When it comes to films like Fifty Shades of Grey, the “ironic watching,” and “but he’s really hot,” arguments just don’t cut it for me. I find them superficial, ridiculous and irretrievably stupid.
I find myself sitting down in front of my laptop, having just written a two-hundred word status on Facebook about the abusive and manipulative relationship that is glorified in this franchise. Only to receive back a comment from a past friend, that I haven’t spoken to in over two years stating: “I’m going to see it. The guy is really hot”.
If I could insert a picture into this article at this point, it would be that gif of Steve Carell in The Office, zooming into his painfully unimpressed face.
After several minutes (approximately eight) of staring at the comment, unable to comprehend what was going through this girl’s mind at this time, I decided to just say: “Have you read anything that I’ve just written? Or did it just not fit with your ideas of reality?”.
Perhaps I was a little rude, (I definitely was and I loved it), but this comment had pushed me past the point of no return. I was in a state, a rage, blind hysteria about the entire subject. I could not wrap my head around it. How could a person with a decent amount of intellect read the frankly disgusting truth about this franchise and respond with a statement like that?
My status highlighted some rather horrible, yet interesting details, such as:
1. The sale of rope in B&Q having almost doubled during the franchise’s rise to popularity, proving that the franchise provoked and encouraged readers of the novel to engage in a BDSM relationships and by no means in a safe and healthy way.
2. The sheer amount of manipulative and emotionally abusive ways in which Christian Grey coerces Ana into compromising situations and are then depicted as being normal and enjoyable.
3. The fact Christian Grey spends the majority of the first book in the series stalking Ana and appearing at private, personal places (including her Mother’s house and her own bedroom) without her permission.
I was baffled, and I am still baffled, that a large number of people have read these books and have been presented with the disgusting ideals that underlay the entirety of these books, and have had it brought to their attention again and again that Christian Grey is an abusive, disgusting little man. Yet people are still reading and watching and thinking that the relationship is one to idealise.
And the worst part of it all, is when they are challenged, when the truth of this franchise is brought to their attention once again; their only defence against all it, is watching the movie because, “he’s hot”.
Zoe is in her first year of studying English with Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and hopes to become a writer in the future. Her creative work can be found at here.