February 8, 2018

Abuse in 50 Shades Freed Fuels #MeToo Culture

The Fifty Shades franchise is advertised as an erotic romance, but in reality it is a story of sexual violence.

Fifty Shades Freed, irresponsibly and dangerously legitimizes sexual violence against women and encourages women to accept this type of abuse as normal or even desirable.

If we are ready to transform how our culture treats women — from exploitative to empowering — we need to stop making and watching films like Fifty Shades Freed that glamorize sexual violence against women.

It is entirely hypocritical that this film is coming out amid the momentum of Hollywood support for the #MeToo campaign. This story sends a message that an abusive relationship can eventually turn into a loving one and suggests money and prestige permit a person to sexually exploit people at will.

Fifty Shades Freed condones or outright encourages the physical and psychological torture many women cannot escape from. The Domestic Violence Hotline reports more than half of female victims of rape identified their intimate partner as the offender. Women like Anastasia don’t have ‘happily ever afters,’ they suffer at the tyrannical hand of their abuser.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, along with other organizations like Culture Reframed, the London Abused Women’s Centre, and Collective Shout have opposed the franchise from the start. In an effort to oppose the film’s release,  these groups have conducted a joint 50 Dollars not 50 Shades campaign. Instead of buying a ticket to Fifty Shades, donate 50 dollars to a women’s organization and help stop abuse.

Here are 5 actions that you can take to protest this film. 

Dawn Hawkins

Senior Vice President & Executive Director

Dawn Hawkins is a passionate abolitionist and defender of human rights who has dedicated her life to fighting against societal harms that threaten the dignity of others. Her energy, creativity and mobilization skills have revived the anti-pornography movement and her intentional emphasis on the intersectionality of forms of sexual exploitation has proven a unique and effective strategy for curbing them.

 

As Sr. Vice President and Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), Mrs. Hawkins has developed a global strategy uniting more than 300 women’s rights, conservative, child advocacy, medical professionals, law enforcement, and religious groups, including a bipartisan political leadership, to work together in raising awareness of the connections between all forms of sexual exploitation. Her initiatives have lead to sweeping policy changes of policies that foster exploitation for targets such as Google, Hilton Worldwide, Comcast, Walmart, and the Department of Defense. Through her leadership, NCOSE has grown a network reaching hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Mrs. Hawkins has appeared on many local and national television programs, including Fox & Friends, CNN and Good Morning America. She regularly authors articles and speaks around the country addressing the public health harms of pornography, curbing demand for sex trafficking, protecting children and families in our digital world, and more.

 

Dawn regularly volunteers for organizations devoted to helping children and refugees. She is a graduate of Tufts University and currently resides with her husband and three children in Virginia.

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