50 shades of understanding

My view on “50 shades of Grey” …

I read books. All kinds of books. Books I love and books I hate. 50 shades was part of both these categories for me. Now don’t judge me. Not yet.

Disguised as a love story, 50 shades was actually about a young girl who wasn’t sure about pretty much anything in life. It was about a girl who wasn’t comfortable with herself; a girl who didn’t know herself. I have a simple question. If Ana had no doubts about her personality, her looks, and maybe even her existence, would she have ever made a good submissive? Would she have even caught Christians sick attention? No.

This book highlights the need for girls who are on the verge of womanhood to stand up for themselves; to accept exactly who they are and to start making decisions based on their needs, not the needs of a man. The book itself was revolting, but the unexpected lesson it taught many of the girls, and women, who actually read the books with their minds and not their hearts, was priceless. There is no one; no man or woman; no father; no effed up boyfriend, who can make your decisions for you.

Ana actually taught us that by giving in to another’s will, all we would get in return is pain. Ana also taught us that not everyone would accept our choices and respect our decisions. And that’s okay. Christian taught us that there are some men out there who are psychologically affected but may not seem to be. Christian taught us to never judge a book by it’s cover or, in his case, a man by his success. Christian taught us that when men mess up all they’d have to do is throw shiny things at their women and their hearts would melt. That is not okay.

Being a girl is not the easiest thing in the world. There’s always someone who is making the decisions for you; there’s always someone calling the shots. If not your father, then your mother. If not your boyfriend, then your husband. And that is something else that is not okay. A woman has been given the right to make her own choices; make her own mistakes; find her own path. To take that away would be taking away a woman’s rights.

These days all around us we see women fighting for each other’s rights; they call themselves feminists. The most disappointing thought is that the majority of these feminists who have read the books, have absolutely loved them. And not for the reasons I did. They believe that the books portrayed a love story; a story of differences, between two polar opposites, which were bridged by this thing called love. These women believed that Ana’s ‘love’ was shown by giving in to torture, both physically and mentally, just to please Christian. And that’s the biggest fault in this book. It has caused strong women, with minds of their own, to start believing in pleasure within pain. This book has given another meaning to domestic violence, and that is not okay. There are many things that are wrong with this book, but the main problem was the message behind it.

I just pray for those women who believe that they enjoy being beaten by their spouses because their spouses find pleasure in it. I pray for those women who fight for the rights of others but manage to forget themselves on the way. I pray for those women who are too terrified to speak against the violence that occurs within the walls of their ‘homes’. I pray for the sick world around us; the world that believes in Christian’s and Ana’s ‘love story’.

Originally written on: 3 March 2015

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