Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. +Marianne Williamson
"oh my god stop criticizing young girls who like 50 Shades of Gray or Twilight you can’t tell them what they can and can’t read"
no we can’t but we have to protect young girls from mistaking abusive behavior for genuine affection at all costs
I love Twilight. I love the first two books (can’t get past the 3rd one-ew) but the reason I love it is because it is so unrealistic, and so dramatic and so over the top. It’s one of my guilty pleasure reads.
So I totally get loving Twilight.
But I understand that without a single doubt Bella is forced into many situations that make her uncomfortable and is made into a victim and is the victim in an abusive relationship. I understand that the book is wrong in its treatment of relationships despite being a bestseller.
I am an adult, and I am fortunate to be well educated and to have enough life experience to recognize an abusive relationship.
A 12 year old girl does not have a lot of life experience. She is still learning about her society and how she feels about things. When a best selling book like 50SoG and Twilight romanticize physically and emotionally abusive relationships and are made into movies, then how the heck is she (and her friends) supposed to know that it’s not ok? Movies are full of it and are being praised for abusive behavior because “it’s romantic” And she’s watching that and she and her friends are talking about it.
So no, I will not stop talking about the wrong in Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey or any other book that portrays an abusive relationship as romantic. Yes, if my niece or any other girl wants to read a book like Twilight I will let them. But I will also sit down with them and point out every single flaw with the book. I will make sure that there is an open dialogue about what happens, and I’ll use it as a teaching tool. If you can recognize the signs of an abusive relationship you can help keep yourself and your friends safe. She, and every single girl out there, needs to know that just because society constantly talks about it doesn’t mean that it’s right.
There is nothing wrong with reading what you want, and it’s something I strongly encourage, but you have to be aware of what you’re reading. You can’t just overlook and/or excuse the flaws in it.
50 Shades of Grey was originally fanfiction based on the Twilight series, which was then published as a novel (along with 2 subsequent books). It sold over 100 million copies around the world and topped best-seller lists everywhere. It’s about to be adapted into a film, set to come out early next year.
It follows a college student named Ana Steele, who enters a relationship with a man named Christian Grey and is then introduced to a bastardised and abusive parody of BDSM culture.
While the book is paraded as erotica, the relationship between Ana and Christian is far from healthy. The core mantra of the BDSM community is “safe, sane and consensual”, and 50 Shades is anything but. None of the rules of BDSM practices (which are put in place to protect those involved) are actually upheld. Christian is controlling, manipulative, abusive, takes complete advantage of Ana, ignores safe-words, ignores consent, keeps her uneducated about the sexual practices they’re taking part in, and a multitude of other terrible things. Their relationship is completely sickening and unhealthy.
Basically, “the book is a glaring glamorisation of violence against women,” as Amy Bonomi so perfectly put it.
It’s terrible enough that a book like this has been absorbed by people worldwide. Now, we have a film that is expected to be a huge box-office success, and will likely convince countless more young women that it’s okay not to have any autonomy in a relationship, that a man is allowed to control them entirely. It will also show many young men that women are theirs to play with and dominate, thus contributing to antiquated patriarchal values and rape culture.
I hate that BDSM has been thrown into the spotlight through such an unhealthy and unintelligent way. Seriously, a bit of research shows that pretty much everything 50 Shades says about it is dead wrong (trust me I did some research when the book came out so I knew what the heck people were talking about).
It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t agree with the BDSM culture or culture of any kind. What does matter is if you disrespect the men, women, and others that chose to participate in that lifestyle and misinform others about said culture. That’s not cool, funny, cute, sexy and it sure isn’t romantic. Yet that is exactly what 50 Shades of Grey does.
It does not matter what lifestyle you walk, where you fall on the gender spectrum, or your sexual preferences. Your body is your own and you always, always have control of it. If anyone tries to disrespect that then you take care of yourself. Just because they are too ignorant to see the beauty in you doesn’t mean that you have to fall for it. Take a stand, protect yourself however you need to and love yourself and your body.
As much as I love books, books can be wrong. Just because an ultra popular book says one thing doesn’t mean it’s right. Research is awesome. Self-respect and self-care is awesome.
Take care of yourself. Stand up for yourself and your friends and loved ones. Stay informed so that you can see things like 50 Shades and know that it’s going over the line and that it’s not true/accurate. Don’t be afraid to be powerful and seek help and to love yourself.