50 Shades Of Abuse

Jesse Case, Staff Correspondent

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You’ve seen it just about everywhere an advertisement can pop up — newsfeeds, commercials, even on the city bus. Fifty Shades of Grey has invaded everyone’s lives with or without consent, a common theme in the books and the movie.

Domestic abuse and assault aren’t light topics; they carry different weights with everyone. For some it’s an unforgettable chapter of their life, the scars of which are hard to conceal.

Rape culture, the glamorization and normalization of rape, sexual assault and harassment, has shown its true colors in the form of this New York Times best-seller that features an innocent college student falling in love with a tortured man with “particular sexual tastes.”

This movie, so popular among young and impressionable women, spreads the idea that consent isn’t necessary, rather that it’s an accessory and the lack thereof can be considered an enhancement.

In Anastasia Steele’s relationship with Christian Grey, she feels threatened by him, constantly intimidated and afraid. “Alaska is very cold and no place to run,” Christian at one point says to Ana. “I would find you. I can track your cell phone — remember?”

Honestly there’s a plethora of quotes I could pull from the series to illustrate exactly why this franchise needs to be avoided. “He’d probably like to beat seven shades of s**t out of me. The thought is depressing,” Ana admits on multiple occasions that she feels threatened and unsafe around Christian.

If there is any kind of threat to someone in a relationship, and that person wishes it would end or that there wasn’t so much violence or anger, it isn’t healthy. Any signs of manipulation or guilt tactics are big red flags for emotional abuse.

The clearest form of emotional abuse if flat out yelling in an attempt to enforce fear into your partner. “You have one thing, one thing to remember. S**t! I don’t f**king believe it. How could you be so stupid?”

The entire series is just Christian forcing Ana into uncomfortable situations through methods of manipulation, often ignoring her clear resistance, and E.L. James’ lousy writing trying to play off the invasion as an exciting new kind of relationship.

Many supporters of the franchise claim it’s “just a book” and that it can do no harm. If I don’t like it I shouldn’t read it, right? Wrong.

Imagine the young women who are only just now diving into relationships and the world of dating. The girls who listen when society tells them that hating themselves is cute and that anxiety means you’re dateable. They’re the ones reading this book and they’re the ones who will think that this kind of relationship is normal.

There are even those who will start to think that they’re doing relationships wrong without some kind of assault involved after reading this book. All of the older viewers who are already in completely healthy relationships but are told they’re doing love the boring or typical way will change their lifestyle to revolve around what they learned from 50 Shades of Grey.

Finally, the young men who hear about or read the books, go to see the movie with their girlfriends, etc. will be getting the wrong idea about what women are comfortable with. The idea that force is sexy is all some will need to attack women in an attempt to recreate 50 Shades of Grey.

This franchise has already made its impact on so many in such a negative way. The best way to stop the spread of rape culture is to tell others about what a healthy relationship looks like and what consent sounds like.

Remember, if the lines look blurred at all, asking is sure to clear things up better than just going for it like Christian Grey. Nobody should want to date a Christian Grey.