Monday, February 13, 2017

Are There Shades of Good in the "50 Shades" Trilogy?

I have read the original 50 Shades trilogy by E.L. James, and I recently watched the first 50 Shades of Grey movie (I tweeted my adventure watching the movie, which you can read about here).  
A sneak peek of my riveting commentary
Now that the second installment has hit theatres just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s a good time to explore whether there are good things about these movies and books to balance their more problematic elements.

But first, a quick discussion of those problematic elements.

Problem #1: Christian isn’t a very good dominant.

Christian tells Ana relatively early in the story that he enjoys being in control.  When he shows her his “red room of pain,” Ana asks Christian if he is a sadist, to which he replies, horrified, “No, I’m a dominant.”  In my experience with BDSM practitioners, I’ve found them to be pretty self-aware, and willing to engage in introspection to figure out what motivates them and where their boundaries are.  Christian’s rejection of a sadist identity is at odds with his obvious desire and enjoyment around making Ana hurt, both emotionally and physically.
Christian introduces Ana to the Red Room of Pain