'Fifty Shades of Grey' doesn't romanticize abuse

I went to see the movie "Fifty Shades of Grey" over the weekend with my friends, and I, honestly, felt guilty going. I have read several articles stating that the movie promotes domestic abuse and that going to see this movie is detrimental to modern relationships.

Read a review of the film on Yes/No Films.

Now, I am glad that I went because I am able to give my actual opinion on it — instead of assumptions most people give by just watching the commercials.

When the movie was over and the credits were rolling, the first thing out of my mouth was, "I don't understand how that promoted abuse at all!"

I know multiple people who have been abused in relationships, physically or emotionally. And I honestly feel like, when people say that "Fifty Shades of Grey" romanticizes abuse, this belittles what abuse actually is. If anything, I think the film shows what it wrong with abuse, not the other way around.

 Reasons this movie does not promote abuse:

• Before he does anything, the character Christian Grey asks permission, usually multiple times.
• He and Anastasia Steele discuss, in-depth, what she is comfortable with.
• Anastasia also stands up for herself when she feels she is mistreated.
• And when Ana gets hurt, she yells at Christian, asking him if he enjoys seeing her in pain.
• Christian never once forces himself on her, and, when she says "No," he listens.
• Christian never puts her down. Instead, he compliments her all the time. He tells Ana she shouldn't be ashamed of her body. I think this is even something men in relationships could LEARN from.

I know that the character Christian Grey is on the controlling side, and I personally wouldn't want to date him. I am definitely not saying they have a "healthy relationship. But I think saying this movie "promotes abuse" is a little extreme. And, when Christian is controlling, Anastasia does a good job at telling him off. The viewer can see the pain she is going through by being treated this way, and, in no way, does it look "romantic."

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the following are tactics of physical abuse:

• Pulling your hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking you
• Forbidding you from eating or sleeping
• Damaging your property when they're angry
• Using weapons to threaten to hurt you
• Trapping you in your home or keeping you from leaving
• Preventing you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
• Harming your children
• Abandoning you in unfamiliar places
• Driving recklessly or dangerously when you are in the car
• Forcing you to use drugs or alcohol

These are tactics of emotional abuse, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

• Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
• Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
• Trying to isolate you from your family and friends
• Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
• Demanding to know where you are every minute
• Threatening to hurt you
• Humiliating you
• Blaming you for the abuse
• Accusing you of cheating
• Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
• Attempting to control your appearance
• Telling you that you will never find anyone better

People who are experiencing these things may not even realize it because their partner is brainwashing them and making them think it was somehow their fault. It is not your fault and you do not deserve to be treated this way. If someone doesn't respect what you want and how you want to be treated, then it is abuse.

Resources can be found by calling 1-800-799-SAFE. There are also chat services available on the National Domestic Violence Hotline's website for those who do not feel safe using the phone. For people who live in Oakland County, Mich., HAVEN offers help to those suffering from abuse. For 24-hour support, call 248-334-1274.

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  1. Fabulous Monica, thank you for sharing this. I haven't seen the movie yet, and like you, I heard that it promotes abuse. I LOVE how you posted about what happens in the movie, (and how it isn't abuse), and that you listed what abuse REALLY IS. Thank you!