[W]omen of all ages are swooning over this guy and misreading his obsessive, cruel behavior as evidence of love and romance. Part of the reason for this is that his wealth acts as a kind of up-market cleansing cream for his abuse, and his pathological attachment to Anastasia is reframed as devotion, since he showers luxury items on her. This is a very retrograde and dangerous world for our daughters to buy into, and speaks to the appalling lack of any public consciousness as to the reality of violence against women.
Why are Women Devouring Fifty Shades of Grey? - Gail Dines, professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston. (via mehreenkasana)
Word. Seriously, every person I see reading that book makes me want to throw things at walls.
This… goddamnit, I feel like we have this problem where kinky people can’t admit their kinks and so can’t have narratives that involve their kinks done in the RESPONSIBLE sane person way. I LOVE pain, and humiliation, and degradation, but I only like them with someone who treats me with respect and who practices good consent.
There’s a lot of talk about the misrepresentation of kink in Fifty Shades of Gray, which is, I think, totally important. What I’d also like to see - and this extends to the Twilight source material as well, is how this is also an illustration of how fucked up and misogynistic modern romance is as a system. OF COURSE these women are reading controlling and obsessive and cruel behavior as romantic; independent of the kink, that’s what we’re told romance is.
We don’t live in a culture of consent; romantic and sexual relationships are often based on “wearing her down” - pushing until your target is too tired or overwhelmed or just because they think it’s the way relationships work. You can see this at work in just about everything with a romantic subplot, and much more so in anything that is about romance.
People are mad about Fifty Shades of Gray because, at least in my experience, it applies modern skeevy romance tropes to a subculture that is, in many ways, a rejection of and rebellion in reaction to those very tropes. I mean, sure, that isn’t the case for everyone involved - lots of folks just like a kink. But the communities of which I have been a part have been far more cognizant of things like consent, which is explicitly built into interactions.
Yes, there are also skeevy kink communities. There are assholes everywhere.
The quote above - it isn’t just “our daughters” buying into the wealthy devoted guy showering his love with gifts scenario. I mean, COME ON. Pretty Woman exists for a reason, after all, and it ain’t because this is a new message.
Our culture doesn’t think consent is romantic or sexy. THAT shapes everything else we read and watch.