50 Shades of Grey comes out in about a week in the cinemas, with a wildly inappropriate release date of Valentine’s Day. I can’t think of a worse way to spend the day, and I hate Valentine’s Day.
First of all, a lot has been written criticising 50 shades. I’m not even going to start on how poorly written it is because I’m not a literary critic and also if people want to read poorly worded trash that’s their prerogative. I’m not surprised that it’s sold a lot of books in spite of being poorly written, because well someone is buying the daily mail on a regular basis. I’m surprised that it’s sold a lot of copies, in a non-ironic way, where women are genuinely enticed to this relationship.
This isn’t the main point of this post, but Anna and Christian do not have a healthy relationship. BDSM between two consensual adults is great first of all, but the fact is I suspect more people have bought that book than would actually be interested in such a relationship. This is fine; whether they don’t really have an interest in it or are using it as an escape to fulfil desires they’d never enact in real life, it’s their life, that’s fine. However, as has been pointed out repeatedly, Anna and Christian are not engaging in happy fun consensual BDSM. It is abuse. It is a physically and emotionally abusive relationship and to act like this is appealing makes light of situations where this happens every day in the real world.
Again, this isn’t automatically negative – people read violent books and it doesn’t make them violent. People can live this relationship vicariously through these books knowing that in real life they are still safe and it’s only a book, and maybe that’s even healthier – I don’t know, I’m not a psychologist. It does seem thought that people – mostly women – genuinely want a man like Christian Grey, which first off is quite damaging but also again statistically surprising. I didn’t think that many women were interested in constantly playing that role in a relationship – which leads me onto the next point in this.
I bloody love Beyonce. She is absolutely my idol. She is confident and loud and sure of herself and she is openly in control and is aware of her sexuality as an aspect of her life, AND she danced in front of the word Feminist in giant flashing letters, as if she wasn’t perfect enough. I have listened to her fifth studio album on repeat more times than I can even imagine. She represents the kind of woman I would love to be, who is bold and confident and unashamed of everything she stands for. She wrote songs about being single, she wrote songs about being married, she wrote songs about being sexy and fierce and angry and jealous and sad. She even wrote a song criticising the music industry, describing the temptation it can represent and how crazy it can drive you, which I would like to think was something she really felt and believed at the time.
This is why I’m so disappointed that this song, along with Crazy In Love, have been slowed down and made « sexy » for the soundtrack to this film. As far as I’m concerned, Beyonce is sexy. Already. Her confidence and power and attitude are sexy. It might not be for everyone but that’s OK. For her to fit to this idea of sexy and to even allow one of her songs to be interpreted differently is quite disappointing to someone who held her up to represent totally different ideals in what should be viewed as « sexy ». I don’t think everyone should be expected to be confident in the same way not everyone wants to be submissive but I do think if someone is happy and a role model in one it’s a massive shame for them to suddenly abandon it and conform to another.
Plus, 50 shades is just messed up, don’t ever settle for that xo