Arts and Culture

Five Reasons Why the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Will Suck

With its terrible writing, dump truck-sized plot holes, horrible Twilight fan-fic dialogue and a plethora of downright ridiculous misconceptions about BDSM and kinksters, Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in E.L. James's trilogy, made me want to faceplant into my Kindle. It's four hours of my life that I will never get back.

I get that this is a work of fiction, but at the same time Fifty Shades has become an influential book, and will continue to be with the first movie coming out. Which is why it's important to point out its shortcomings. Here's a list of reasons why Fifty Shades of Grey sucks -- and the movie -- due out next year -- will too.

See also: Screw Fifty Shades; check out the kinky work of local authors Reggie and Kasi Alexander

5. It wrongly portrays people who are into BDSM.

Fifty Shades of Grey does an incredibly poor job of portraying BDSM, and the people who are into kink, illustrating them as being mentally unstable, stalkerish, manipulative and as carrying major childhood trauma. Main character Christian Grey uses GPS to stalk main character Anastasia Steele after they've spoken all of twice, which is creepy as all fuck, Christian asks Ana to sign a slave contract on their first date which actual kinksters wouldn't do or advocate doing because she had no earthly clue WTF she was getting into and he was deliberately manipulating her -- and because consent is the cornerstone of safe, healthy BDSM relationships.

And yes, some people within the kink lifestyle are victims of childhood trauma, but I'd wager my shiny leather whip that the percentage of those folks isn't any higher than what you'd find in the vanilla lifestyle.

4. It's rife with misogyny.

Ana's character hates other women (especially blondes for some reason) since she sees them as whores who are trying to steal her man; as a result, she has a lot of disturbing inner monologues about how she can't stand her supposed best female friend. The character spends a good chunk of time slut-shaming other women -- and even herself, and the internalized misogyny was so disgusting I had to walk away from the book a few times just to bleach my brain. The book also gives the overall impression of dominance and submission as equating to rich, powerful, fucked-up men can do, say and have whatever they want, while women are illustrated as weak, insecure, virginal, gullible doormats who have no voices and no understanding of their own wants and needs.

The author got it all wrong, and if she thinks this is how all women relate to each other, and how domination and submission works for kinksters, then she needs to do some actual research before she coughs up another sexist piece of trash.

3. The relationship between Christian and Ana is more like abuse than BDSM.

The relationship between Christian and Ana that is depicted in Fifty Shades is not BDSM, it is abuse. Many of the book's situations involve Christian forcing Ana against her will, blatantly violating her consent, willfully ignoring her boundaries, not taking "no" for an answer, and knowingly putting her in dangerous and harmful situations for his own purposes. It's not difficult to recognize how dangerous and unhealthy their relationship would be in real life because Christian is not really a safe dominant. He doesn't practice open and honest communication with Ana (something kinksters put a premium on) and instead reinforces the severely fucked idea that if your partner plays at power games, then it's okay to be abused.

Fifty Shades has brought abuse to the mainstream, masquerading as BDSM to people who don't know any better; he upcoming film will likely do the same thing.

For more reasons why Fifty Shades sucks, read on
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Jenn Wohletz
Contact: Jenn Wohletz

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