Fifty Shades Of Grey: an erotic romance or a glamorized story of abuse

People share their views about the Fifty Shades of Grey book and movie

“Everybody has their opinion on it but I don’t think it’s abusive,” said Ella Rudolph, staff member of Sodexo at the University of King’s College. Photo: Cara Downey

With Fifty Shades of Grey set for release next week in theatres, and an online boycott against the movie gaining steam, UNews asked Halifax students, faculty and university staff for their thoughts on the book.

Is Fifty Shades of Grey an erotic romance that explores the world of dominance and submission or is it just a glamorized story of abuse?

“I personally haven’t read the book, but I’ve heard about it because it’s like this huge thing, like a world phenomenon,” said Katelynn Hancock, a third-year Commerce student at Dalhousie University.

“There are BDSM relationships that are completely consensual and that’s fine if that’s something people want to partake in, but Fifty Shades Of Grey definitely doesn’t portray it that way.”

Hancock went on to say, “It romanticized a situation that doesn’t seem to be 100 per cent consensual.”

Kim Kierans, journalism professor and vice-president at the University of King’s College, said she hasn’t read the book and she doesn’t intend to, but she has seen a trailer for the movie.

“That confirmed my view that I really don’t want to see the movie.”

Kierans said the trailer she saw was exploitative and certainly degrading of woman.

That echoes the opinion of the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation, which has launched a campaign to boycott the movie.

Using the hashtags #fiftyshadesisabuse and #fiftydollarsnotfiftyshades , the advocacy group is pushing the public to stay away from the movie and instead donate $50 to their local women’s shelter.

The centre says the Fifty Shades series is promoting and normalizing domestic violence, especially against women. “Everybody has their opinion on it but I don’t think it’s abusive,” said Ella Rudolph, staff member of Sodexo, in the dining hall at King’s College.

Rudolph has read the entire series and has plans to go see the movie when it hits theatres next week.

Rudolph did say that in certain parts of the book the male lead Christian Grey did use a level of coercion to get Ana to do what he wanted, but Rudolph said, “if she didn’t want to do it then she wouldn’t have done it.”

Another Sodexo staff member agreed with Rudolph.

“I don’t believe it’s abusive, it’s consenting adults doing what they do behind closed doors,” said Andrea Lamb.

“If they are both saying yes to it, then it can’t be abuse,” Lamb said, adding that you can say, “sports are abusive, what’s the difference?”

“What people do behind closed doors is no one else’s business but their own,” Lamb said. “It shouldn’t be a problem as long as it’s between two consenting adults.”




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