Problem

50ShadesOfGrey_Glamorizes ViolenceThe Fifty Shades of Grey book series and film franchise normalizes and glamorizes a story of sexual and domestic abuse as if it is a story of true love and romance. This franchise cultivates and perpetuates the rape culture that now permeates our society.

With the second film, Fifty Shades Darker, opening in theaters on February 10, 2017, we are asking you to join the campaign to help raise awareness about the socially irresponsible messages promoted by Fifty Shades of Grey.

This campaign, now joined by dozens of groups around the world, is directed by  London Abused Women’s Centre, Canada, Collective Shout, Australia, and Culture Reframed and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, USA. See below for a partial list of other partners.

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Hollywood is portraying the Fifty Shades story as a risqué, passionate romance, but it’s actually a story of sexual and domestic abuse. The promotion of sexualized violence against women should be intolerable in a society that strives for mutual respect in health relationships and gender equality.

WHAT IS THE BOOK & FILM ABOUT?

The Fifty Shades trilogy follows wealthy and powerful businessman Christian50ShadesOfGrey_600x_truelove_2 Grey as he meets Anastasia Steele, a virginal college student lacking confidence, and woos her into his BDSM (sexual sadism or torture sex) world and “red room of pain.” The relationship maps onto what would be considered an abusive relationship rife domestic violence in the real world. Christian puts Ana under contract to serve as a sexual “submissive” and uses intimidation, coercion, humiliation, violence, stalking, manipulation, jealousy and other controlling behaviors to groom Ana and keep her under his domination. Ana is consistently isolated, threatened, and manipulated, yet she comes back to Christian time and time again because she thinks her love can change him. As the story progresses, Ana, who was first fearful and disturbed by Christian’s controlling behaviors and dark sexual practices, gradually becomes desensitized to his harsh treatment. These are hallmarks of abusive relationships.

The franchise advertises it as a love affair and erotic sex—but it’s really about grooming a young girl into a cycle of abuse, violence, and sadistic sex.

HOW IS THIS IMPACTING CULTURE?

  • The Fifty Shades franchise glamorizes and legitimizes both sexual and domestic violence. In real life, women in these situations don’t end up like Anastasia—they end up at a woman’s recovery agency, on the run from their abuser or, sometimes, dead.
  • The Fifty Shades franchise sends the message to women that they can “fix” violent, controlling men by being obedient and loving. Tragically, these types of beliefs often persuade abused women to stay in unhealthy or destructive relationships. The Fifty Shades books and films are socially irresponsible for confirming, and encouraging, these incorrect myths of abusive relationships.
  • Public opinion makers and cultural leaders who promote these books and films also romanticize and thus legitimize the following themes as acceptable in intimate relationships: coercion, humiliation, degradation, stalking, isolation, manipulation, physical torture, intimidation, possessiveness, jealousy, emotional and sexual/physical abuse.
  • Our pornified culture is already affected by violent acts in mainstream porn and now, with the help of Fifty Shades of Grey, this violence is being further legitimized and broadly accepted by women. Now men don’t have to entice women to engage in the violent acts that they regularly consume through pornography because Fifty Shades of Grey is doing it for them.
  • The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey among women sends a message to men that violent and degrading sex is what women really want.

 

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ACTION ALERT: Join the Social Media Thunderclap.

Thunderclap is a tool that creates a “virtual flashmob” in order to raise awareness about an issue. When you sign up you are scheduling the social media message “It’s time for Hollywood to stop glamorizing domestic abuse as sexy. #FiftyShadesIsAbuse #FiftyShadesDarker http://thndr.me/7eeRjx” to be posted on your Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr. These messages will all be posted on the same day, at the same time, in order to reach a widespread audience! Sign up here:

#50DollarsNot50Shades

MIM_50ShadesOfGrey_#$50not50shades2Boycott the film and give instead to women’s centers such as a shelters or counseling agencies, where women like Anastasia often end up. Join the #50dollarsnot50shades campaign!

How you can help:

1. Use the hashtags #50dollarsnot50shades and #fiftyshadesisabuse on your social media networks and share the truth about the harmful messages promoted by Fifty Shades! Below are several memes and talking points you can use.

