NOT promote domestic violence, or sexual abuse. He asked her permission to do the sexual things he wanted to do, hence the contract - which she never signed - but she was not forced to do anything she did not want to do.
    18th Feb 2015
    I deliberately «sampled» some of the novel to feel better able to comment.

    As a writer, I will say that, in terms of the language, it is not well written. The dialogue is excruciatingly bad, the «tell» rather than show method rather tedious and the character portrayals pretty much one-dimensional.

    The author has clearly gone for shock value, but lots of us just laugh!

    I do have concerns, though, that younger women, particularly, might find this «cave-man» attitude vaguely appealing, rather than downright silly. I hope not.

    As women (and men) who went through the changes of the seventies, we have made efforts to improve the male/female dynamic, at home and at work. For this reason, among others, I am disappointed that this rather lightweight work might do some heavier damage.
    18th Feb 2015
    Improve the male/female dynamic? Are you serious. Since the late sixties early seventies it has been social open season on men. Fifty Shades of Whatever is a poor attempt to titilate women with some closet fantacies. Don't take it too serious. On the other hand it is serious that men have been systematically trashed for 40 years
    19th Feb 2015
    Deadly NightShade !
    Gee Whiz
    18th Feb 2015
    Two chapters was all i could stomach Partiicolor. But there are people who salivate over trash such as this.
    What did you think hmmmmm?
    18th Feb 2015
    Someone gave it to Me ! I read 2 pages and now its on the Shelf a Vinnies !! I hope they didn't see Me leave it there ?? :-)
    18th Feb 2015
    Don't get me wrong Tighter Wrighter...ooops Writer, I am not sticking up for "Fifty Shades" but could you please explain just what is good writing when one is telling pornographic stories is please?
    I have heard this said so many times and not having a degree in literature
    I believe there are three large books in this series which sold beyond expectation. So I am very bewildered given the amount of other pornographic literature on our bookshelves that this one has been singled out.
    I feel the younger generation is much more liberated sexually than people of my era ever were. Sure the majority may not have whipped or spanked each other but we could certainally stil have some pretty good sex behind closed doors.
    Maybe sex being so openly expressed nowdays is maybe just too uncomfortable for many of us. Interesting topic though.
    18th Feb 2015
    It’s a very good question, Rosebud.

    My opinion is that good writing is good writing (or not), regardless of whether or not it is pornographic.
    From what I have read, I don’t think this book is pornographic. It is certainly popular, and had massive publicity, possibly exactly because it isn’t really pornographic. It was probably singled out for criticism because of its popularity.

    On your other point ... What makes me uncomfortable with it is certainly not the sexual content, but the way in which the novel trots out the old stereotype of ‘dominant man with money makes the rules and controls submissive female’.
    And yes, I have read the reviews ... she ’teaches him about emotion in the end’, but truthfully, I lost interest long before then.

    You are right, though, it all makes for interesting discussion.
    18th Feb 2015
    It's a rubbish story in a rubbish scenario.. my sister tried to read it and put it down at
    Chapter One - I looked at it and wondered what the whole thing had going for it at all - I wouldn't waste my time with this kind of rubbish.

    How any modern woman could consider such a thing worthy of a moment is beyond me - it shows a silly and subservient girl in a subordinate situation - i.e prone to sexual harassment - and one who is driven by the most base of human female drives - the 'lure' of 'power' - read money and control and a bad boy attitude in an immature nobody with a dollar or two.

    Any man with such an approach to women isn't worth a double dose of salts....

    Utterly puerile nonsense based on nothing but a silly subservient porn concept of women being a worthless commodity in the hands of any 'man' with the wherewithal.

    Wouldn't puss on it - in New Zullandese...

    Yes - you may post my review of this trash - I strive mightily to write good books - this is an insult to human intelligence and human grace between the sexes.
    19th Feb 2015
    What saddens me is that girls are growing up thinking they have to be a certain way and dress a certain way to attract a man, these movies just don't help with girls growing up to be sensible, independent and strong women.

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