When I clicked through to read Time Magazine’s email, “How ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ affects your brain” last night, I was shocked to see at least 30 articles not just ‘related to’ but specifically on the topic Fifty Shades of Grey. At least. That was just on the Time.com website.
Perhaps I should have expected it, but I think it says something about the world we live in when S&M becomes a public, cultural phenomenon, or at best, a casual conversational topic.
I’m conservative by nature, a reformed bastion of modesty, and that’s before we even get into a discussion on the basis of my beliefs on gender, abuse, healthy relational dynamics, emotional healing, childhood brokenness, or spirituality…and that’s the short list.
So for me, there was no grey area, no question of “hmmm, will I read the book?” or “will I watch the movie?”
But, I’ve followed the build-up and read various articles written in response to the release of the “Fifty Shade of Grey” movie over. Just because I’m not watching it doesn’t mean I should be ignorant or pretend it doesn’t exist, so for my future reference, this brief post contains links to some articles and perspectives on Fifty Shades of Grey that I found particularly interesting, poignant, or ironic.
The message that sex is selfish, manipulative, and even playfully violent will abuse and violate you. It might feel like a fun and harmless fantasy, but it’s not so subtly redefining the power and beauty of sex, creating spiritual blockages in your heart that will eventually kill you, and impairing your ability to enjoy real and lasting pleasure.
Our deepest brokenness is not just that we engage in darkness, but that we love it.
…Here’s the complicating factor: a lot of sin in our lives isn’t caused by sinful hearts as much as it is caused by brokenness–by deep places of hurt within ourselves. Remember when Jesus warned people not to be a stumbling block to one of his little ones and cause them to sin? He wasn’t denying that the little ones were sinning; but he was saying that the cause of that sin was not some evil on the part of the little ones, but some way that they had been hurt or harmed by someone else.
Brokenness is as much a cause of sin as our own sinful nature. Brokenness is dangerous.
E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey is introducing more women to porn — at least according to a narrow study conducted at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
“But I think we need a cautionary note around it, because while they open up opportunities and provide women with unprecedented access to new genres or ways of thinking about their sexuality, at the same time, many of the scripts that are reproduced are really patriarchal scripts around women’s sexuality.”
In perhaps the least surprising news you’ll read all day, Jamie Dornan‘s wife, Amelia Warner, has not yet seen her husband star in Fifty Shades of Grey – nor does she plan on it.
“She hasn’t seen the film and I don’t think she will, to be honest,” Dornan, 32, revealed to the London Evening Standard at the U.K. premiere of the film. “I’d understand if she didn’t want to.”
That said, Dornan acknowledged to the Standard that there are definitely some scenes in the film that he wouldn’t necessarily want certain family members to see; however, “it wasn’t enough to make me not want to do it.”
At 47, she’s a mother of four. Taylor-Johnson’s oldest child Angelica is 17 and her next three are all under 8. Her 17-year old has already seen the movie. “Watching it through her eyes was really interesting because I could gauge where I felt uncomfortable with her watching it,” she says. “So then I sort of revisited those areas and thought, is it more graphic than I think it is?”
The father of her two youngest children is 24 year-old actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who has starred in, among other things, Godzilla and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. She got pregnant with their first child together when he was 19, after they worked together the movie she made about John Lennon, Nowhere Boy.
Like Christian Grey (and Lennon), she was raised in an unconventional home. Her father, who was a biker, left home when she was 9 years old, and her mother Geraldine moved the family to a commune-like situation, until she departed as well (and secretly moved to a house further down the same street). At 15, Taylor Johnson had to more or less look after herself. Her mom now runs a spiritual healing center, GrailHaven, in rural Queensland, Australia, where, under instruction from what Geraldine calls “an angelic vision in the gardens,” she sells flower essences, oracle cards and bottles of sacred water that will “assist the birth of the 5th Ray.”
Taylor Johnson is a two time cancer survivor, having beaten both colon and breast cancer. After the breast cancer she did a series of photos in which she was tied up and suspended by a guy called Master Rope Knot, who, says Taylor-Johnson, was a bondage expert by night and I.T. man by day. “I think it was a sort of celebration of my sort of physical self and being under strain,” she says.