Domestic violence in Fifty Shades

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? 

Amelia Theodorakis
Amelia Theodorakis
A writer and communications specialist with eight years’ in startups, SMEs, not-for-profits and corporates. Interests and expertise in gender studies, history, finance, banking, human interest, literature and poetry.
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