2. Donate $10, $25, $50 or whatever you can afford to help the women experiencing the real-life version of Christian and Ana’s abusive relationship. Donations can be made to any domestic violence agency in your area, but share why you made this gift online so we can promote it!

If you are in the United States you can find a list of women’s recovery agencies at DomesticShelters.org. There is even a “wish list” of specific items for which these organizations have need.

If you are in Canada, visit www.lawc.on.ca.

If in other countries, please give to women’s agencies near you!

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ACTIONS

Join the Thunderclap to Spread the Message #FiftyShadesIsAbuse on Social Media

Sign The Pledge

Boycott Fifty Shades, Give to Women’s Agencies Instead!

This Valentine’s Day indulge with #50dollarsnot50shades!

Find a women’s agency near you and give what you can! Share your reason for the gift on social media!

If you’re in the US, find a wish list for many domestic violence shelters at www.domesticshelters.org/wish-lists.

If you’re in Canada visit www.lawc.on.ca.

#fiftyshadesisabuse and violence against women is never sexy.

Share your STORY

Personal stories help elected and business leaders to see the grave harm associated with this material and can be very helpful in getting them to change their policies. All will be shared anonymously. Please email your story to public@ncose.com.

Memes

Use these on your social media networks! Help oppose the media firestorm pushing these lies. There are articles and talking points lower on the page to help you too.

Talking Points

Short Summary: The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy follows wealthy businessman Christian Grey as he meets Anastasia Steele, a virginal college student, and woos her into his BDSM world and “red room of pain.” The main character is a childlike, mousey, young woman, lacking confidence, who becomes the target of a powerful, intimidating, older man who puts her under contract to serve as a sexual “submissive.”

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  • The story makes violence sexy. Many individuals are experimenting with these acts and relationships without understanding the dangers and consequences.
  • The story glamorizes and legitimizes both sexual and domestic violence. Now, with the overwhelming popularity of the book, mainstream opinion makers, the media, and celebrities are legitimizing this violence too. The reality is that in real life, women in these situations don’t end up like Anastasia — they often end up in a woman’s shelter, on the run for years, or dead.
  • Other themes that are romanticized in the book include: coercion, humiliation, degradation, stalking, isolation, manipulation, physical torture, intimidation, possessiveness, jealousy, emotional and physical abuse.
  • The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey among women sends a message to men that this is what women really wantMany men are already consuming material (hardcore pornography) that sexualizes violence and leads to permission-giving beliefs such as all women like violence, “no” really means “yes,” and rape is permissible. The popularity of this book only feeds into these lies and further promotes rape culture.
  • The mainstreaming of this book also sends the message to women that they can “fix” violent, controlling men by being obedient and loving.
  • Our pornified culture is already affected by violent acts in mainstream porn and now, with the help of Fifty Shades of Grey, this violence is being further legitimized and broadly accepted by women. Now men don’t have to entice women to engage in the violent acts that they regularly consume through pornography because Fifty Shades of Grey is doing it for them.

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  • Domestic violence is viewed differently today than it once was. Under state laws, no one is deemed to consent to partner abuse and violence. After learning about the psychological damage the victim undergoes, society and the laws changed to reflect that consent did not make this abuse ok. It’s a very similar situation with sexual violence and one can easily argue that at least the relationship depicted in Fifty Shades of Grey follows the pattern of domestic abuse.
  • Consent is not a black and white issue, but rather spans a broad continuum. One’s ability or freedom to consent is often compromised by trauma, abuse, miseducation, lack of knowledge
  • Consent does not remove the psychological and physical damage created by this mistreatment and abuse.
  • Even among “consenting” participants, many are often coerced to continue against their will and comfort level due to the pressure to appear “into it,” to avoid alienating their intimate partner, or for other reasons.
  • Violence is violence. Sexual violence is worse.
  • Not every decision one makes is a good one.
  • The issue of consent is not the only problem with these relationships. If you take this argument away, there are still many other problems, including the long-term psychological and physical effects, the impact on the existing relationship, development of violent permission-giving beliefs, the impact to society when violence is sexualized, and more.
  • The acts practiced in Fifty Shades of Grey, in “kink” pornography, and in BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism & Masochism) relationships often violate U.S. and United Nations laws on torture. Consent is not an excuse according to these laws.

