As my Kindle has consistently reminded me, Fifty Shades of Grey will hit theaters around Valentine’s Day. The book, movie, the whole shebang disturbs me. No, I haven’t read the book. No, I never intend to read it or see the movie. So, why am I disturbed?
I could go on a “righteous indignation rant,” about all the ways Shades scoffs at everything I believe about love, sex, and romance, but I don’t intend to because that’s not the part that irritates me the most. What I find most irksome is the double standard it promotes.
To what double standard am I referring? To fully explain this, I need to give a brief synopsis of the story (I shudder to call it that) as I understand it. Here goes: wealthy man meets a naïve young lady, coerces her into a sexual relationship, calls it love, and promises to change for her. Now, I’m going to take a different spin on it. Pretend a man wrote the same story. Would it still be plastered all over my Kindle? I think not. Talk about a heyday for the feminist movement! See? Double standard.
In the next scenario, pretend that the male character is not wealthy, but a blue-collar average Joe and the rest of the story remains the same. Would it still have the same appeal? Um . . . no. Let’s face it; the only reason some ladies are fawning over Christian Grey is because he’s supposedly wealthy and sexy. Double standard? You betcha.
Here’s another double standard for you. Ladies who have read the books and will watch the movie would throw a livid fit if their significant others mentioned visiting a strip club or watching pornography. But isn’t it the same thing? Actually, I think it’s worse. At least you know what you’re getting with strip clubs and pornography. Shades has been classified as best-selling literature and a romance movie.
Now, if you are reading this and you happen to be someone that enjoys Shades, don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not judging you. If sadomasochism is your thing, that’s cool. But call it what it is. Don’t call it romance, or God forbid, love. Women want equality. Losing the double standard would be one more step in the right direction.