50 Shades of Why I Wrote This
By: Andrew Pratt
In February, the world was sent into erotic bliss. The cinematic depiction of the adult erotica “Fifty Shades of Grey” pleased others, while the rest sat through a two-hour film that is an apparently much better read. Regardless of what your preference is to this movie, it is hard to deny that there was a lot of talk that came from it.
One of the topics to stem from discussing the film was that of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is a touchy subject, especially on this campus this semester. In the wake of protests, forums, and trainings, it is hard to avoid the topic now. What is defined as sexual abuse isn’t always clear-cut, even though some believe it should.
In the movie, there is a depiction of acts that can be considered sexually abusive to the partner. These acts are part of a practice known as BDSM. This practice is when the two consensually agree to have a dominant partner perform acts that may lead to the infliction of pain to the submissive partner. The acts have a wide range of effect, from humiliation to actual physical pain.
If we are to classify sexual abuse as an act that causes pain, scarring, or physical markings to the private regions of an individual, than by this, BDSM is considered sexual abuse.
That is the problem. It shouldn’t be considered abuse. The main point of BDSM play is to consensually agree to perform/receive acts that will lead to the pleasure on both parts. It is commonly talked about that the play helps with the intimacy connection and further binds the two together.
Now, another spin on this thread is what does this movie inspire. It is very common to reenact things we see in movies, and it is hard to deny that curiosity and interest in BDSM has spiked since the movie. However, at the same time, there have been reports of sexual abuse cases that have occurred after trying to perform some of the stuff that was done in the movie. These cases have been labeled as abusive, when in fact that they may have been just play gone wrong.
I am not vouching with those who cross the consensual line, but there needs to be a better understanding with what is seen as BDSM and sexual abuse. They are not the same thing.
I do not think the movie is at all responsible for sexual abuse. Unfortunately, the movie is responsible for sparking curiosity in a practice that may have been foreign to many. That curiosity is what leads to practice. What people do with the practice, whether they choose to partake or not, is not the fault of a subpar cinema.
The movie wasn’t great and to give it such a negative connection saying it inspires intolerable acts is just unnecessary and wrong. It gives a harmless practice a bad name as well. It just really is unfair to say it is abusive, other than abusive to watch.