I won’t see the movie Fifty Shades of Grey because I have no interest in it. I almost made it to the third chapter of the first book in the series but gave up in frustration over the terrible writing and the unrealistic story line.
As you know, the Fifty Shades novels went on to sell a squillion copies and make their barely literate author, E.L. James, a squillionaire. The prose is excruciatingly repetitive and juvenile. The story concerns a young, naive woman named Anastasia who is selected – for reasons that are never clear – by a filthy rich, impossibly attractive businessman named Christian Grey. He has her sign a contract to become his S and M plaything and introduces her to his playroom fully outfitted with straps, whips, masks and whatever else goes along with that lifestyle. He shouts jump, she asks how high, where, when and what can I possibly give up in my life in order to jump for you?
Not a speck of this story rang true to me and I’m told I didn’t even get to the “good” parts before I gave up on it. I felt sorry for Anastasia and other than his money, I couldn’t see a good reason for succumbing to Grey’s creepy whims. She was a voiceless, thought-free, one-dimensional vessel for him to carry out his fantasies on. And that was obvious in the first two chapters!
The movie is due out on Valentine’s Day and advocates for abused women have launched their own campaign against it. Fifty Dollars Not Fifty Shades asks you to skip the film and spend what you would have spent on the night out at your local shelter instead. They say Anastasia’s submission to violence and control is the kind of story that would precede a woman coming to them for help. They’re afraid that the film will make stalking, controlling and romanticizing abuse seem sexy. Even advocates of bondage and other racy, private behavior spoke out against the books, saying they got it wrong. Someone involved with the Fifty Dollars campaign pointed out that it’s all about money. If Christian Grey had been homeless, or even just middle class, Anastasia would have told him to pound salt.
I donated to the campaign. The movie is going to be a huge hit, no question and I wouldn’t have gone to see it anyway. But it’s an opportunity to give to the London Abused Women’s Centre. The fundraising campaign actually started in the US and shelters around the world joined in. LAWC’s Executive Director Megan Walker was even quoted in People.com this week. It’s taken off like a mini ice bucket challenge. If you’re interested in learning more, the hashtag on social media is #50dollarsnot50shades.