There is a media firestorm promoting this story and promoting it as harmless fun. These public opinion makers are often encouraging women to engage in this activity as a healthy form of intimacy in relationships. (Oprah, Dr. Phil, The View, The Today Show, & Cosmopolitan Magazine are just a few examples of opinion makers encouraging women to try this behavior.)

Of course people have the right to read and watch what they want to watch. However, most individuals are not educated on these issues and are buying the lies pushed in the story and by the sensationalized media.

 

 

  • We are not telling you what you can and cannot do. We are working to educate people on the facts so that they can make more informed decisions.
  • However, simply because you participate in these sex acts in private, does not make them harmless. These acts are a simulation, at best, of abuse and violence that objectifies and exploits those involved.
  • Making violence “sexy” has significant consequences to individuals, relationships, and society. Here is what some of the research says about sexually violent material and the impact to real life.
  • Sexual interactions become about playing out a scene and not about enjoying your partner. People often think Fifty Shades will teach you how to please your partner, but really it just teaches the dominant one to please only his or herself.
  • The media firestorm surrounding this franchise is impossible to miss. Kids are exposed to the messages in the story simply by existing! Walking down the street, visiting a mall or even watching family-friendly television (ABC Family played the trailer of Fifty Shades of Grey during children’s shows) exposes children to advertisements for this book and film. Watching daily news shows and talk shows (which most parents have on while kids are in the room) exposes kids to the messages that this violent sexual behavior is normal and worth a try.
  • Kids are hearing about Fifty Shades and more and more are hearing the terms BDSM. Curiosity and the innate desire to be like adults will send many kids looking for answers. Considering that mainstream pornography mostly follows these themes, you can be sure that is what they will be exposed to.
  • The truth is that kids are more tech savvy and are consuming more media than adults. Of course, parents need to monitor this, but the reality is that most parents aren’t and most parents cannot keep up no matter how hard they try.

 

Updates

How One Man Removed His Local Kroger’s Display of the Fifty Shades of Grey Franchise

Do you remember the first time you heard about the book Fifty Shades of Grey? Maybe you saw it being promoted on social media or someone reading it in public. Others may have encountered the book on display in a local book or grocery store or heard it being discussed among friends. One thing is […]

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Podcast: Does “Fifty Shades of Grey” Normalize Domestic Abuse?

The London Abused Women’s Centre, Canada; Collective Shout, Australia; Culture Reframed, USA; and The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), USA have partnered to raise awareness that Fifty Shades of Grey – and it’s latest film installment Fifty Shades Darker – normalizes domestic violence. Tune-in to learn more about the themes of Fifty Shades of Grey […]

Grateful for Fifty Shades of Grey

By Melody Bergman MamaCrossroads.com It’s midnight on New Year’s Eve, and my hubby and I have just finished watching the ball drop. The first commercial I see in 2017? A preview for Fifty Shades Darker, coming right before Valentine’s Day. No joke. Whether we like it or not, our culture has entered a pronounced Grey period. […]

Fifty Shades Darker Romanticizes Domestic Abusers

Global human rights groups’ #50DollarsNot50Shades and #FiftyShadesIsAbuse campaigns call for support of women’s agencies The London Abused Women’s Centre, Canada; Collective Shout, Australia; Culture Reframed, USA; and The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), USA are collaborating for the second time to reject the normalization of violence and abuse against women portrayed in the Fifty Shades […]

The Link Between Fifty Shades of Grey, Child Abuse, and Coercive Relationships

Society is being told that abuse is normal, that abuse is sexy, that abuse is “love.” It was time to take a stand before the Fifty Shades of Grey movie was peddled to mainstream media, but better late than never. These films have major implications for American sexuality, and perhaps the future of our children. […]

Partners

Here’s a partial list of the dozens of groups from around the world who have joined this campaign. The campaign was initiated by Culture Reframed, London Abused Women’s Centre – Ontario, and National Center on Sexual Exploitation with the release of the first film in 2015.

