Black, White, and “Fifty Shades of Grey”

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The older I get, the less convinced I am about absolutes.  As a teacher, I know that some of this has to do with stages of development. As a critical thinker, I think that this has to do with gathering more information and seeing concepts from different angles.  Some things are black and white – easy to get to the answer and then move on.  More and more, though, I find that I live in the grey areas (even the spelling of the color is an area such as this!).

There is nothing grey about whether or not to read Fifty Shades of Grey

Just don’t.

I tend to get really angry when people make statements about books or movies that they have not read or seen.  How can someone say something so absolute about a book or a movie if they have not experienced it?  For that reason, I read the Harry Potter series when it came out (and loved it, thank you very much!).  And for that reason, I read the Twilight series when it came out (I would like those hours back, please).  In researching both of these series, the jury was completely divided, and I needed to decide for myself.

With Fifty Shades of Grey, deciding for myself means that I do not need to read it.

Reason #1

When I looked up this book on amazon.com, the classification is erotic fiction. This is not a genre that I tend to frequent, and I do not intend to start now.

Reason #2

As I researched the book a bit, I discovered that it originated as “fan fiction” following the Twilight series.  I will not reiterate my distaste for the Twilight books, but readers can find the blogs and read my objections (fyi: my objections have nothing to do with the fact that vampires are in the books).  The bottom line for me was that more unhealthy relationships was not something that I wanted to read; I had already lost enough of my life to the Twilight series itself.

Reason #3

I barely have time (or perhaps TAKE TIME) to read books that actually have some redeeming value. Why would I spend my time reading something that lacks value and pollutes my mind? A Facebook friend posted a link to 101 Books to Read This Summer Instead of Fifty Shades of Grey. I am ashamed to admit that I have read less than half of the books on the list.

Reason #4

In my research, I happened upon a couple of blog posts that made so much sense about why we should stay away from this book (which is now a series!?!?!?).  The first author’s reasonable and Biblical approach made so much sense to me.  I highly suggest that you click here and read the post yourself.  I discovered that I resonated with this woman’s reasoning, and it held true for me.  The second post came via Relevant Magazine and highlighted the dulling of our conscience that occurs when we read and accepts books such as these.  The amount of sexual violence – the “dominant” (man) can do whatever her likes with the “submissive” (woman) – in the book can dangerously blind us to the real, living crimes that take place against women around the world each day.

 

As a wife, teacher, pastor’s wife, mentor, mother, and friend, I implore all women to consider what this book/series does to our minds and hearts.  This is not fluff; this is damaging stuff, and we should stay away.  I had no intention of writing a blog post about this book, but I recently realized that we all need to take a stand.

Are you willing to take a stand against domestic and relational violence by spreading the word that this book is damaging to our view of marriage and relationships?

9 thoughts on “Black, White, and “Fifty Shades of Grey”

  1. I couldn’t disagree with you more. For one the book doesn’t promote domestic abuse. If you would have read the book you know. I love how good christian people jump to such harsh judgements before knowing all the facts….

    • Katie – I have obviously offended you; for that, I apologize. Until your comment, I have not read anything (in the Christian world or elsewhere) that would lead me to believe this book is worth my time. What healthy concepts do you see in the book?

  2. I am a fan of erotic fiction. I have read innumerable books on the topic, and consider myself well-read. I don’t limit myself to that genre by any means, I will read any type of book that catches my fancy. That said, I attempted to read 50 Shades, and made it less than 1/3 through before just giving it up. My complaint is that it is so poorly written and edited that I don’t want any of my money supporting the author or publisher. I thought the subject was titillating, and I will respectfully disagree with the domestic abuse implication. I firmly believe that any behavior 2 consenting adults wish to engage in in the privacy of their own bedroom is their business, and I will not force my beliefs on someone else. I guess what my point is is that I agree with you that the books are a waste of time, that you will never get back, but disagree as to the reason. (I felt the same about the Twilight books, by the way!)

    • Thank you for your thoughts! I am glad that you felt comfortable disagreeing and agreeing with me. :) I had heard the same thing about the book being poorly written and edited. My issue (reminder: not having read the book so making a statement much broader than just the book) with the “2 consenting adults” issue is that often the female in relationships does not understand what it is she is consenting to do or has prior relationship issues which push her to be a part of a damaging relationship simply so that she has one or does not lose it. I work with teens who stay in unhealthy (co-dependent, etc) relationships because of their backgrounds, and it seems to me that this book would dull senses to seeing that. Just my thinks…

  3. Thank you for posting this, Stacy. Just last week my mother approached me and said that she has been encouraged to read this book. Mortified is too light a word to describe how I would feel if my mother would read such a book as this!

    When do we as individuals and as a nation start to mourn, rather than celebrate, the slow but sure degradation of our morals into a miry shade of grey where war can be peace and hate can be love? I fear the wake-up call for many will be at the moment when they desperately need human compassion to rescue them from a helpless situation and they only receive cold indifference from those whom they thought were family and friends.

  4. As a survivor of repeated, violent, felony sex abuse, this book appalls me. Rather, the success of this book appalls me. To think that people are reading this for fun, for entertainment, is disturbing. The popularity of this, in mainstream culture, is beyond concerning. Nothing good can come from reading about coerced sexual domination for pleasure. People need to realize that this is not fiction. It is not fantasy. It happens to real people. They need to stop supporting the idea that it is okay. They need to take a stand for what is right, not go along with what is popular at the moment. Have we not learned from history. Is this not the slippery slope that lead to the holocaust? It is wrong to treat people as objects, as items without inherent value. This book celebrates objectification. It romanticizes coercion. It numbs people to the truth that the unthinkable happens to men and women and children every minute of every day. It cannot be “entertainment.”

  5. Pingback: Opinions Get Us Into Trouble | slowingtheracingmind

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