Letter: Violence is not sexy
For Glenn Beaton (“Two score and 10 shades of grey,” Feb. 15, Commentary, The Aspen Times) to couch “50 Shades of Grey” as merely a “kinky” movie is a travesty. This film is nothing more than “To Catch a Predator” for the big screen. Same young innocent girl as the TV show, but because the predator is well-dressed, successful and wealthy, it must be OK. There’s a contract too, so it must be OK.
How about: Pick on someone your own size, you coward! This sadist (Grey) parading as a sex deviant is as much a coward as the mass shooters who corner the defenseless in classrooms across the country and then open fire. It’s not exactly a fair fight. All the variables have been stacked in favor of the guy with a gun. And Grey is the guy with the gun (and an entire torture chamber, too.)
Are we so far gone as a society that we confuse erotica and sex with violence — and that, according to Beaton, is just “watered-down kinkiness.” It is a sad tale when pleasure and pain are so completely mixed up. We have football players caught on video brutally punching their wives and girlfriends. We have more gang rapes on campus than ever. We have more convicted rapists loose than ever (97 of every 100 rapists go free). We have access to the most egregious online porn 24/7. Let’s not go backward and spoon feed the 20 million to 30 million vulnerable innocents who will see this movie and tell them it is not about male sexual violence.
Yes, we love violence in our entertainment. We’ve sugar-coated yet another failing of our society; drama has to be violent or it doesn’t give us our jollies. Do we love love in our entertainment? Not so much. Can we show it dramatically and make money at it? Not so much.
The steamy nakedness and the images of pretty skin on the screen will force many to mistake their feelings for eroticism while ignoring the actual meaning of what they are witnessing: physical abuse of young girl. And the abused is all dressed up in high heels and a snug red dress. And the devil? He’s dressed up too in a Savoy of London suit and he pilots helicopters and gliders, so it must be OK. Slip a roofie into her drink and she’ll slip out of that slip of a dress. We know how to have sex about as well as we know how to love. This zillion dollar grossing movie is nothing but a giant ad for brutality against emotionally defenseless, inexperienced young souls. You think nobody’s buying? Then you don’t understand the power of advertising. It’s an emotional appeal when you are at your weakest: in fantasyland. Trouble is, we tend to get fantasyland confused with reality all the time. And most of the time, we like fantasyland better.
We’re being asked by the filmmakers and Beaton to divorce ourselves from the meaning of what is going on in the “safe” chamber of horrors. He really stretches a phallocentric argument by pointing to extremism and the feminists as the only conscientious objectors of this ad for violence. How about every loving mother of a daughter? That includes at least half of the country and the society that this film documents the ruin thereof.
A woman is a sacred soulful being and goes out into the world as such. Is she wearing a miniskirt? Yes. Is she wearing lipstick and high heels? Check. Does that mean she is game for a whipping? Rape? Men used to think so.
Life is hard and painful enough (ever have dental surgery?). Let’s not make it harder by confusing pain with pleasure. Thinking BDSM? Girls, if a guy ever says, “I only f-hard, very hard,” run the other way or jump out the window. Fast. We don’t need to put ourselves in harms way, the devil will do it for you.
Jan Hadwen Hubbell
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