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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: ‘Fifty Shades’ is full of false sexpectations

This Valentine’s Day, many are saddened at the absence of “Fifty Shades of Grey” trailers and posters.

Last year around this time, girls were abuzz with scintillating conversations about the main character, Christian Grey. He had it all: abs, a mysterious demeanor and overall sex appeal. While his ability to summon lust from females everywhere cannot be debated, the film’s legitimacy and dangers can.

For those who have avoided spoilers and media outlets for this long, here is a brief recap: Innocent girl becomes the object of steaming male character’s obsession and that steaming character has a bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism fetish, to say the least.

While a synopsis leaves much unsaid, the storyline draws itself in such a way that it insinuates several false things about BDSM culture that are dangerous to perpetrate.

I’m no expert on the subject of BDSM, but I live in the 21st century, so even a brief Google search can inform me about the culture more than the two-hour film did.

It is essentially a variety of erotic practices or role playing involving bondage, dominance and submission, sadomasochism and other interpersonal dynamics. It isn’t for everyone and it certainly isn’t something to dive into uneducated.

In keeping with the theme of the holiday, it is best to focus less on the ignorant attitude of the film and more on what it shows about power dynamics within modern relationships, particularly when it comes to sex and being adventurous.

We are all influenced by the media—be it through movies, songs or TV—it’s unavoidable. But when it comes to dictating our personal lives, few care to think about what subconscious attitudes they form based on the media they are exposed to. Sexual innuendo is prominent and young, impressionable teens listen to lyrics and view characters on screen being more promiscuous than ever before.

If you’re going to experiment, by all means, enjoy. However, it is important that entertainment media is not the first and only source of consultation.

Anastasia, the main female character in the film, only says “no” to Christian once throughout the entire movie. Her actions and demeanor show that she is uncomfortable throughout, but it takes the whole two hours for her to muster up the courage and stand up for herself.

While some might argue that she signed herself up for his lifestyle, it is important to note the concept of consent. Consent must be affirmative, conscious, voluntary and, most importantly, ongoing.

Either participant should feel comfortable regrouping, readdressing or stopping altogether at anytime throughout an endeavor.

Though the film progresses into somewhat of a twisted love story, our culture today revolves more around hookups and casual quickies than Nicholas Sparks-type romance.

Whether you’re in a relationship or exploring your options, this level of comfort can be found wherever you are, so long as you bring it with you.

Do not shy away from speaking up about what you want, what you don’t and what you consider to be going too far—something Anastasia did not do.

So whether you choose to go and see the sequel, “Fifty Shades Darker,” around this time next year, remember to leave the drama to the actors.

Speak up for your desires and fears because feeling comfortable is what true romance is all about.

Follow Stephanie Shaw on Twitter

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