Monday, February 9, 2015

Why I WILL be watching 50 Shades...

Following the recent success of the 50 Shades of Grey book series, there's no doubt that the impending release of the film adaptation of the first book in the series has caused quite the uproar- especially in the Christian community.

Disclaimer: Before I go any further, let me go ahead and state that I AM a Christian. I was raised Episcopalian, and I love my Lord and Savior. I believe in God AND I believe in science, and I feel like that makes me a minority at times. I've been called a hypocrite, and to be completely honest, it doesn't bother me all that much. I respect other people's opinions and beliefs (well. for the most part) even when they differ from my own. However, I am aware that many of my beliefs and views aren't necessarily popular ones (I mean, a Christian Southern Democrat who likes her wine, reads "mommy porn", and loves Neil deGrasse Tyson... I'm used to being referred to as a walking contradiction). But I believe what I believe and if there's one thing I've found since starting this blog and turning my many facebook status updates into blog-worthy posts--- it's that I'm not always alone in feeling the way that I do. ((What?! Other women are just as crazy as ME?? Say it ain't so....))

So. ALL of that being said- I don't see what the big deal is. I hear (ahem. *read*) what you all are saying. And I respect your decision to not see the film, just as I respected your decision to not read the book. I mean, I don't know if it was so much me respecting your decision as it was me really not caring what you did or didn't do because it in no way affected my life. But regardless, this book in no way negatively impacted my relationship and, I would be willing to venture out so much to say that it did wonders for MANY relationships.

Let me argue this point for a moment. The biggest complaint that I've read is that this is considered "mommy porn" and that it is unladylike for a woman to be sexualizing a man in such a manner and that it is disrespectful to our husbands and boyfriends. The most common counter argument I've found is "well, men have been doing it for years". Well, I don't care about that. Men also scratch themselves in public and smell each other's gas and I don't care to do any of that. So that argument is invalid to me. However, what I WILL argue is this- yes, I read the book. I've read similar books. I've watched Magic Mike. In fact, I was an extra in the sequel to Magic Mike with one of my best friends. I was mere FEET from Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello. And do you know that I have never ONCE fantasized about these men? Honestly, I have not. Yes, they are beautiful. Christian Grey in the book was sexy. His character was designed to be so. But, again, not once did I fantasize about him. What I DID do was think about the man that I do have. Granted, I didn't imagine him dancing shirtless to Pony, grinding on a stage. But, I absolutely used what was given to me by the films and books and projected them into my own relationship. "But that's not realistic." Well, duh. It's a book. It's a movie. Do you think Nick Sparks is realistic? It's a fantasy. (I would even be willing to go so far as to argue that the Notebook has given women more unrealistic expectations about love and romance than E.L. James on any given day) I do not feel that it is disrespectful to my boyfriend for me to enjoy either of these for entertainment. No more than I consider it disrespectful when he appreciates a woman's appearance. It doesn't bother him. It doesn't bother me. He's not concerned that I'm going to leave him because he isn't Grey-esque. (I will not fault that man of mine for failing to know the importance of Charlie Tango)

I also feel like the majority of the women who are anti-50 Shades haven't read the book. They formed an opinion based on what they've heard. We do that with people oftentimes, don't we? We hear something and immediately form an opinion based on the bits and pieces that came from someone else, rather than looking at the bigger picture. If you read the book, you'll find that while, yes, there are some very sexually explicit passages, there's also a genuine love story at the heart of it. It's the story of an innocent girl who falls in love with a broken man and teaches him how to love. They open one another up to things neither of them had previously experienced. It's a beautiful story. It's also a very sexy story. But calling this book "mommy porn" would be no different than calling it a "love story". It is both of those things, I suppose. But it can't be defined as just one or the other.

I'm not trying to convince you to go see it. To quote the great Rhett Butler- Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. Watch it or don't. Read it or don't. But the rest of us who are all about some Ana and Christian would appreciate you not treating us as second class citizens (or as though we will burst into flames should we walk back into church on Sunday morning) when we buy our tickets in advance.

Laters, baby. ;)

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