Fifty Shades of Grey? More like Fifty Shades of Abuse

LET ME first get this out of the way: whatever it is that floats your boat, provided there’s consent amongst all parties, is absolutely none of my business. I’m not a prude, and I’m definitely not writing this because I’m scared of a few dirty words. I’m not even writing this because I’m scared of the frankly pitiful attempt at anything resembling a respectable plot that is better known as Fifty Shades of Grey; although believe me when I say that I think EL James should be at the Hague for crimes against literate humanity.

What does scare me, is every day seeing Facebook statuses and tweets singing the praises of Christian Grey, the 26 year old self-made billionaire CEO who is fluent in French, plays piano, sails, has a pilot’s license and displays many traits of an emotional abuser. Women who I otherwise respect are posting such messages as ‘where can I find a man like Christian Grey?’, and ‘#whatwomenwant for Christian Grey to be real’.

Christian stalks Bella Ana, prevents her from seeing her friends and family, monitors what and when she eats and even puts a GPS tracker in her phone; how romantic and definitely not at all controlling he is! In turn, Ana displays a multitude of characteristics of an abused partner, blaming herself, hiding things because she’s scared of his reactions and defending his actions.

Escapism is one thing – who hasn’t dreamed of being whisked away by a billionaire with clean sheets and a never-ending supply of prophylactics? (Er…) But this is where Fifty Shades becomes more than just escapism – it seems like these women want their partners to resemble Grey.

Fifty Shades has been lauded as a milestone for female sexuality, but I can’t see this as anything other than a setback for feminism. EL James has created a monster, not because of his penchant for whips, but because Christian Grey has made abuse attractive, and otherwise intelligent women – perhaps founded in a wish to be desired – are confusing abuse with love.

If sex scenes that sound like something a rather lonely individual might construct using fridge poetry turn you on, then as dreadful as I feel for you, carry on. Just please don’t ever think that emotional abuse is sexy.