This is a playlist streaming from the @Pornharms YouTube channel:

50+ Reasons Why 50 Shades Harms

  1. Website: "Fifty Shades of Grey" Harm - Violence Against Women, Mental, Emotional and Physical Abuse, Domestic Violence, Sadomasochism, etc
  2. Twitter User: No Sad
  3. Debate (Huffington Post): CHANGE MY MIND: Should Modern Women Feel Empowered by S&M Porn?
  4. Pinterest Board: 50 Shades is Abuse - BDSM Harms
  5. Peer-Reviewed Study Published in Journal of Women’s Health: “Double Crap!” Abuse and Harmed Identity in Fifty Shades of Grey
  6. Video (Poetry Performance): 50 Shades of Dismay
  7. Website: The Harms of Sadomasochism, Sadism, Masochism, Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, BDSM, S&M, S/M, SM, "Fifty Shades of Grey," etc.
  8. Twitter User: 50 Shades of Abuse
  9. Editorial (Christianity Magazine): Grey Areas: How explicit literature went mainstream
  10. Book: Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis - By Diana E. Russell, Robin Ruth Linden
  11. Twitter List: Anti- 50 Shades of  Grey 
  12. Article (Forbes): Is 50 Shades Dangerous?
  13. Article (Melissa Farley): 10 Lies about Sadomasochism 
  14. Blog Post (Sunsara Taylor): 50 Shade of Grey: Bad for Women! Bad for Sex! 
  15. http://www.forbes.com/sites/crime/2012/06/23/is-fifty-shades-of-grey-dangerous/
  16. Twitter User: Feminist Shades of Grey 
  17. Website: 50 Shades of Domestic Abuse
  18. Website: 50 Shades Is Abuse
  19. YouTube Channel: Say NO to Sadomasichism
  20. Editorial: Why are Women Devouring 50 Shades of Grey? (Gail Dines) 
  21. Podcast: BDSM & Feminism - An interview with Kathleen Barry
  22. Facebook Page: 50 Shades Is Abuse 
  23. Blog Post: Jennifer Armintrout: Another 50 Shades Domestic Violence PSA. Now with added author breakdown
  24. News Article: Man accused of raping nurse twice after 'BDSM' sex encounter 'went wrong'
  25. Blog Post: 50 Shades of Subtlety 
  26. News Video Clips: Brittany Kilgore Murder by Sadomasochism People by Torture 
  27. Article: 50 Shades of Anti-Feminism
  1. Blog Post: 50 Shades of Domestic Violence (cites examples from the book) 
  2. Editorial: Shades of Grey: Now what that BDSM has gone mainstream?
  3. Video Interview Debate: Logan Levkoff and Dr. Drew on Today Show 
  4. Blog Post: My Open Letter to EL James
  5. News: Fifty Shades of Grey condemned as ‘manual for sexual torture’ 
  6. Video Interview: What’s Wrong with Sadomasochism? Pro-feminist Ben Barker explains the Harms of BDSM & the Kink Scene 
  7. For Sale: Horrifying Products Based on Fifty Shades of Grey 
  8. Vlog: 50 Shades of Messed Up 
  9. Editorial: Groupon’s Latest “Deal?” Torture Porn
  10. Graphic: Cartoon “One Shade of Grey”
  11. Photos: Protest Posters in Retail Shops
  12. Article: What's Wrong With '50 Shades of Grey': The difference between BDSM and what’s portrayed in ‘50 Shades of Grey.’
  13. Article: Dr. Drew: '50 Shades of Grey' pathological, poorly written 
  14. Video: Debate on Broadside: Violence obscured in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (Gail Dines) 
  15. Article: Is ‘50 Shades of Grey’ Glorifying Rape? 
  16. Video Playlist: Personal BDSM & Sadomasochism experiences. Domestic abuse, etc. 
  17. Photo: 50 Shades Is a Reminder of my abusive relationship re-packaged as a love story 
  18. Blog Post: Fifty Shades of Grey - Adoration or Abuse
  19. Action Alert: Oprah’s Network Supporting BDSM Lifestyle 
  20. News Article: Fifty Shades book burning call by abuse charity 
  21. Video: Shocking Cruelty in Porn Exposed - Ex-Porn Star Danny Austin Interview with Antipornography.org 
  22. Book: Big Porn Inc
  23. Blog Post: #LoveIs 
  24. Vlog: 50 Shades of Ranting 
  25. Article: Ben Barker: Anarchists and Torture Porn 
  26. Video: How Porn Creates the John: Porn, Trafficking and the Social Construction 
  27. Vlog: 50 Shades of Crap 
  28. Photo: 50 Shades of Abuse Protest