For decades, America has been working on teaching people that it’s wrong to hit and beat up women.
Now, the Fifty Shades of Grey books come along filled with bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism or BDSM.
While what adults do in their bedrooms is a private matter, I and others are concerned that women who aren’t assertive will allow themselves to be hit and tortured during sex. The book romanticizes BDSM.
Wanting to be fair, I read most of the books. Since I didn't want to purchase them, I first looked them over at Barnes & Noble, then checked them out from the library.
I lost the library copy of the third book coming back from a trip on the airplane. I wasn't quite finished with it, but I just gave up.
The books' heroine, Anastasia Steele, an unsophisticated woman who is just graduating from college, meets Christian Grey, head of a huge corporation based in Seattle.
He grooms Ana, a virgin, and spanks and whips her in his “playroom.” He also inserts balls into her vagina to add “pleasure” when she’s spanked.
I could go on and on about the abusive treatment regaled in the books. However, it's upsetting to be thinking about it again.
I didn't get the article finished after I started it last year, but, now that the movie is out, I want to get it posted.
Drew Pinsky, M.D., host of the Dr. Drew TV show, calls the books disturbing.
"I can't emphasize enough the disturbing quality of this," Pinsky said in an article posted in the WTOP website. "This is a woman who is naïve to these issues, and then is manipulated and exploited by a man who has a severe personality disorder and a sex addiction who is violent with her, it is just too much to be understood."
Pinsky also said he’s worried that teenagers reading the books will get the idea that the relationship in the books will be seen as reasonable. "I worry that this is going to be a model for something pathological."
Clare Phillipson, director of Wearside Women in Need, a charity for victims of domestic violence, said the story's "subliminal message" is the classic narrative of domestic violence – "that you can heal this broken man, that if you just love him enough and take his shit enough, he will get better.
"That message is so dangerous," Phillipson said. "I've done this job for 30 years and the chances of making a Christian Grey better by enduring the abuse he heaps on you – well, you would be physically traumatized and potentially dead. It is not going to happen. You have to walk away from the Christian Greys of this world."
Now, a clip of "Fifty Shades of Grey" is in every living room in America. I can't understand how such a revolting, sexual clip of BDSM can be shown to the nation's children.
I hope mental health professionals will continue to speak out about how potentially dangerous these books and the movie are to women.