Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fifty Shades

Yesterday I read a number of posts from several different bloggers about why they would not go see Fifty Shades of Grey. A lot of their points were valid (to them, at least). A lot of said bloggers are religious, and therefore they object to the books and movie because of religious reasons.

The one thing that bothered me about all of these posts is that the bloggers who wrote them had never read a word from the books. Not. One. Word. This was bothersome to me because you are literally judging a book by it's cover and reputation. This, I feel, draws a lot of parallels with things that I do not appreciate about the religious community. If you are reading this mom, you might want to stop here.

Growing up I went to church every single week. I was in the children's choir and I was involved in Wednesday night festivities. I think that my religious education was very valuable. I am grateful for what I learned from that time in my life. I truly believe that a lot of my moral education came from that time.

What I did not like is how a lot of the people in the church seemed to relish in other people's pain while appearing to care about them on the outside. Gossip ran rampant all around the place. It became a source of unwanted and unneeded stress in my life. There are many people within the church who I did not (and still do not) feel that way about. Unfortunately, those who participated out-shadowed those who were using the church for what it should be. I found that many people were judged by their covers within the church setting, and that the focus was often pulled from where it should be--you know, on God.

I am fairly quiet about the fact that I do not participate in any religious lifestyle. I have my beliefs, and I have my trainings, and I choose to keep them private and to myself. What I believe is no one's business and it is not up for discussion. It is as simple as that.

When I read these blogs, I understood their arguments from a religious perspective. I even agreed with certain points. Sure, you could absolutely find a better way to spend your money. Absolutely, you should go with your husband and discuss the premise of these books and movie with him before seeing it. I am sure if you read the books, then you would have discussed them with him at some point anyway. I know I did. Sure, it sends a message about relationships that contradicts those of the Bible. But so does our mainstream media anyway.

What I disagreed with vehemently in most of these blogs was the idea that these books and this movie should not be allowed in theaters and on book shelves. Many are calling for censorship of the franchise entirely. But those who are calling for this haven't even read it. So how do they know what it contains and how bad it is? Once again, judging blindly without knowing. I understand that you feel these books are threatening to your morality. BUT I would be willing to bet that there are some parishioners within your church who practice or have practiced some of the acts that are in the novels. Should they be removed from your pews? I think not. People have a right to choose what they want to read and what they want to watch and they should not feel like God would be angry at them for doing so. Such an argument is likely to push more people away from Him than it is to bring them closer. That is my own personal opinion.

I read each and every line of all three books. Then in the last two weeks I read them all again. That's right, shameful. I wanted to remember what all of the fuss was about. Here is what I think about them:

1. There are definitely things in there that make me cringe
Yeah, they do some pretty crazy things together. The first time I read it I remember thinking, "I'm not old enough to read this." or "you can do that?" and even, "why would you want to do that?" But honestly--this is only one part of the book. You are certainly welcome to not be comfortable with the types of things that they do in their consenting sexual relationship. But, honestly--it is relatively mild in the first book at least. It isn't until the end of the second book and into the third book before the really crazy stuff comes out.

2. It is one of the most beautiful love stories
For a person who loves to read and loves literature (as I do), Fifty Shades of Grey is a beautiful love story. While it is a little unconventional--the characters are certainly endearing and lovable. If you actually read the books--you not doubt fell in love with Ana. She is not unlike many heroines in your classic novels--Tess Durbeyfield comes to mind. She is searching for her place in life. But for most of you (and for me) it's Christian that keeps you reading. You understand that this lifestyle he chose is for a reason, and you want to know what it is. This is a story about abuse and it's effects. He is a broken person in need of a change, and he finds that change with Ana. Even without the sex scenes--I would read it. You really root for him to overcome his horrific childhood and find happiness.

3. They are not much different than what your mom used to read
I don't know about you, but my mom used to read those erotic novels. You know the Danielle Steele ones with Fabio on the cover? I would venture to state that these are not much different--if they are at all.

So my opinion is the same that it has always been. Don't knock it before you try it (or read it in this case). Just like in most situations--there is more to the story. While you might think the book became popular because of all of the BDSM weaved throughout, but in my case--it was the love story that brought me to read that second and third book. By the last book I admittedly skimmed over the sex scenes to get to what really matters--and that is the development of these characters. These people who are not much different than me and you in many cases. They just want to find love in a world that hasn't been that kind to them.

So while the sex scenes are a little much, the author seriously needs a thesaurus (I mean all encounters can't seriously be mindblowing or earth shattering), and surely there are a lot of things that go against the moral background that I have. I still feel that people should be allowed to read anything they wish and go see any movie they wish without judgement. To each their own.

Laters, Y'all


  1. Haha I love this post. You may stir up some angry comments but way to go for speaking your mind!

    And yes... I liked the books... and yes... I will see the movie (not in the theater though. I'm too embarrassed!)