Skippy Responds: The Dreamer’s Dream

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Robyn’s a bigger man than I am. She watched the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. I don’t think I have the constitution for that. I’d sooner poke my eyes out with a burning stick.

Robyn says the movie isn’t about rape. I was going to write in a sarcastic way about how this movie is about rape culture with references to feminists who claim all sex is rape and that if a man looks at a woman that is rape. But you can read extensive feminist rantings on the interwebz about the rape culture promoted by Fifty Shades.

Is Fifty Shades of Grey about rape? Depends on what you consider rape.

Fifty Shades of Grey rapes the English language and the concept of plot development so far as I can tell.

In my research, which like what you call research, consists of typing something into Google and believe whatever comes up first, I found much criticism of the plot and dialogue. No one is praising the writing or production values.

Fifty Shades of Grey rapes political boundaries.

The left-wing statists hate it for promoting rape culture. The right-wing statists hate it for promoting deviate sexual behaviour. It’s got something for everyone.

Fifty Shades of Grey rapes the notion that women are strong and independent.

“Strong and independent” is the new feminist buzz phrase. It really means nothing as it has no context but is sounds great.

I’ll ask a question I’m not suppose to ask. If women are “strong and independent” why are they paying money to see a movie which according to Robyn:

1. Don’t show no cock. Only vagina.

Could it be because all women are bisexual? They are. They simply don’t want to admit it. And does this movie really show vagina? The real thing? Or is Robyn exaggerating?

2. The protagonist (if you can call her that) don’t speak much and is treated as an object.

Women being treated as objects is part of this whole rape culture fad that taking the colleges by storm. Would “strong and independent” women pay money to watch a move about a woman being treated like an object?

They would. It’s called Hunger Games. I read all three books. Katniss is blown by the winds, agonizes over everything, is indecisive and servers as a tool for the men and governments around her.

3. The protagonist has no depth.

Robyn claims she is only a pretty face.

I disagree.

I’ve seen pictures of Dakota Johnson that have been Photoshopped and she isn’t attractive even in those photos. This movie is teaching unattractive women that rich men will want to have sex with them. I can see how that would appeal to women.

4. Is full of man toys.

All those man toys require rich men to exist. What do women like more than rich men? Richer men.

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What does it all mean?

Apparently this happens:

The fact that Christian Grey brings an unconscious woman back to his room is completely unremarked upon by anyone. He carried Anastasia – who is dead to the world – through the front door, past the front desk, through the lobby and into the elevator. And nobody, not the doorman, not the staff, not the guests, nobody said a damn thing about it.

In this movie, a rich, powerful man taking an unconscious young girl back to his room, undressing her and sleeping in the same bed with her is sweet. It’s romantic. It shows how much he cares for her. This isn’t taking advantage of someone who’s incapacitated by alcohol, this is the beginnings of TRUE LOVE. And somehow everyone in town recognizes this and discretely gives the happy couple their privacy because yeah. Even Ana’s friends don’t care that Anastasia disappeared from the bar without a word.

Now imagine the same movie only Grey in not a billionare. He is a janitor. A fat janitor. Would this be romantic? No. It would be rape. Not one person would be defending this movie.

In fact how about this analysis of the book from a bible reader:

Instead of focussing on the erotic desires of any particular character as an end in themselves (a long and important tradition in literature both English-language and otherwise), this is a story depicting a romanticised version of domestic violence.

Of course, the book is not as blatant and obvious as that. How could it be – it would never have sold. There is a surface level lip-service given to the issue of consent, with a contract (which is never actually signed by Ana) outlining certain rights. However, a little reflection shows that this does indeed only run surface deep.

For a start, there is a huge power dynamic between the wealthy millionaire who can create the world around him, and the less fiscally powerful and unemployed college student. This power dynamic is also exacerbated by the fact that Grey has lots of prior sexual experience, whereas Ana has never had a sexual relationship before (don’t even get me started on the fetishisation of virginity here). This power difference is exacerbated by the constant reference to Ana as ‘Miss Steele’, thus emphasising her vulnerability and youth.

What if I told you Fifty Shades of Grey is about an old man having sex with an under-age girl? Only the ages of the characters were changed.

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Robyn hit right upon the crux of the matter. Those of you who watched the video’s I had in my post last week heard Stefan make this same point.

Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t about sex, rape or BDSM. In the end it’s about the ultimate fantasy. The dreamer’s dream. The desire to change someone else into what you want them to be. It’s about the battered wife who knows she can change the man who beats her into a loving human being. If only she could love him more. And that shit makes money.

 

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