Letter from Editor-in-Chief

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by Jessica Snyder

Dear Readers,
This past weekend, “Fifty Shades of Grey” broke box office records. It earned the top spot as highest grossing President’s Day weekend release ever with roughly $82 million made.
I’ll be honest with you. I read all three books. In my defense, it was a mixture of both curiosity and needing to be a part of this world all my girlfriends were talking about. Don’t even get me started on what a literary mess the series is.
Now that the movie has arrived, I am torn on whether or not I want to see it. There is a part of me that feels I need to be part of the phenomenon people are discussing around the water cooler. And a bigger part of me is absolutely against everything this movie stands for.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is wrapped up in a quasi-romance bow, but if you look beneath the surface you will see a movie with abusive gender roles.
Christian Grey wishes to emotionally and physically dominate Anastasia Steele. He literally wants to hit her for his own pleasure. LITERALLY!
Grey tells Steele that he wants her to willingly surrender herself to him in all things.Steele innocently asks why she would agree to such a thing and Grey responds, “for my pleasure.” That simple line sums up the whole idea for this book.
His pleasure is the objective, but we as females are supposed to buy into the fact hat somehow we get fulfillment from such a contract. Yes, she has to sign a contract.
Grey resorts to emotional manipulation, abuse and stalking in his pursuit of Steele. He shows up at her work, a bar she is at, her apartment and her vacation in Georgia to visit her mother—all without being invited. This kind of attention is not accepted in the real world, as most women would construe this as creepy.
The reality of the situation is if you strip the money and power from Christian Grey, there is not a single thing about his behavior that is enticing. In the real world, any guy who acted this way would most likely warrant a restraining order.
The fact that women went out in droves to see this movie upsets my inner feminist. I mean, this movie is basically anti-women, even though a woman wrote it! Yeah, let that sink in for a second.
Why are we so accepting of a movie where the female exists only to fuel the transformation of the male main character?
Her sole purpose is to submit her body and freedom for his pleasure! We as women have struggled long and hard to claim our bodies as our own. We are not simply playthings for men who wish to hurt women for gratification.
It also gives women the false belief that by submitting to the darkest desires a man seeks, it will help her train him to give her what she really needs to be emotionally satisfied.
In reality, submitting to that kind of sexual, emotional and physical abuse will only lead to hurt and humiliation, not a happy ending.
I’m all for women exploring their sexuality; I am just against this being the movie they use as a catalyst.
Someday, in the near future, I hope we see a movie, which helps women discover that side of themselves without the underlying abusive tone.

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